Ethiopia's young trio facing daunting task of toppling Faith Kipyegon on Sunday

ATHLETICS Ethiopia's young trio facing daunting task of toppling Faith Kipyegon on Sunday

Abigael Wafula 06:07 - 28.09.2023

Kipyegon will be eyeing her third consecutive win but she will face a test from Ethiopia's youngsters.

In case you are wondering, Faith Kipyegon is not yet done with her season and will be competing at the World Road Running Championships on Sunday, October 1.

The 29-year-old will be competing in the mile, testing herself one more time against Ethiopian youngsters who face a daunting task in overthrowing the Kenyan.

The Ethiopians include 22-year-old Hirut Meshesha, 21-year-old Diribe Welteji, and another 22-year-old, Freweyni Hailu.

However, Kipyegon has already had a stellar season and she will surely be looking to impress when making her debut on the roads. 

She will be aiming to win her third global title of the year, following the 1500m and 5000m golds she earned at the World Championships.

The 29-year-old’s track mile world record of 4:07.64, set earlier this year in Monaco, is seven seconds faster than the PB of the next-fastest entrant. It is also 20 seconds faster than the newly ratified official road mile world record (4:27.97), which belongs to USA’s Nikki Hiltz.

On her part, Welteji was Kipyegon’s closest challenger at the World Championships in Budapest, finishing second in 3:55.69. She went on to set a PB of 3:53.93 at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene, once again finishing second to Kipyegon.

World indoor bronze medallist Meshesha enjoyed a breakthrough run at the Diamond League meeting in Silesia in July, clocking a PB of 3:54.87. 

She will be fired up to end her year on a high, having missed out on making the World Championships final in Budapest.

Hailu has displayed a remarkable range in recent years, clocking PBs of 1:57.57 for 800m, 3:55.68 for 1500m, and 14:23.45 for 5000m. She took world indoor silver over 800m last year.

Kipyegon will enjoy the company of compatriot Nelly Chepchirchir, who has also been in impeccable form.

Australia’s Jess Hull has had one of her best seasons to date with mixed relay bronze at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst. Her 1500m PB of 3:57.29 back in June also briefly stood as an area record, and she went on to place seventh in Budapest.

Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka has also been in record-breaking form this year. The 24-year-old, who already held the Japanese 1500m record at 3:59.19, has twice broken the national 5000m record this year, reducing it to 14:29.18. 

Teenager Addison Wiley displayed strong form at the end of the track season, clocking PBs of 1:57.64 and 3:59.17 in her final 800m and 1500m races of 2023. She leads a strong US squad alongside Emily Mackay and Helen Schlachtenhaufen.

Other challengers include Spain’s Marta Perez, Britain’s Sarah McDonald, and Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo.