Faith Kipyegon withdraws from Prefontaine Classic amidst injury concerns

Faith Kipyegon withdraws from Prefontaine Classic amidst injury concerns

Festus Chuma 14:32 - 15.05.2024

Two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon unexpectedly withdraws from Prefontaine Classic.

Two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon has made an unexpected withdrawal from the Eugene Diamond League commonly known as the Prefontaine Classic.

Scheduled to compete in the 5,000m on Friday May 24 Kipyegon’s departure comes as a sudden pivot in her preparation for the upcoming Paris Games.

The Kenyan middle-distance star expressed her decision through a heartfelt announcement.

 "I’ve been building in a great way during the past months for a beautiful season ahead. Some weeks back I got a small muscle problem that was handled well," Kipyegon revealed. 

Despite the setback, she confirmed her continued dedication to her training regime. 

"I’m now back in full training, focusing to start my season in four weeks' time at the Kenyan Trials for the Olympic Games," she added.

The anticipation for Kipyegon at the Prefontaine Classic was high, especially given her stellar track record and her history with the event.

 "I saw my name announced for @preclassic, it’s one of the greatest competitions in the circuit and I plan to compete there again in 2025," Kipyegon stated.

Kipyegon’s decision is particularly poignant as it follows her world record-breaking performance in Paris last June where she clocked an astonishing 14:05.20 in the 5,000m.

Unfortunately, this record fell outside the Olympics qualification window, necessitating another qualifying run to secure her spot for Paris. 

The qualifying standard for the 5,000m is set at 14:52.00, a mark Kipyegon has previously surpassed but must achieve again within the designated window from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

The 2023 season saw Kipyegon ascend to new heights in athletics, breaking three world records across various distances. 

Starting with the 1,500m in Florence, she continued her record-setting spree in Paris before topping the one-mile world record at the Monaco Diamond League. 

Her victories at the World Championships in Budapest, where she clinched gold in both the 1,500m and 5,000m, further cemented her dominance in middle-distance running.

However, her 5,000m world record was short-lived, as Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay surpassed it at the Prefontaine Classic in September with a time of 14:00.21.

Eugene, the host city for the Prefontaine Classic, holds a special place in Kipyegon’s career. It was here she won her second world title in the 1,500m in 2022 and secured last season’s Diamond League Trophy over the same distance. 

Her withdrawal not only impacts her preparations for Paris but also leaves her fans and fellow competitors in a state of surprise and anticipation for her next move.

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