Xiamen Diamond League faces major setbacks as Faith Kipyegon and Winfred Yavi withdraw

Xiamen Diamond League faces major setbacks as Faith Kipyegon and Winfred Yavi withdraw

Festus Chuma 18:05 - 17.04.2024

Double world record holder Faith Kipyegon has withdrawn from Xiamen Diamond League impacting the event with other notable athletes also pulling out.

Olympic and World 1500 champion Faith Kipyegon has unexpectedly withdrawn from the upcoming Xiamen Diamond League scheduled for April 20, 2024. 

This decision marks a significant setback for fans and fellow athletes, as Kipyegon was highly anticipated to compete at the event. 

Not only will she miss this meeting, but she is also out of the Kip Keino Classic.

Kipyegon, who has remained unbeaten in the 1500m since 2021, was set to be a major highlight in a star-studded field at the Egret Stadium. 

This venue, which successfully hosted its first Wanda Diamond League meeting last September, was to welcome 12 Olympic gold medallists and 27 world champions, making it a pivotal event in the athletics calendar.

The Kenyan middle-distance runner, a two-time Olympic and four-time world champion, had been training to face formidable opponents, including 10 women who have recorded sub-four-minute times.

 Among them, Ethiopia’s world 10,000m champion Gudaf Tsegay and world road mile title holder Diribe Welteji were expected to provide stiff competition, alongside world indoor 1500m champion Freweyni Hailu.

The news of Kipyegon's withdrawal came shortly after the announcement that Winfred Yavi, the World Champion in the 3000m steeplechase from Bahrain, also pulled out of the event. 

Other notable athletes who will not be participating include Alexis Holmes (400m), Stephenie Ann McPherson (400m), Ryiem Forde (100m), and Kurtis Marschall (pole vault), adding to the list of absences that could reshape the competitions.

Despite these withdrawals, the Xiamen Diamond League is poised to feature compelling contests across various disciplines. 

The men's 100m dash is expected to be a major draw, featuring a fierce rivalry between Jamaican and American sprinters. 

The U.S. contingent, led by Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman, will face off against Jamaican stars Yohan Blake, Ackeem Blake, and Rohan Watson in what promises to be a thrilling clash.

On the women’s side, Sha’Carri Richardson, known for her prowess in the 100m, is set to compete in the 200m. 

After securing a bronze medal in Budapest last year, Richardson is anticipated to challenge sub-22-second sprinters Tamara Clark and Anavia Battle.

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