Faith eyes world record in Brussels
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon celebrates after winning the women’s 1000metre event during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020

Reigning Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich has set her sights on the world 1000m record at the Memorial Van Damme, a Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels next Friday.

Chepngetich, who came up 0.17 shy of Svetlana Masterkova’s 2:28.98 record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco earlier this month, will give it another try in the same stadium and meeting where the record was set in 1996.

Chepngetich’s 2:29:15 performance in Monaco elevated the 26-year-old to No 2 all-time over the distance.

The 1,500m world silver medallist returned to action an year earlier last year after being away on maternity leave.

The World Championships in Doha, Qatar last year was her main competition after her return to action and at the Stockhom Diamond League meeting last week she competed in the 1000m race instead of her 1,500m speciality.

Organisers also announced that Brigid Kosgei, the world record-holder in the marathon, has joined the field in the women’s one-hour run, a bid on the 18.517km world record in that event, which includes double world champion Sifan Hassan.

Kosgei, who smashed the marathon world record with a stunning 2:14:04 run in Chicago last year, will be making her track debut. 

Slight injuries by key local athletes have forced some changes to the programme.

Nagging achilles tendon pain has sidelined Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam, cancelling her triathlon duel with world champion Katerina Johnson-Thompson of Great Britain.

Johnson-Thompson will still compete in the 100m hurdles and the high jump.

Injury woes have also struck the Borlee brothers, thus cancelling the mixed 4x400m relay. That made room on the programme for the women’s 1000m.

Meanwhile, removal of triathlon shot put has made room for the women’s 100m to give rising Belgian star Rani Rosius an opportunity in the spotlight.

The 20-year-old improved her career best to 11.39 at the national championships recently to move up to No 2 on the Belgian all-time list.

Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil has joined the men’s pole vault field, taking on world record holder Mondo Duplantis and local star Ben Broeders.

Local restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have forced the meeting behind closed doors but will be broadcast live across several platforms. Details will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, Olympic champions Ryan Crouser and Sara Kolak and two-time world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks have joined the cast for the LOTTO Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, set for Chorzow, Poland next month.

Crouser, the 2016 Olympic champion and 2019 World Championships silver medallist, has been one of the hottest names in athletics this year.

The American has improved his personal bests to 22.60m indoors and 22.91m outdoors in 2020, the latter moving him to third on the world all-time list.

His appearance in Silesia will be his first outside the United States this year.

Two Polish stars will be defending home turf against Courser: the reigning European champion Michal Haratyk and European runner-up Konrad Bukowiecki.

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