Stockholm Diamond League: Will the red-hot Obiri deliver victory on return to 1500m?
Hellen Obiri (down) is consoled by Rosemary Wanjiru after finishing the 10,000KM women final during Day Two of the National Athletics Championships 2019 at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on August 21, 2019. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

When she sprinted to the 1500m victory in the 2014 African Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, Hellen Obiri immediately graduated to 5000m

But tomorrow afternoon at the BAUHAUS-galan Stockholm Diamond League, the two-time world champion will be returning to 1500m in what is expected to be an electrifying race in a classy field comprising two compatriots.

There will be no 5000m in Stockholm, giving Obiri an opportunity to return to the 1500m distance after nearly six years.

She will compete for the title with Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, who is fresh from running a Diamond League record in 1000m in Monaco last week.

African Champion Winnie Chebet will also be seeking to challenge Obiri and Kipyegon.

Between 2011 and 2015, Obiri, who is a world cross country champion, made at least six appearances in 1500m.

She finished a disappointing 11th at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, but later made a comeback, winning the 2014 4×1500 World Relays and African championships.

The Kenyan trio will, however, contend with Commonwealth Champion Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda and Laura Muir (Great Britain), who came in second behind Kipyegon in Monaco.

Stockholm Diamond League: Will the red-hot Obiri deliver victory on return to 1500m?
Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot, right, leads as he goes on to win the men’s 1500 meter race from Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen during the Diamond League athletics meeting at the Louis II stadium in Monaco Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.(Eric Gaillard/Pool Via AP)

She may not have dominated the 1500m as she has done in 5000m, but Obiri recorded her 3:57.05 personal best at the Eugene Diamond League in 2014.

Of the trio, Kipyegon is the fastest, taking to Stolkholm her 3:54.22 time recorded at the 2019 world championships where she won silver.

She missed the 1000m world record in the Monaco meet, an indication that Obiri is meeting one of her greatest challengers.

An energetic Kipyegon dominated the Monaco race from gun to tape, clinching the title in a stunning 2:29.15.

Chebet, on the other hand, boasts a 3:58.20 PB also recorded at the Doha World Championships.

In men’s 1500m, the rivalry between World Champion Timothy Cheruiyot Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen is expected to light up Stockholm.

Meanwhile, Briton Mo Farah will be the pacemaker for the elite men’s race at October’s rescheduled London Marathon.

Farah, 37, is among the competitors to have achieved the Olympic-qualifying time of two hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Stockholm Diamond League: Will the red-hot Obiri deliver victory on return to 1500m?
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who won last year’s event, leads the men’s field with Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.

Reduced fields of 30-40 athletes will also compete for the elite women’s and wheelchair titles on 4 October.

The races will take place on a bio-secure closed course amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help,” said Farah, who finished third in 2018 and fifth last year.

“I am in good shape. I’ll be in London that week and it fits in with my training.”

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei heads up the women’s elite field alongside compatriot and world champion Ruth Chepngetich. Vivian Cheruiyot is also in the mix.

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