Kenya’s 1,500m world champion Timothy Cheriuyot will square it out with Norway’s Ingebrigtsen brothers in a 2,000m virtual race to be staged simultaneously in Nairobi and Oslo on June 11.
The event dubbed Team Cheruiyot versus Team Ingebrigtsen will see each team have five runners.
Team Cheruiyot will have the 1500m world champion himself, Commonwealth champion Elijah Manangoi and Edwin Melly while Vincent Keter and Timothy Sein will run as pacemakers at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
Ingebrigtsen onslaught will be led by Jakob and siblings Filip and Henrik and their pacemakers in Mauri Plant Memorial, Oslo, Norway.
Jakob made his first appearance of 2020 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking the Norwegian 5km road record in Stavanger last week. Cheruiyot and his team will be running their first competition of the season.
“I’m excited to have been picked to take part in this virtual competition, I know Jacob is a strong athlete but we are promising him good challenge,” Cheruiyot said.
“The race will be purely for entertainment, Nairobi being high altitude and Oslo being low attitude, Jacob will have slight advantage but we not worried,” said Cheruiyot.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed praised the organisers of the race for giving Kenya a chance to showcase their talent especially during this Coronavirus pandemic.
“We know the difficulties the athletes have been facing during this period and this will be proud moment as a country.” [Denis Okeyo]
Cheruiyot, he savoured an impressive 2019 season, winning 10 out of 11 races and that included the ultimate race in Doha where he raced to a first ever gold medal at the IAAF World Championships. He also won the Diamond League trophy.
The 27-year-old Manangoi who missed the 2019 Doha Worlds with stress fracture on his ankle and has picked in training is looking forward to his first track competition in over year.
“I’m glad to have recovered from stressful moments, and being part of the virtual has given me fresh hope. I know Jacob and his brothers, they are good competitors and we look forward to compete against them.”said Manangoi.
Coach Bernard Ouma said: “The event will be decided on individual score and group score but generally it will be for entertainment for Team Cheriuyot. For Ingebrigtsen, they will be chasing European record of 4:51.39 being held Briton Steve Cram.”