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AFP
November 9, 2019

Kenyan steeplechase world champions criticise Diamond League omission

Sports

AFP
November 9, 2019

NAIROBI: Kenya’s world reigning 3,000 metres steeplechase champions Conseslus Kipruto and Beatrice Chepkoech say the decision to remove their race from the “core” events in the 2020 Diamond League could hold back their career.

World record-holder Chepkoech, who won the Diamond League for the second time this season and claimed her first world title in Doha, said the move came as a complete surprise.

“It came as a total shocker for me when I heard that the women’s steeplechase will not feature in the calendar next season,” she told AFP. “This is the time when I feel I am at the top of my running career.

“But it will come to nothing if I am not able to compete at the Diamond League, which I consider as the most lucrative competition and helps us to develop into well-rounded athletes.”

Two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Kipruto says the race’s omission will hit the development of Kenyan athletics.

“I’m so disappointed that the IAAF has taken such a drastic step to scrap the 3,000m steeplechase from the Diamond League,” said Kipruto. “The 3,000m steeplechase has made me what I have become and many Kenyan youngsters have been motivated to take up running as a career.”

Athletics Kenya (AK) has however defended the IAAF decision, saying Kenyan athletes will still have high-quality meetings to choose from in 2020 with good earning potential.

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