Continental championships 800m champion Emmanuel Korir is among a galaxy of stars who will be launching their defense of the Diamond Trophy in Doha on Friday.

Korir, 23, is primed to be the heir apparent to Olympic champion David Rudisha. However, in 2018, he failed to exploit his chances and was beaten to silver at the Africa Championships in Nigeria.

But he says that mishap in his performance has inspired him as he launches his season in Qatar’s capital with the first leg of the Diamond League on Friday.

“My first stop is in Doha. I want to start strong and gauge my performance throughout the season. Hopefully, I will peak and win gold at the World Championships,” he said on Wednesday.

Korir is a middle-distance runner who in 2017 set the indoor world record for 600 meters. He is ranked as the sixth fastest athlete over 800m of all time, with a personal best of 1:42.05.

But he will face still challenge with up to 14 candidates lining up in Doha, the start of the 14-leg Diamond League circuit, which starts in Asia, in Doha and Shanghai, China and then moves to Europe, Africa and United States.

In Doha, Korir will be up against a great and loaded field with 13 entrants. Korir and US Donavan Brazier are expected to be the favorites.

But also European champion Adam Kszczot with Ferguson Rotich should not be underestimated along with Nijel Amos of Botswana.

Other Kenyans running are Wycliffe Kinyamal, the Commonwealth Games champion Cornelius Tuwei, Ferguson Rotich, Cornelius Tuwei and Jonathan Kitilit.

In the field also four Qatari runners, top one is Abubaker Hayder Abdalla with 1:44.33 best time in what is also a world lead from his Asian championships win.

Meet record from 2010 1:43.00 by David Rudisha is also something to watch. Dutch Bram Som would be the pacemaker.

In the 3,000m steeplechase, Olympic and world champion Conceslus Kipruto will skip the first round in Doha as he is not yet ready to launch his campaign. Enditem


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