14 June 2017

Kenya: Nyairera, Semenya Renew Rivalry in Oslo

Olympic 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera takes the battle to Olympic and World champion Caster Semenya from South Africa in their third meeting this season at Oslo Diamond League, Norway on Thursday.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi targets double in men's 1,500m after his victory in Doha on May 5.

Nyairera, the World Indoor 800m bronze medallist, lost to Semenya in Doha and Prefontaine Classic respectively but it's at Prefontaine on May 27, where the South African had to dig in to outclass the Kenyan.

Semenya won in 1:57.58 against Nyairera's 1:57.88 after the pair posted world leads of 1:56.61 and 1:57.03 respectively in Doha.

Nyairera took part in the National trials, where she won her 800m race 2:00.05, alongside representing Kenya Prisons in 4x400m and 4x100m races.

"My endurance is top notch at the moment and the short races were part of my speed work. I have realised that I run out of gas in the last 200m hence need to refine that department," said Nyairera.

"I started by preparations in February and I think things could have been different if I started much earlier in December."

Nyairera is confident that she will beat Semenya soon.

"My finishing power will be key to that victory," said Nyairera during the Nationals.

Besides Nyairera and Semenya, Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba, who is the World and Olympic 800m silver medallis, is the other athlete to watch.

Manangoi opened his season in style, winning his 1,500m race in Doha in 3:31.9, before finishing second in the Bowerman Mile race in 3:49.08 at Prefontaine on May 27.

Manangoi is enjoying his form, having participated in World Indoor Series and local relay series.

His coach Ben Ouma said his athlete's season has been great but should be under pressure to win in Oslo.

"I have told him to stick with the pacesetters besides running his own race," said Ouma. "I have no problem with his form and what we are doing now is to work on is recovery."

Manangoi will face compatriot and 2011 World 1,50m silver medallist Silas Kiplagat, Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco and Ayanieh Souleiman of Djbouti.

With Olympic champion Ruth Jebet, World champion Hyvin Kiyeng and World Junior champion Cellphine Chepsol missing in action, Commonwealth champion Purity Kurui of Kenya takes the battle to Assefa of Ethiopia and Ghribi of Tunisia in the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

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