Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 - Page 25

Kyle Blignaut he has already run 45.53 , making him a favourite to win the World Junior Title in Nairobi ( 17-22 August ).
For Jo-Ane , Tokyo will be an opportunity to experience the big stage . Having qualified through
the world rankings system instead of throwing the qualifying mark , there are no expectations on her young shoulders , even though she is the heir apparent to Sunette Viljoen , who unfortunately failed to qualify due to an elbow injury .
Expect Fireworks ... Men ’ s Middle Distances
Timothy Cheruiyot
that will be a huge confidence boost for the future . What is particularly exciting about Shaun is that this year he has run 10.40 and 20.10 for the 100m and 200m respectively , and finished second and third in those events at the highly competitive NCAA Championships in the USA . Meanwhile , Gift has recently gone sub-10 for the first time , clocking 9.94 at the SA Student Championships , and in his first decent European Season , he won five of his eight races and has started to consistently run 10.1 ’ s . These two are the future of South African sprinting .
Kyle ( 21 ) has his path mapped out : Olympic final in 2021 , Olympic medal in 2024 , Olympic champ in 2028 . That is how the young thrower sees his career over the next seven years . Meanwhile , Lythe ( 18 ) is a hugely talented 400m athlete . Quiet and reserved , yet his ground-eating stride is something to behold , and
1500m : Timothy Cheruiyot has to line up as favourite . The Kenyan , who only finished fourth in the Kenyan trials and had to prove his fitness , is the fastest in the field , having clocked a PB 3:28.28 at this year ’ s Monaco Diamond League . It is the seventh-fastest of all time , and half a second faster than closest rival , Mohamed Katir ( 3:28.76 ), but the Spaniard is not down to run the 1500m . Jacob Ingebrigtsen is though , and the young Norwegian ’ s 3:29.25 season best was run in the same race as Cheruiyot , while his personal best of 3:28:68 is just inches away from the Kenyan . Young Australian Stewart MacSween will also ensure that this is an honest race , having finished just behind Ingebrigtsen in Monaco ( 3:29.51 ). The 1500m in Rio was won in a pedestrian 3:50.00 by America ’ s Mat Centrowitz . The speedsters allowed the race to become tactical and that played right into his hands . Cheruiyot though does not like slow races and should make sure the pace is honest . He has also shown he can win races from the front .
5000m : This event is loaded : Kenyans Paul Chelimo ( Rio silver medallist ) and Joshua Cheptegei ( World Record-holder ), Norway ’ s Jacob Ingebrigtsen ( who recently ran away from some of the best in Italy , including Cheptegei ), Spain ’ s Mohamed Katir ( 3:28.76 for 1500m and 7:26.64 for 3000m ) and Ethiopia ’ s Getnet Wale ( who ran 12:53.28 in winning the Ethiopian trials ). Fastest in the field is Cheptegei , with his World Record of 12:35.36 , but he does not look to be in the same shape as in 2020 , when he broke both the 5000m and 10,000m records . Ingebrigtsen will fancy his chances , and with his 1500m speed ( 3:29.25 in 2021 ) and his 12:48.45 in June ( fastest 5000m in the world in 2021 ; 12th alltime ), he has both the speed and endurance to be a big contender for the gold , as does Katir .
World Champs 10,000m title in 2019 . He will be up against his young countryman , Jacob Kiplimo , who many tip to be better than Cheptegei , and who the World Half Marathon title in 2020 . Kiplimo has the fastest 10,000m time of 2021 ( 26:33.93 ) and was second in the World Cross Country Championships in 2019 . He is only 20 years old . Ethiopia will have a strong contingent in Yomif Kejelcha ( 2019 World Champs silver medal ), Berihu Aregawi ( 2018 World U20 bronze medal ), Selemon Barega ( 2019 World Championship 5000m silver medallist ) and Hagos Gebrhiwet ( 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medal ). This quartet also hold the four fastest times in the 10,000m this year behind Kiplimo . One of them will be reserve as only three athletes per country can compete in the Olympics . Kenya ’ s Geoffrey Kamworor has also come back into form after an injury lay-off , and the threetime World Half Marathon champion and two-time World Cross Country champion flew to a 27:01.06 in Nairobi this year to win the Kenyan trials .
Joshua Cheptegei
Jo-Ane van Dyk
10,000m : World Record-holder Joshua Cheptegei of Kenya also lines up in the 10,000m . As already mentioned , though , he is not in the shape that saw him break two World Records in 2020 and win the
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