Chebet to face stellar rivals as she eyes second out-of-stadium title in Riga

Friday, September 29th, 2023 12:57 | By
Beatrice Chebet in a past World Athletics Championship action. PHOTO/World Athletics
Beatrice Chebet in a past World Athletics Championship action. PHOTO/World Athletics

Beatrice Chebet will face a strong rivalry when she competes for the 5km title at the 2023 Riga World Athletics Road Running Championships on Sunday, October 1, 2023.

Chebet heads to the Latvian capital with one global gold medal that she won when she became the world cross-country champion in Bathurst in February. The 23-year-old will be targeting her second out-of-stadium title in 2023.

Chebet's records

Chebet was second during the Diamond League final in Eugene, a race that was won by Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay, who clocked 14:00.21. The Ethiopian took almost five seconds off the 5000m mark that world record holder Faith Kipyegon set in Paris in June.

Chebet came in second as she raced in 14:05.92, the third-fastest performance of all time. Before the Eugene finals, she had won a 5000m world medal, a bronze during the Budapest World Athletics Championship, and a silver in Oregon.

The Kenyan star is one of the quickest of all time, given that she posted her personal best in 5km when she ran in 14:32 during last year’s Diamond League in Zurich.

In Riga, she will have the company of 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lillian Kasait. Kasait, the 5000m Brussels Diamond League winner, posted her 14:23.05 personal best when she became fourth during the Diamond Series in Paris.

Lilian Kasait Rengeruk in a past action. PHOTO/World Athletics

Meanwhile, Uganda will be represented by Peruth Chemutai, a Tokyo gold medallist, who has made her name in the 3000m steeplechase. This will be the second race in which Chebet and Chemutai compete together.

The first time the duo met was during the cross-country race in Hannut last year, with Chemutai emerging as the winner ahead of Chebet by 13 seconds.

Joy Cheptoyek and Prisca Chesang are Chemutai's teammates on the Ugandan team. Chesang won bronze medals in the 5000m during the 2021 and 2022 World U20 Championships.

Japanese record holder and World and Olympic finalist Nozomi Tanaka will compete in both the 5km and the mile. She set the Japanese record of 14:29.18 when she finished third in Brussels.

Nadia Battocletti of Italy, who finished seventh in both the Olympic and European 5000m finals, as well as the USA’s Emily Infeld and Burundi's Francine Niyomukunzi, will be the other Chebet's close rival.

Strong Ethiopian unit

Ethiopia will be represented by a strong unit that consists of Ejgayehu Taye. Taye is the mixed-race world record holder and ran 14:19 in Barcelona on the final day of 2021.

She went on to take 24 seconds off the world record for the 5km in a mixed race, and in2022,2 Taye returned to run 14:21. The women-only world 5km record is 14:29, set by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi in Herzogenaurach in 2021.

Taye is also a world indoor and outdoor medallist; world indoor 3000m bronze in Belgrade, followed by a world 10,000m medal of the same colour in the Budapest Championship.

She set her personal best to 14:12.98, and this made her the second fastest in the field when it comes to track times for the distance.

Medina Eisa and Lemlem Hailu are the other runners in the Ethiopian squad. Eisa is a world U20 cross-country silver medallist Eisa who clocked 14:16.54 in London in July and has a 5km PB of 14:46 from April.

On the other hand, Hailu is a world indoor 3000m champion and posted 14:34.53 for the 5000m in Paris in June.

More on Sports