Sun, 20 Sep 2020

NAIROBI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's World Championships 5,000m finalist Jacob Krop plans to make his Diamond League debut in Monaco on August 14.

Friday's meeting will mark the start of the athletics calendar that had been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 19-year old Krop has vowed to graduate to the senior ranks with success after the pandemic killed his dream of running at the World U-20 Championships, which have been rescheduled for next year.

The student from Chewuyet National School, 420km west of the capital Nairobi, finished sixth after clocking a personal best of 13:03.08 at the World Championships in Doha last year, and was hoping to leave a mark at the world U-20 event.

Krop's journey to stardom has seen him win silver at the Africa Youth Championships in 2019 and make the team for the postponed Africa Cross Country Championships that were originally scheduled for March in Lome, Togo.

"This was a significant year for me, I was to finish my school education and represent Kenya at the World U-20 Championships. Unfortunately, none materialized due to the ongoing pandemic," Krop told Xinhua on Monday.

"Now that I won't be eligible to compete in the World U-20 again, my aim is to fully concentrate on senior running. Competing at the World Championships last year gave me confidence and now that I have an opportunity to make Diamond League running, I will make it count," he added.

The men's 5,000m race in the principality will see the Kenyan youngster take on a rich field that includes world champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, Norway's Henrik Ingebrightsen and Frenchman Jimmy Gressier.

Kenya's Nicholas Kimeli and Uganda's Stephen Kissa will also feature in the starting lineup.

"I know the challenge I'm going to face. Most of the athletes in the lineup have more experience than me, but I will be up against them. The preparations towards this event are enough to help me get a good time and position," said Krop.

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