Time for Welteji, Hailu and Chepkoech

Edwin  - CEO January 13, 2024
Updated 2024/01/15 at 1:32 AM
3 Min Read
Beatrice Chepkoech in a past race. PHOTO/Monaco Tribute
Beatrice Chepkoech in a past race. PHOTO/Monaco Tribute

To clash in Torun 1500m


Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji and Hirut Meshesha (© Anna Spundova)

Diribe Welteji, Freweyni Hailu, and Beatrice Chepkoech will form part of a strong women’s 1500m field when the ORLEN Copernicus Cup, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting, takes place in Torun, Poland, on 6 February.


Ethiopia’s Welteji set a world record when winning the mile at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga in October, as she clocked 4:20.98 to pip her compatriot Hailu and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon.


Welteji and Hailu clash again in Torun, this time in the 1500m, where their competition will include Kenya’s world 3000m steeplechase record-holder Chepkoech, Ethiopia’s world indoor 1500m bronze medallist Hirut Meshesha and Uganda’s 2019 world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi.


As well as being the world road mile champion, Welteji is the world 1500m silver medallist, having finished runner-up to Kipyegon in Budapest in August. Hailu is the world indoor 800m silver medallist, while Chepkoech is the Kenyan record-holder in the 1500m short track.


Meshesha has the quickest short track PB of the quintet, clocking 4:02.01 in Lievin last year, finishing second and one place ahead of Hailu, who set a PB of 4:02.47. Chepkoech ran her national record of 4:02.09 in 2020.


Over in New York five days later, multiple US record-holder Grant Fisher will take on the already announced world champion Josh Kerr in the two-mile race at the Millrose Games, also a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold event.


The race on 11 February is set to be paced with the world indoor two-mile best of 8:03.40 as the target.


Joining them on the start line will be USA’s Joe Klecker, Cooper Teare, and Dylan Jacobs; New Zealand’s George Beamish; Australia’s Morgan McDonald and Ky Robinson; Britain’s Matthew Stonier; Japan’s Keita Satoh; Ethiopia’s Samuel Firewu and Addisu Yihune; and Sam Parsons of Germany.


Another head-to-head in New York will come in the men’s pole vault, where Olympic and world medallist Chris Nilsen will go up against North American record-holder KC Lightfoot. They will face their US compatriots Zach McWhorter, Matt Ludwig, and Zach Bradford.


It is the first time since 2014 that the men’s pole vault will be contested at the Millrose Games.


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