This year’s Exxon Mobil Bislett Games, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, will boast the strongest ever field to participate in a 3000m Steeplechase event at the famous Oslo stadium on 13 June.
This event has been dominated by athletes from Kenya in the last two decades and this year a top field has been assembled around the runners from this country, who will ensure that the race will be of the highest quality.
Former Olympic and World Champion Brimin Kipruto will return to Oslo in search of an IAAF Diamond League victory in this discipline. He has a fabulous personal best of 7:53.64, the fastest ever over the barriers and previously won over 1500m at the Exxon Mobil Bislett Games.
Conseslus Kipruto is still only 18 but has won both meetings in the Diamond Race so far this year, in Shanghai and Eugene on Saturday and tops the standings after two of the seven races.
The current World youth and World junior champion, having won those titles in 2011 and 2012, posted the fastest time in the world so far this year with his winning time of 8:01.16 in Shanghai, which was also a personal best.
Former IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist Abel Mutai collected his first senior medal when he took out the bronze at the London 2012 Olympics Games. Clearly his best years are in front of him and he will be looking for the satisfaction of his first run under eight minutes at Bislett.
Jairus Birech, only 20 himself, has a best of 8:03.43 and was in super form during the cross country season, including winning at the IAAF Cross Country Permit Meeting in Sevilla. If he can translate that strength to the Steeplechase, then athletics fans everywhere might be in for a real surprise.
Like Kipruto and Mutai, he will also be gunning for a time under eight minutes for the first time in his career.
Running under eight minutes for the 3000m Steeplechase has always been an indication of the highest level of performance, over the years very few non Kenyan athletes have been able to achieve this milestone.
Bislett’s track record for the 3000m steeplechase stands at an impressive 8:01.73 but Meeting Director Steinar Hoen has demanded a new standard in the stadium and has engaged the ever reliable Haron Lagat and James Kosgei to pilot the race at a furious pace of 5 minutes and 17 seconds through 2000m.
The Bislett stadium has a rich history in the event with World records falling to Finland’s Pentti Karvonen in 1955 and Sweden’s Anders Gärderud in 1975.
With such a high quality field, a fast pace, and an enthusiastic crowd, another great result is expected this year.
Organisers for the IAAF
2013 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep