Shelby Houlihan in action at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Ostrava, Czech Republic

Preview: women's 1500m – IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018

USA's Shelby Houlihan has made a major breakthrough this year and will arrive in Ostrava as the fastest woman in the 1500m field.

The 25-year-old clocked a lifetime best of 3:57.34 in Lausanne and was unbeaten outdoors this year until the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, where she finished second.

Kenyan and African champion Winnie Chebet, a 4:00.60 runner this year, will be attempting to earn strong points for the African team.

She will be joined on the start line by Rababe Arafi, the African Championships runner-up, who became the Moroccan record-holder this year with 3:59.15 in Lausanne.

Australia's Linden Hall leads the Asia-Pacific team, having set an Oceanian record of 4:00.86 in Eugene this year.

European silver medallist Sofia Ennaoui of Poland will be the top challenger for her continental team. Somewhat slower than the top three women with a best this year of 4:02.06, she can nonetheless be a contender with her trademark sprint finish.

Pawel Jackowski for the IAAF