Ethiopian distance runner Yomif Kejelcha (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Boston, USA

Kejelcha, Cheserek and Brazier lead Boston’s middle-distance clashes

Organisers of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix have announced that world indoor champion Yomif Kejelcha, multiple NCAA champion Edward Cheserek and a handful of the USA’s leading 800m runners are among the latest additions to the line-up for the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Boston on 26 January.

Kejelcha, who successfully defended his world indoor 3000m title last year, will step down in distance to contest the mile in Boston. Last week he opened his 2019 campaign by clocking 2:18.34 for 1000m and 3:52.61 within the space of half an hour on Seattle’s oversized indoor track.

He will face Kenya’s world indoor 1500m bronze medallist Bethwel Birgen, two-time Olympic 1500m medallist Nick Willis of New Zealand and Canada’s two-time NCAA champion Justyn Knight.

The men’s 800m in Boston will be just as competitive as USA’s Donavan Brazier, Clayton Murphy, and Boris Berian take on Spain’s world indoor bronze medallist Saul Ordonez.

Brazier, the North American U20 record-holder and US indoor champion, returns to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix as the defending champion in the men’s 800m. He won last year in 1:45.11, just 0.11 off of Johnny Gray’s North American indoor record set back in 1992.

“I’m excited to come back to Boston,” says Brazier. “I had a great race there last year, so it seems like the perfect place for my first 800m of the year.”

Olympic bronze medallist Murphy will face Brazier for just the second time in their careers. 2016 world indoor 800m champion Berian, meanwhile, will return to Boston for the first time since winning the 600m there three years ago.

Along with the trio of US runners, Ordonez will be another athlete in the 800m field with a PB faster than 1:44. Last year in Monaco, the 24-year-old clocked a Spanish record of 1:43.65.

In the men’s 3000m, three of last year’s top four finishers return for a rematch: defending champion and history’s second-fastest indoor miler Edward Cheserek, event record-holder and Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet, and Spain’s European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal.

Two accomplished 800m specialists, five-time NCAA champion Raevyn Rogers and 2012 European champion Lynsey Sharp, will step down in distance to race the women’s 600m in which they’ll line up against 2012 Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Georganne Moline.

In the women’s 5000m, the previously announced Jenny Simpson will face German 3000m record-holder Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

Organisers for the IAAF