A Kenya frets on Manangoi's fitness ahead of athletics worlds

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NAIROBI, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Commonwealth Games Champion Elijah Manangoi is racing against time to be fit for the World Championships, which start in less than three weeks' time.

Manangoi dreads missing out on the global premier track and field competition, which starts in Doha, Qatar from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6.

The 26-year-old told reporters in Nairobi on Monday, he will not be competing in Kenya's trials, which will be held on Thursday and Friday because of a recurrent ankle injury, which ruled him out of the Brussels Diamond League meeting last week.

"I am under instruction from my doctor not to put pressure on my leg. I carry an ankle injury, which I picked in training and it requires complete rest. However, I am hopeful it will heal in time for me to be able to compete at the World Championships in Doha," said Manangoi.

In 2016, at the Rio Olympics, Manangoi was forced to pull out of the 1,500m semifinal race citing a torn hamstring injury and the athlete is hopeful, his latest injury will not have similar effect on him to end his dream of defending his title in Doha.

"Hopefully in two weeks' time it will ease off and heal. The World Championships will give me a lot of pressure because I am the defending champion. But it is a challenge I intend to take in my strides and fend off the rivals," he added.

Manangoi holds a wild card as the defending champion and is not mandatory for him to compete in the Kenya trials to make the team.

Timothy Cheruiyot, the Diamond League trophy winner and world No. 1 this year, also holds a wild card in the same race.

Kenya is already fretting on the fitness of Olympic and world 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, who suffered a foot injury in May.

Though Kipruto has returned to competition and had three races, he is far away from his top form. He lost all the races he competed in - Paris, Rabat, and Brussels - but says he has time to recover and defend his title in Doha.

Olympic 1,500m race champion Faith Kipyegon has also returned to action after maternity leave and so has former world 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono.

Kipyegon has since gone on to win in Birmingham against strong challenge in June and has since stayed away from competition to avoid burning up.

Kenya is to select a team of 70 athletes for the World Championships, hopeful they will be strong enough to wrest the overall title from United States.

Kenya topped the world at the 2015 Beijing worlds, but lost to USA in London in 2017. Enditem

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