Faith Kipyegon, a globally acclaimed athlete with two world records to her name, has made a surprising decision to withdraw from the highly anticipated Xiamen Diamond League event, scheduled for April 20, 2024. Kipyegon’s unexpected absence has left fans and fellow athletes disappointed, as she was widely expected to be a prominent contender at the event. Additionally, her withdrawal means she will also miss the upcoming Kip Keino Classic.

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As an Olympic and World 1500 champion, Kipyegon has maintained an impressive unbeaten streak in the 1500m since 2021, adding to the anticipation surrounding her participation in the star-studded lineup at Egret Stadium. This venue, renowned for successfully hosting its inaugural Wanda Diamond League meeting last September, had been eagerly anticipated to welcome a prestigious gathering of 12 Olympic gold medallists and 27 world champions, cementing its status as a pivotal fixture on the athletics calendar.

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The Kenyan middle-distance sensation, boasting two Olympic titles and four world championship victories, had been preparing to face formidable opponents, including 10 women who have achieved sub-four-minute times in the 1500m. Notable among these competitors were Ethiopia’s world 10,000m champion Gudaf Tsegay and world road mile title holder Diribe Welteji, who were expected to provide fierce competition alongside world indoor 1500m champion Freweyni Hailu.

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Following Kipyegon’s withdrawal, it was announced that Winfred Yavi, the World Champion in the 3000m steeplechase from Bahrain, had also decided not to participate in the event. Moreover, other prominent athletes such as Alexis Holmes (400m), Stephenie Ann McPherson (400m), Ryiem Forde (100m), and Kurtis Marschall (pole vault) will also be absent, significantly reshaping the competitive landscape.

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Nevertheless, despite these setbacks, the Xiamen Diamond League is poised to deliver captivating competitions across various disciplines. The men’s 100m dash, in particular, is expected to be a highlight, featuring an exciting showdown between Jamaican and American sprinting stars. Leading the American contingent are Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman, who will face stiff competition from Jamaican luminaries Yohan Blake, Ackeem Blake, and Rohan Watson, promising an exhilarating spectacle for spectators.

On the women’s side, Sha’Carri Richardson, renowned for her prowess in the 100m, is set to showcase her talents in the 200m event. After securing a bronze medal in Budapest last year, Richardson is anticipated to provide tough competition for sub-22-second sprinters Tamara Clark and Anavia Battle, setting the stage for an exciting display of speed and skill.