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Kiprop favourite to retain mile title in a classy field

Dominant defending Champion Asbel Kiprop hailed his Kenyan team-mates while stressing he is taking nothing for granted as all four comfortably qualified for Sunday’s final of the men’s 1,500 metres.

Elijah Manangoi, Timothy Cheruiyot and Silas Kiplagat made it a clean sweep of all four runners wearing black, red and green going through. Kiprop, bidding for a straight hat-trick of world titles, was sublime and barely seemed to even need top gear to win the first and slowest of the two semi-finals in 3:43.48 seconds.

After victories in Daegu and Moscow the evidence in Beijing is that the 26-year old former Olympic Champion is in superb shape and will start the final as hot favourite.

But the tall Kenyan was first to issue a word of caution to anyone thinking for heading to the bookmakers to place a bet. He commented: “The final is not about one person – it is always unpredictable! “I’m not underestimating anybody as everyone in the final is a threat.

“The Olympic Champion Taofik Makloufi from Algeria, Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider and Nicholas Willis… “Matthew Centowitz is always making the finals whether the race is fast or slow – he has so much experience.

“It is an achievement to get all four of us in the finals but we are not underestimating the rest. “Silas has been there before, Elijah has run the fastest in the semi-finals and is so strong and Timothy is a newcomer but realised that with the first race a little bit slower it was a good idea to wind it up a bit and get the two fastest losers from his heat as well.” Cheruiyot, just 19, was the only one of the Kenyan quartet to ever look vulnerable.

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