World U20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo will make his debut in the IAAF Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday.
Zakayo, a Form Three student at Kapsait Secondary School in Elgeyo Marakwet County, is also a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. He will be the Kenyan in the 5,000m race at Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex.
After a disappointing by national cross-country championship in Eldoret in February, he bounced back by recording a world leading time of 13:13.06 to win the African U18 and U20 championship in Ivory Coast.
Zakayo broke the oldest standing championship record set by Daniel Komen in 1994.
But his memorable race was when he teamed up with world U20 champion silver medallist Stanley Waithaka to beat Ethiopia’s rising star Selemon Barega in Tampere, Finland.
Earlier, he had bagged silver in 3,000m during the World U18 championship in Nairobi.
Zakayo represented Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year where he won a bronze in his 5,000m specialty in a time of 13:54.06 behind Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei (13:50.83) and Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed (13:52.78.
Zakayo now wants to concentrate on the IAAF Diamond League series where he wants to restore Kenya’s lost glory in the 5,000m race.
“If you follow the 5,000m race history you will find that Kenya has not been performing well and this is my first time to compete in the Rabat Diamond League and I hope I will be able to perform well,” said Zakayo.
He expects to represent the country in the IAAF World Championship in Doha, Qatar later this year.
Zakayo who has a personal best of 3:03.18 will face stiff challenge from Ethiopians Berihu Solomon (3:02.12) Birhan Melesse (3:29.7) Gashahun Abe (3:22.3) and Uganda’s Chekwurui Mathew Job (4:05.4)