Reigning Africa Athletics championships 10,000m champion Alice Aprot will team up with world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and former world cross country champion Agnes Jebet Tirop will face off with Ethiopian athletes in the long rivalry.
The rivalry will be exhibited when they take on track on Saturday evening to fight for top hounours.
The trio will be seeking to fit in the shoe of defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot and they will face Olympic champion Almaz Ayana, and Tirunesh Dibaba, who is seeking her fourth world title, having scaled down from the marathon in which she made a sensational debut in London last April.
Kenya and Ethiopia have dominated the medals podium since 1997 in Athens when Sally Barsosio gave Kenya its maiden victory in the 25-lap race.
With Cheruiyot having scaled up to marathon, the onus is now on Cheptai, who will be representing Kenya for the seventh time, Aprot and Jebet to deliver victory. It will be Cheptai’s second world championship, having finished seventh in the 5,000m in 2015 even though she finished seventh in 3,000m at the 2007 World Under-18 Championships.
Her four other global appearances have been at World Cross Country Championships where she finally struck gold in Uganda.
Cheruiyot went for silver in the race with Dibaba, who was also making a comeback from a maternity break, going for bronze after Olympic victories in 2008 and 2012.
World 5,000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who made a 30:41.68 debut at the distance in Hengelo in June, will back up Ayana and Dibaba.
World 10,000m bronze medallist Emily Infeld leads USA’s team that has the promising Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson while the European charge will be led by European 10,000m champion, Kenyan-born Yasemin Can from Turkey, and Bahrain’s Shitaye Eshete, a former Ethiopian.