Nairobi - Former Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop hopes to run a fast time at the Monaco Diamond League meeting next Friday in his bid to be in prime shape for securing a third successive world title at August's world championships.
The 26-year-old Kenyan, who burst onto the scene winning the 2008 Olympic crown, struggled for form early on this season, but bounced back to win the Dream Mile in Oslo after defeats in Doha and the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League races in May.
Kiprop was forced to come from behind on Friday to clinch victory in the 800m semi-finals at the Kenyan national championships in Nairobi.
"I am doing speedwork for the bigger races including the national trials for the Beijing championships," Kiprop told reporters after the race.
"I am only 70% in shape, but I hope to pick up and run faster in Monaco next week," added Kiprop, who clocked a modest one minute 50.1, in the third semi-final to qualify for Saturday's final.
Sammy Kirongo led five other qualifiers to dip under the world championship qualifying mark of 1:46.00, in the first semi at the Kasarani stadium, where the national trials will be held on July 31 and August 1.
Current Diamond League series 1500m race leader, Silas Kiplagat, opted out despite having been drawn to run in the first semi-final of the 800m.
Reigning Commonwealth and African women's 10 000m gold medallist Joyce Chepkirui held on to win her speciality, having fought off a strong late finish by former world youth 3,000m champion, Jackline Chepngeno.
The 24-year-old Chepngeno, clocked 32.08.18 in her first competitive race in five years after battling against two-career threatening leg injuries.
She hopes to qualify for the world championships 10 000m when she compete in the national trials.
No Kenyan woman has yet to attain the world championship qualifying time of 32:00.00.