06/05/2013 01:11 EDT | Updated 08/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Kenyan steeplechaser Paul Kipsiele Koech to race at Edmonton track meet

EDMONTON - Diamond League steeplechase champion Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya will take aim at the North American record in Edmonton.

Koech, who won the prestigious Diamond League title last season and is the third fastest ever, confirmed he'll race in the Edmonton International Track Classic on June 29 in a 3,000-metre steeplechase field that includes top Canadians Alex Genest, Chris Winter and Taylor Milne.

"It will be great to run in Canada for the first time," says Koech. "And my goal is definitely to break the record for fastest time in Canada and the USA."

Koech's best time in the 3,000-metre steeplechase is seven minutes 54 seconds, while the fastest ever run on North American soil is 8:08, set at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Genest, Winter and Milne — a former 1,500-metre Olympian who has moved up to the steeplechase — are part of one of the strongest groups of Canadian steeplechasers ever. All three have run the qualifying standard for the 2013 world championships in Moscow in August.