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Kenya’s Obiri ready to ride Ethiopian challenge to 5,000m gold

World 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri said her main aim at the African Championships will be to improve on her present world leading time of 14:21.75  seconds and beat the Ethiopian challenge spear- headed by Genzebe Dibaba.

Hellen Obiri
Hellen Obiri

Obiri who was speaking in Nairobi said she is back in top form and ready for the African Championships, which will run from August 1-5 in Asaba Delta State.

The Kenyan who beat off opposition from Ethiopian duo Almaz Ayana and Senebre Teferi to win gold with 14.34.86 seconds at the London 2017 World Championships has fought with her form this season, but according to her she has recovered.

“It feels good to have my strength back. I was happy to run a fast time in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene after a few weeks under strength due to low iron levels. But I was certain to rediscover my form and today I am almost at the best level,” Obiri  said.

She established a world leading time of 14.21.75 seconds on July 13 in Rabat Morocco. With Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey with 14.23.14 and Tereri just within reach in that same race.

“I have watched the highlights from my 5,000m race in Rabat and I am really happy to win and set a world leading time. Now next stop will be the African championships,” said Obiri.

“I want to work on my speed and the mile distance will provide me the ground to test just that. I want to win at the Africa championships so that I may compete at the World Cup in Ostrava,” said Obiri.

The Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) will use the championships to select the African team that will represent the continent at the IAAF World Cup in Athletics in September.

The top two athletes across the line in each discipline will make the Africa team. Also keen to excel at the African championships will be Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego who has struggled to redeem his form after shaking off an ankle and groin injury, which saw him forfeit the world championship title last year in London.


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