Obiri gears for KDF X-Country after Elgoibar win

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Hellen Obiri sprints to the finish line during a past KDF event at Nyayo National Stadium. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

World cross-country champion Hellen Obiri is in high spirits ahead of the 2019 Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country set for January 24 at the Thika Barracks.

The world 5,000m champion won the 77th Cross International Juan Muguerza, the fifth leg of the current World Athletics Cross Country Permit series, in Elgoibar, Spain on Sunday, underlining just how prepared she is.

The victory saw her become the first woman to achieve back-to-back wins in Elgoibar since the contest became an international event in the early 1990s.

Obiri timed 25:10 in a Kenyan podium sweep ahead of World U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet who was second in 25:16 while another Kenyan Eva Cherono came third in 25:48.

The Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, who has so far won three KDF Cross Country titles including defending her crown last year, is relishing an opportunity to win a fourth.

“I expected to win again this year so I’m very satisfied,” said Obiri of her win in Spain.

“I still have one more race, Sunday’s Cross -Country Permit in Seville, the Cross Internacional de Itálica before the KDF championships,” added Obiri, who is using these events as part of her build-up towards the July 24-August 9 Tokyo Olympics. 

“Olympics is the biggest event this year. As an athlete, my work is to train hard and be ready for the Games. More of such events will help me gauge my level of preparedness,” said the national Cross-Country champion.

During the KDF Championships at the Moi Airbase last year, Obiri clocked 33:32.6 to win the race ahead of Joyciline Jepkosgei who timed 33:38.4.

With Kenya Police Service and Kenya Prisons having already held their annual championships, KDF will be the final of the disciplined forces to hold their event before the national trails on February 8.

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