Obiri only athlete set to double in Tokyo

Monday, June 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Hellen Obiri. Photo/PD/FILE

Two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will be the only Kenyan athlete who will double at the  Tokyo Olympic Games.

This is after Athletics Kenya named a team of 41 athletes -- 23 men and 18 women -- for the global extravaganza set for Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. The team will reassemble in Kasarani next week for the start of their pre-Olympic training camp.

The exercise was conducted after the conclusion of the three-day national trials at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The team includes six marathoners – Eliud Kipchoge who won gold at Rio 2016, Amos Kipruto, Lawrence Cherono, Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chpengetich and Peres Jepchirchir who had already been named prior to the trials.

Team Kenya Chef de Mission Waithaka Kioni who attended the team naming ceremony reminded the athletes that they have a task of trying to better the achievement of the class of 2016 that produced Kenya’s most successful outing at the Olympics after collecting 13 medals (six gold, silver silver, and one bronze). The entire delegation of athletes including those in team sports are 86. 

Obiri goes to her third Olympics which she projects to be her last on the track.

Sufficient time

“The reality is I have made my third Olympic team.  So first things first, it is mission accomplished for me.

The trials were not about clocking fast times but making the team,” Obiri told People Sport.

Obiri’s dream is winning the only gold medal missing from her brilliant career before scaling up to the road races.

But she admits chasing a long distance double at the Olympic Games is not really for everyone. 

“I am glad the two events will be slightly apart. The 5k will be on the initial days with the 10k towards the end. I think that is sufficient time. We’ve all been through so much over the past year.”

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