World champ Obiri is the athlete to beat in women’s 5,000m, 10,000m

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Hellen Obiri after winning gold at the 2017 World Championships in London. Photo/PD/FILE

World 5,000m and World Cross-Country champion Hellen Obiri’s ambition of winning a double at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar next month starts today when she lines up in the women’s 10,000m final in the Athletics Kenya National Championships at Nyayo National Stadium.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) runner  has set herself a lofty target of winning both the 5,000m and 10,000m at World Athletics Championships to match the track exploits of Vivian Cheruiyot, who managed a double in the same events at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu, South Korea. 

This was after she won the World Cross-Country Championships title in Punta Umbria, Spain the same year. 

“The road for me starts on Wednesday (today),” said the former World Indoor champion. “I want to get good times for Doha and keep training to be fit for the biggest event of the year.

I am expecting a tough challenge because the slots are limited in a field that has many good athletes,” added the sergeant from Laikipia airbase.

In the women’s 5,000m, Obiri will face World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet, who reached the finals after winning the semi-final yesterday, World Half Marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, also from KDF, and former Africa 5,000m champion Sheila Chepkirui.

The final will also be a tough test for 2013 World 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono. The runner, who is making a return to the track after maternity leave, sailed through from yesterday’s semis.

Athletics Kenya will be using the men’s and women’s 10,000m races to select the team for the Doha championships that take place from September 28 to October 6. Trials for the rest of the events will take place next month.

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