Furious Obiri tells IAAF to reconsider changes


Hellen Obiri's 3000m victory highlighted the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava .IMAGE.IAAF
Hellen Obiri's 3000m victory highlighted the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava .IMAGE.IAAF

In Summary

  • World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri has opposed the changes introduced by IAAF on Diamond League with the 5,000m and 10,000m set to be scrapped from the event beginning next year.
  • According to Obiri, the new changes will hamper the progress of young talents in Kenya and Africa region hitherto renowned for long distance prowess, and wants the athletics body to reconsider their stance.  

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri has opposed the changes introduced by IAAF on Diamond League with the 5,000m and 10,000m set to be scrapped from the event beginning next year.

In the changes instituted by the world athletics governing body last week, 3,000m is set to be the longest distance race in the competition, a development that has elicited fury from athletics stakeholders not only in Kenya but the East Africa region at large.

According to Obiri, the new changes will hamper the progress of young talents in Kenya and Africa region hitherto renowned for long distance prowess, and wants the athletics body to reconsider their stance.

“For me the removal of 5,000m is not a good idea because it is actually like they are targeting Africans. The young athletes will also be greatly affected since they will be denied a platform to showcase their talents,” said Obiri.

The Commonwealth Games champion has at the same time challenged the IAAF to reconsider its decision.

“If they proceed with that (changes) then there is no need to remain in track, I will probably shift to road races,” charged Obiri.

The 29-year-old is currently with Kenya’s cross country team in residential camp in Kigari Teachers Training College in Embu ahead of her maiden appearance at the World Cross Country championships slated for March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Other changes instituted at the Councils meeting in Doha include the reduction of the events from 32 to 24 with the meetings also set to drop from 14 to 12.

Similarly, the Council has introduced single final event that will feature all the 24 disciplines unlike previously where two final meetings were held.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has already assured Kenyans that they will lodge a formal protest on  the new changes.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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