Obiri coy on world record, targets Olympic gold


Obiri coy on world record, targets Olympic gold
Hellen Obiri leaps for joy after leading Kenya's podium sweep in the women's 5,000m race at Nyayo/PHOTO/Sportpicha/Citizen Digital.

In Summary

  • World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri is raring to go for her maiden Olympic gold medal at the Summer Games to be held next year in Tokyo, Japan
  • With the Olympic medal the only title missing on her astonishing collection, Obiri says she will forego other championships planned for next year in order to solely focus for the Olympics

World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri is raring to go for her maiden Olympic gold medal at the Summer Games to be held next year in Tokyo, Japan.

With the Olympic medal the only title missing on her astonishing collection, Obiri says she will forego other championships planned for next year in order to solely focus for the Olympics.

Most notably, Obiri will skip the World Indoor Championships set for Nanjing, China in March and will as well not defend her World Cross Country title in Bathurst, Australia.

“For me my focus is the Olympics Games and I will therefore have to sacrifice some events in order to achieve my target of winning a gold medal in Tokyo,” Obiri told Citizen Digital.

After closing the season with a win at the Kip Keino Classic earlier this month, Obiri said she has now resumed build up towards the upcoming busy season which will culminate in the delayed Olympics.

In a rather bizarre season occasioned by the break out of the novel coronavirus, Obiri draws positives from the pandemic-hit season.

“It was a very difficult season with what happened across the world but I am happy at least I competed in the Diamond League considering the races were limited. After a three- week rest, I have now resumed light training,” she said.

While the Commonwealth Games champion is badly in the hunt for an Olympic gold, she is nevertheless not in the rush to obliterate the world record.

She has however voiced her concerns with the emerging trends in the sport that has recently involved technology in world record attempts with special races designed for only a few select athletes.

It is barely three weeks since Ethiopia’s Letensebet Gidey smashed the women’s 5000m world record when she ran 14:06.62 shaving more than four seconds off the previous record held by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba.

In the event organised by Dutch-based management company NN Running Team world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda took 6.53 seconds from Kenenisa’s Bekele mark of 26:17.53

“I think it is really unfair for us who did not compete, they should have made it an open competition for everyone. For us with small managements it means it is hard to get similar opportunities and we will just have to wait for races like the Diamond League.

“I however believe that records can be broken without technology just with good training similar to what the likes of Bekele and Dibaba did before. For me I will continue preparing for the Olympics and if I get the world record then well and good.” Said Obiri.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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