Obiri, Manangoi out to shine in Karlsruhe indoor meet

Hellen Obiri wins the New Balance Indoor Meeting in Boston, USA last Sunday. She is ...
Hellen Obiri wins the New Balance Indoor Meeting in Boston, USA last Sunday. She is aiming at another World Indoor Tour victory in Karlsruhe, Germany. PHOTO/IAAF

Olympics silver medallist Hellen Obiri is out to maintain her unbeaten start to the season while Elijah Manangoi is on the hunt for a second victory in three days when the IAAF World Indoor Tour continues on Saturday in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Obiri, the women 5000m silver medallist from Rio recorded a world-leading 8:39.08 over 3000m on the first leg of the Tour in Boston last Saturday and will be looking to extend her lead in the tour rankings.

Laura Muir who clocked a World Leading 14:49.12 over 5000m in Glasgow last month to break the 25-year-old British national indoor record by 14 seconds where she ran almost completely by herself is the main challenger to Obiri.

Obiri, 27, announced she would skip the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda next month to focus on her bid to land the gold at the August IAAF World Championships in London.

“My focus is on the World Championships. I have competed in cross country, but that should not mean that I intend to compete for Kenya in Uganda in March.

“There are more races slated on my program this season and I am looking forward to have a good performance. I am not going to compete at World Cross because I will skip the Kenyan trials for world cross in February to concentrate on World Championships,” Obiri told Xinhua on Monday in Nairobi.

Obiri has been strong in the winter cross country season winning the domestic AK National Cross Series races in Nairobi and Machakos before taking the top honours at the IAAF Permit Campaccio XC meet in San Giorgio su Legnano in Italy.

Last Friday, she unleashed the afterburners on Olympics marathon winner, Jemimah Sumgong at the Kenya Defence Forces Cross Country Championships before travelling to the New Balance Indoor meet in Boston.

The men’s 1500m will see the top three finishers from Dusseldorf take on one another over the seven and a half lap distance in pursuit for World Indoor Tour points.

Beijing 2015 Worlds silver winner Manangoi who outsprinted compatriot Bethwel Birgen and Silas Kiplagat on Wednesday for a 3:37.62 world lead could take over the overall lead in the Tour which he currently shares with Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz should he prevail.

Manangoi who missed the Olympics men 1500m final in Rio with injury is aiming at bouncing back to the apex of his race after his surge over the final 100m carried him all the way to silver at the Beijing Worlds behind compatriot and three-time winner, Asbel Kiprop.

-Material from IAAF used in this report

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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