Obiri says use of wild cards ‘not a good idea’


Hellen Obiri en route to her 5000m African title in Asaba (PHOTO/IAAF/Bob Ramsak)
(FILE)Hellen Obiri en route to her 5000m African title in Asaba (PHOTO/IAAF/Bob Ramsak)

In Summary

  • World 5000m champion Helen Obiri has urged Athletics Kenya (AK) to reconsider their decision to include wild card selection for athletes who will take part in the 2019 World Cross Country Championship in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30
  • Obiri who will lead the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) team at this year’s National Cross Country Championship cum National Trials in Eldoret Sports Club over the weekend, fears the decision made by AK earlier in the week will discourage athletes

World 5000m champion Helen Obiri has urged Athletics Kenya (AK) to reconsider their decision to include wild card selection for athletes who will take part in the 2019 World Cross Country Championship in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30.

Obiri who will lead the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) team at this year’s National Cross Country Championship cum National Trials in Eldoret Sports Club over the weekend, fears the decision made by AK earlier in the week will discourage athletes.

“For me it’s not a good idea, because elite athletes will easily pick the first positions and you find the upcoming athletes finish fifth and sixth and they will be denied a chance to showcase their talent internationally,” Obiri told Citizen Digital.

AK has scrapped the first-six-across-the-line rule to select Kenya’s team to the World Cross, re-introducing the first four and two more being selected by a panel of coaches to fill the final six member team in both junior and senior teams.

“Where will their get experience, and let’s not talk about fitness because to finish number five or six in the Kenyan trials which are the toughest it’s a statement by itself,” she added.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 5000m champion will be aiming to make team Kenya for the world cross for the first time.

“I am in good shape and ready for the trials my aim is first to make the team,  I am aware of the challenge  from the Kenya police team and their prisons counterparts plus the Rift Valley team which will be at home.”  Articulated Obiri.

Despite the challenge of shifting the national trials from the morning hours to the afternoon won’t be a challenge to the Olympic silver medalist.

“I hope the weather won’t bring challenges, because in Kenya we are used to running in the morning hours but in Europe we always run in the evening.”

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