Obiri won’t defend title after conquering Aarhus 2019


Athletics - 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Aarhus, Denmark - March 30, 2019 Kenya's Hellen Obiri ...
Athletics - 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Aarhus, Denmark - March 30, 2019 Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the women's race REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

In Summary

  • World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri announced that Aarhus 2019 will be he final appearance at a World Cross Country event following her historic victory at the Danish city on Saturday
  • Obiri ensured the senior women’s World Cross Country title stayed with Kenya, completing the tough 10.24km course in 36:14 ahead of Dera Dida (36:16 ) who led her counterpart Letesenbet Gidey (36:24) for an Ethiopian 2-3

World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri announced that Aarhus 2019 will be he final appearance at a World Cross Country event following her historic victory at the Danish city on Saturday.

Obiri ensured the senior women’s World Cross Country title stayed with Kenya, completing the tough 10.24km course in 36:14 ahead of Dera Dida (36:16 ) who led her counterpart Letesenbet Gidey (36:24) for an Ethiopian 2-3.

With her victory, Obiri became the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. The only man to achieve such a feat is the Ethiopian track great Kenenisa Bekele.

“I just wanted to win this race because it is the only one I didn’t have on my medal list. Now that I have got it, I don’t think I will be running in it again,” a delighted Obiri said.

“I didn’t know if I could win this race. The Ethiopians looked so strong on the hills, so I had to wait and see what their game plan was. When they failed to kick, I decided to try and I took it” the 29-year-old said.

The Olympic silver medalist says she will now focus on other races before she retiring.

“I will focus on track fields now because I have what I wanted. What is important for me is to keep working hard and see where to end.”

She won Kenya’s second Gold medal in the championships after Beatrice Chebet gave Kenya her first gold medal in the junior women’s race.

However, Kenya failed to get an individual medal in the men’s U-20 race for the first time since 1984 with the country’s best athlete finishing a disappointing 4th with.

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Story By David Kariuki
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