Why Obiri is confident of lighting up the World in Doha


Hellen Obiri wins the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/...
Hellen Obiri wins the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (PHOTO/IAAF/Deca Text & Bild)

In Summary

  • By all means, Hellen Obiri is having the season of her life and seemingly nothing will stop her attempt to etch her name amongst Kenya’s athletics folklore.
  • If her  exploits on the track so far this year is anything to go by, she could break the ceiling when the 2019 IAAF World Athletic Championships get underway in Doha, Qatar on September 28.

By all means, Hellen Obiri is having the season of her life and seemingly nothing will stop her attempt to etch her name amongst Kenya’s athletics folklore.

If her exploits on the track so far this year is anything to go by, she could break the ceiling when the 2019 IAAF World Athletic Championships get underway in Doha, Qatar on September 28.

The month of March was particularly monumental for her what with the World Cross Country triumph in Aarhus, Denmark which earned her a spot in the track greats, having emerged as the first female runner with senior crowns in the IAAF World outdoor (3,000m), World Indoor (5,000m) and World Cross Country Championships (10km).

She reckons it is the toughest win of her career having had to shake off an absorbing Aarhus terrain to reign supreme.

Given that the cross county victory was her debut; she observes that was the best highlight for the first half of the year.

“So far the year has been fantastic for me because I made my debut in World Cross Country and I won.

“That was a good start to form me. We are in the middle of the season and given that we have three months before the year ends, I’m   sure it will be my best,” She told Citizen Digital.

Her meteoric rise has seen her stage strong performances in both indoor and outdoor games and she is leaving nothing to chance in her preparations.

Athletics - Diamond League - Doha - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - May 3, 2019 Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the women's 3000m REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari
Athletics – Diamond League – Doha – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – May 3, 2019 Kenya’s Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the women’s 3000m REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

“We are working hard, my coach and my manager are working hard to make sure that everything I need is in place.

“The aim at the moment is to establish my weaknesses and also the areas I need to improve on so that I’m ready for the World Championships,” she added.

With the Diamond League finals in the horizon later this year in Brussels and Zurich, her team is working round the clock to help her make the cut for the final two rounds. Also, she says she could do a double in 5,000m and 10,000 in the Doha World Championships in September.

“Our main focus is on the Diamonds League because no one cares that you’re the defending champion there. I’m solely focused on the World Championships where I will probably do 10,000m and 5, 000m,” she explained.

Despite her novice status in the race, she says she is not dismayed by the challenges that come with it insisting being fit will be key to achieving her ambitions.

Gold medallist Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri poses on the podium during the victory ceremony for the women's 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK
Gold medallist Kenya’s Hellen Onsando Obiri poses on the podium during the victory ceremony for the women’s 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK

“At the moment I’m  90 percent fit. Naturally one cannot be 100 percent fit maybe because of injuries and other factors. But my manager and coach are doing all they can to have me ready for the events.”

Focusing on her goals has been her biggest strength and she says she will use the same weapon to conquer the world again in Doha.

“When I’m racing I forget about everything. You understand there is so much attention on you. But for a moment you throw that aside and focus on winning.

“People will talk about you if you win. Again you know you’re representing millions of people out there. You do not want to disappoint them,” she concluded.

After a strong start to 2019, victory in the Diamond League and World Championship Games will only strengthen her case for a slot in the World’s track greats.

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Story By Dan Ogega
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