Why Obiri is itching to have another attempt on 10,000m race


Why Obiri is itching to have another attempt on 10,000m race
Hellen Obiri wins the senior women's race at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 (PHOTO/World Athletics/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • Obiri who was attempting a double at the Worlds in Doha 2019 however says she managed to attain most of her targets last term and is now aiming at the Olympics in Tokyo later in the summer.

Despite  not having made a decision yet on whether to have another go at the 10,000m race, World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri says she’s identified what went wrong at her first attempt at the world 10,000m title.

Obiri who was attempting a double at the Worlds in Doha 2019 however says she managed to attain most of her targets last term and is now aiming at the Olympics in Tokyo later in the summer.

“I succeeded in attaining 95 percent of my targets last term because I only missed the Diamond League, maybe I was a little fatigued having won the World Cross Country Championship title earlier in the year and retaining my 5,000m title”, Obiri told Citizen Digital.

The middle-distance runner says given another chance, she has her work cut out for the year 2020.

“I started training for 10,000m at the last minute and I was not well focused because I combined the 10,000 training with 5,000 and 1, 500,” she said, lifting the lid of her training itinerary of last season.

“This year my focus is on the Olympics after winning silver in Rio 2016. My aim is to upgrade to gold in Tokyo in the 5,000m,”she added.

“I’m not yet decided about the 10,000m but now I know I did not plan well for that race in 2019 but in 2020 I hope if I train well I know I can do even better in that race than in 5,000 metres,” she enthused.

Another chance to attempt a double comes in this year’s Olympic Games primed for Tokyo, Japan, where the 31-year-old believes she can be the first Kenyan to bag double gold by winning the two races.

But what is her race plan and tact ahead of the summer assignment? “What I’ll first do is to look at the 10,000m training program and prepare well on the field and mentally for the race, because in Doha, it was my third time running the race so I’m going to train and get used to the 10,000m before making the decision,” said the two-time world 5,000m champion.

Last week she was voted the 2019 sports woman of the year in the SOYA Awards held at the Mombasa Sports Club.

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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