NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Ever since she broke on the global stage
by winning gold medal at the 2012 World Indoor championships,
Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri has always dreamt of
conquering the world in an outdoor event, London may just be her
However, she has
been categorical that winning a medal in London will be her
motivation, and no attempt will be made to try to break the
world record of 14:11.15 held by Ethiopian great Tirunesh Dibaba.
“It is about winning
gold for Kenya. We did it in 2011 in Daegu and now it is my
chance to rectify that,” she said.
Obiri’s past two
indoor competitions in Istanbul (2012) and Sopot (2014) were
relatively unknown and she utilized the surprise card to her
However, going into
the London World Championships, the Kenyan long distance runner
will feel exposed as she seeks to improve on the silver she won
in Rio to gold.
“I feel am in top
form and it can propel me to the winner’s podium. It is me
believing in my strides and then later focus on what the
opposition has to offer to counter my strides,” said Obiri.
Obiri, who ran a
blistering 14:18.37 at the Rome leg of the IAAF Diamond League
earlier this month, will be under pressure to take over the
baton from diminutive yet productive Vivian Cheruiyot who has
transited to marathon.
“There will always
be someone to look up to. In sports you always have a mentor and
Cheruiyot has done great for Kenya. I envy her. But now I have
to chatter my own path to stardom and London is the first call.
There will be stiff competition especially from the Ethiopians,
but I am not afraid of them,” Obiri said.
Indeed waiting to
pounce on Obiri will be Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana, who has
recovered from injury, Genzebe Dibaba, Senberi Teferi and horde
of upcoming athletes from all over the world. But the
27-year-old Kenya is ready for the battle.
Obiri won silver
behind gold medalist Cheruiyot in the Rio Olympics ahead of
Ethiopian Ayana, the reigning world champion and 10,000m world
record holder who grabbed bronze.
Her only show in the
World Championships dates back to 2011 in Daegu, where she
finished tenth in the 1,500m race. In Moscow 2013, she improved
to claim bronze in the 1,500m race.
In 2015, in Beijing,
Ethiopia ruled the roost claiming a clean sweep and Obiri
together with Margaret Chelimo will carry Kenya’s hope to amend