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Kenyan Helen Obiri targets quest to recapture World Indoor circuit

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon and 5,000m world champion Helen Obiri will anchor Kenya’s team to the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England in March.

Kipyegon, who is yet to start her season, since her triumph over South African Caster Semenya in London world championships in August, has been in training and will focus on cross country before moving to the indoor competition.

“It will be a good experience for me. I have not competed in indoor competition yet and this season starting in January, it will be good to test my body and see how it feels,” she said Monday from Eldoret.

For Obiri, it is her urge to recapture the World Indoor title that is inspiring her. She won the 2012 title in the 3,000 meters and together with compatriot Bethwel Birgen, the duo were awarded direct entry to next year’s World Indoor Championships set for Birmingham.

The two Kenyans were among 11 athletes to be given wild cards by IAAF following their victories in 2017 World Indoor Tour Series.

Obiri and Birgen, who won the 3,000m and 1,500m series, also received a bonus of 20,000 U.S. dollars each.

Obiri won this year’s New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in USA and Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, besides finishing second in Karlsruhe, Germany.

“My target was to get automatic ticket for World Indoor Championships where I want to reclaim my 3,000m title then focus on outdoor events,” said Obiri.

The Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April will be the main outdoor competition for Kenyan athletes this season.

The two events just one month apart, however, does not concern Obiri, who believes she has what it takes to compete in both and win.

“I have run races in between weeks and there will be enough time for me to rest and recover after Birmingham. The important thing is to compete and win,” she said.



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