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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Helen Obiri focuses to excel at
World Indoor and Commonwealth Games 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Helen Obiri said she is ready to contest for the World Indoor title and the Commonwealth Games gold medal despite the short period separating the two events.

Speaking in Nairobi on Friday after winning the Kenya Defense Forces Championships, Obiri, who won the 3,000m in 2014, said she is not under pressure to prove anything and has discussed the two events with her manager, who has no problems with her running in both.

“These are track competitions and there will be enough time for me to recover and compete in the other. The task is to make, Kenya team in both events,” she said.

The World Indoor Championships will be held in Birmingham City in England on March 4 while the Commonwealth Games on April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

“I skipped the 2016 World Indoor because I was just fresh from maternity leave. But I have regained my fitness and am ready to recapture my title,” she added.

In Birmingham, Obiri will be competing in the 3,000m race having already secured automatic ticket by virtue of having won the IAAF World Indoor Tour in 2017.

She will then shift to the outdoor competition, where she plans to race at the Gold Coast Club Games over the 5,000m distance. Obiri won gold in 5,000m at the World Championships in London in August last year.

On Friday, Obiri resisted a late surge from compatriot Jocelyn Jepkosgei to win at the Kenya Defense Forces cross country championships, which were held in Nairobi.

“I was under pressure especially with Jepkosgei, who also has the World 10km record in the field. I knew I had the speed to challenge her,” said Obiri.

The win was the third for Obiri, 27, having won in 2014 and 2016. However, Obiri ruled out competing at the Africa Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Chlef, Algeria in March.

“I run the cross country circuit to build my endurance. Now I will be able to focus on speed work in readiness for the World Indoor Championships,” she added.

             

 

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