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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Obiri lays mark in Ostrava Gala,
launches World Indoor campaign

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will display her prowess and preparedness for the World Indoor Championships when she competes in the 3,000m at the Czech Indoor Gala on Jan 25.

Despite announcing her intention to try and recapture the World Indoor 3,000m title in Birmingham on March 4, Obiri is yet to run on the indoor circuit and the Ostrava gala will be her maiden show this season.

“I started the season running in cross country because I wanted to shake off the rust of the long layoff I had after the World Championships in London,” Obiri said on Wednesday evening in Nairobi.

“Now the focus is fully on the indoor championships and I believe with two or three meetings, I will be able to know where my body strength lies.”

Obiri has been named as the Ostrava Indoor gala running star and hopes she will be able to live up to the honor accorded her and win as she launches her campaign towards the World Indoor Championships, which will be held in Birmingham, England on March 4.

The Czech Indoor Gala, which is part of the European Athletics Indoor Permit meeting, is promising a special shot put competition with top two from Belgrade Euro Indoors Konrad Bukowiecki and home star Tomas Stanek.

There is also double World Indoor Champion Ryan Whiting from U.S., World bronze medalist Stipe Zunic from Croatia and Olympic fourth placer Franck Elemba from Congo.

The field of six (added by Euroindoor 2015 medalist Ladislav Prasil) will have also a special format close to the new one which will be part of IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava in September.

All six will have three attempts, then top 4 will go for round four, best 3 for round five and top two for round six.

Another specialty next week will be pole vault of pairs. Five athlete pairs (male and female) will compete with final result made by counting the top marks of each pair together. Czech Republic will have two pairs (Kudlicka/Ptacnikova and Balner/Malacova), others will be from Poland (Sobera/Smietanka) and also a young pair composed by Czech U20 record holder Amalie Svabikova and Greek European U18 champion Emmanouil Karalis.

           

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