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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ruth Jebet and Helen Obiri setting up a 're-match' in Ostrava

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Barely four days after clashing in Seville, world 5,000m champion Helen Obiri of Kenya will face off against Bahraini Ruth Jebet at the Czech Indoor Gala on Thursday in Ostrava.

The two are eyeing the chance to represent their countries at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on March 4, but their rivalry will reach a crescendo on Jan. 25 over the 3,000m at the premier Czech Republic indoor meeting.

“It is always good to have strong challengers facing you,” said Jebet, who was born in Kenya but competes internationally for Bahrain.

“I like it that way because it brings out the best in you. Obiri is in top form and so am I. Let see who will have the strength to edge the others out,” she added.

Jebet, who is an Olympic winner and world record holder in steeplechase, is under pressure to win gold for her country in Birmingham, and the test in Ostrava will allow her to gauge her preparedness.

Other quality runners from Kenya who will be up for the title include Beatrice Chepkoech and Norah Tanui.

Obiri beat Jebet on Sunday in Seville cross-country, which she said was her last as she turns her focus to the indoor circuit.

But the challenge of running in winter and on an indoor track will be tougher for both as they launch their campaign to the World Indoor Championships in March.

Other highlights lined up in Ostrava will include Pavel Maslak in two 300m races, facing Santos brothers, in first race hurdler Juander and in second one at the end of the meet 400m medalist Luguelin. Petr Svoboda against Jarret Eaton and top shot put field with Radek Juska aiming for 8 meters in long jump. Pole Vault of pairs will be also interesting.

In Madrid organizers have confirmed that multiple world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba will compete over 1,500m on Feb. 8.

Dibaba, who holds the world indoor (3:55.17) and outdoor (3:50.07) records, will face teammate Axumawit Embaye and European champion Angelika Cichocka from Poland. 

European indoor and outdoor champion Adam Kszczot is confirmed for the 800m where he will face former world champion Mohammed Aman from Ethiopia and Spaniards Kevin Lopez, Alvaro de Arriba, Daniel Andujar and Jesus Gomez. Pedro Pablo Pichardo is also confirmed for the triple jump.

             

 

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