NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Helen Obiri of Kenya has respect
for Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba but will not fear her in her quest
to reclaim the 3,000m title at the World Indoor Championships in
Birmingham City, England.
Whereas Obiri will
be leading the Kenyan charges to the championships, Dibaba has
announced she will contest in both 1,500m and 3,000m.
This outs the two on
a coalition course and Obiri is happy to bite her time and play
the surprise card.
“I have raced her in
1,500m in outdoor conditions. But in 3,000m, it will be a new
challenge to either of us and we will give it our best,” said
The IAAF World
Indoor Championships will be held in Birmingham from Mar 1-4.
Obiri, 28, who used
to race in the 1,500m distance, skipped the 2016 championships
in Portland, USA to deliver her first child, but she has been in
spectacular shape ever since her return, albeit in the 5,000m
In her absence,
Dibaba, 27, dominated the IAAF Indoor Tour circuit and won gold
in Portland in 1,500m to add on the two other world indoor
titles in 2012 and 2014.
Dibaba must however,
be at her best as this year’s event has more unforgiving
schedule with the 3,000m held as a straight final on Thursday
night, followed by the 1,500m heats on Friday and the 1,500m
final on Saturday.
Dibaba will have
fellow defending 3,000m champion Yomif Kejelcha, who has also
been named on the Ethiopian team and will be joined by world
indoor leader Selemon Barega.
Ethiopia has named
three athletes in several events. Pending the conclusion of the
IAAF World Indoor Tour, some may be eligible to compete as a
wild card entrant or may simply be entered as a reserve.