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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya’s Obiri relishes Dibaba challenge
as duo face off at World Indoor C’ships

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 Obiri.

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 distance.

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.

             

 

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