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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
World champ Obiri may double up at World Indoor championships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will use Thursday’s race in Torun, Poland to gauge her speed and fitness and decide if she will compete in the 3,000m and 1,500m races at the World Indoor championships in Birmingham.

Fresh off winning the 8km senior women’s race at the Kenya championships in Nairobi, Obiri will be one of the elite runners gracing the Torun indoor meeting.

“The focus is always on getting in the best shape and going for the gold. But I have not competed in the 1,500m for a while and that is why I want to test and see how my performance will be and then I will decide,” she said late on Wednesday ahead of the race.

Obiri will be making a rare indoor 1500m appearance, her first since 2014. While she has made her career over longer distances, she’s hardly a slouch in the metric mile, boasting bests of 3:57.05 outdoors and 4:05.82 indoors, both recorded in 2014.

Back in action after a training stint at home in Kenya, Obiri is targeting the 3,000m event at the World Championships.

Obiri was triggered to react to Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba announcement that she will compete in the 3,000m and 1,500m events in Birmingham.

“Let’s see my how the race will go. I have not raced in 1,500m for over two years and Thursday will be special for me. How I will perform I don’t know, but I hope if it’s good, I should also double up in events in Birmingham,” Obiri said.

With Olympic and world 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya missing out on the World Indoor Championships because of maternity leave, Obiri remains the country’s biggest hope for winning medals in the two events.

To help her push for a faster time, organizers in Torun have also invited Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia and compatriot Guday Tsegay, who were first and third in the Boston World Indoor tour leg. Sweden’s Meraf Bahta, the 2014 European 5000m champion, is also competing in the event which runs from March 1-4.

           

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