NAROBI, (Xinhua) --
That feeling of a conqueror that many athletes
exhibit will be evident when the global best meet in Birmingham
for this year’s World Indoor Championships, which starts on
Kenya will have its
best eight athletes led by World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri,
Beatrice Chepkoech and Bethwel Birgen who have dominated in
their specialty in the build up to the finals through the
strenuous IAAF World Indoor Tour.
And as the season
hits its apex this weekend in Birmingham, Kenyan Birgen has
pledged to bring home gold in the 3,000m race. Kenya last won
gold in this event in 2014 in Poland through Caleb Mwangangi.
“I feel ready and
confident of my strength to battle for the medals,” Birgen said
“Everyone is in
Birmingham by merit and eye this same medal, but it is down to
who wants it more and the strength each carries. I believe am
best placed to pick it.”
Birgen who won the
1,500m on Sunday in Glasgow and is the IAAF Indoor Tour wild
card holder from 2017 will not run this event in Birmingham.
He prefers to
concentrate in the 3,000m where he was selected by Kenya, his
agent Ricky Simms has confirmed.
Kenya’s Obiri will
be seeking some sought of revenge. In September last year, she
was competing in Birmingham Diamond League, just weeks after
winning the world title in London.
However, she failed
to excel and had to settle for fourth place in the 3,000m with
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands triumphing.
But she has focused
on training and started her indoor campaign strong with a
victory in Ostrava (Czech Republic) and was fourth in Torun
(Poland). But her focus is winning back the 3,000m title from
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba.
There will be a
total of 2.5 million U.S. dollars on offer from the IAAF as
prize money in Birmingham.
There is also a
50,000 dollar bonus on offer for any athlete setting a world
record during the four-day championships. The gold medalists
will take home 40,000 dollars, silver 20,000 dollars, bronze
Men - Emmanuel Korir
(800m), Vincent Kibet (1,500m), Bethwell Birgen, Davis Kiplagat
Women - Margaret
Nyairera (800m), Beatrice Chepkoech, Winnie Chebet (1,500m),
Hellen Obiri (3,000m).