-- Kenyan world 5,000m
champion Hellen Obiri will run her final build-up race
in London on Sunday before heading to Asaba, Nigeria for
the Africa Athletics Championships.
28-year-old has gotten over the lack of iron in her
body, which slowed her down at the beginning of the
season. Now she has found her sprinting groove to string
together a series of wins and take the game to her
challenger Genzebe Dibaba.
outings in Rome and Eugene (USA), Obiri was forced back
to the drawing board as she recuperated after starting
this season earlier than expected at the World Indoor
Championships in Birmingham in March and the
Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.
good to have my strength back. I was happy to run a fast
time in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene after a few
weeks under strength due to low iron levels. But I was
certain to rediscover my form and today I am almost at
the best level,” Obiri told Xinhua on Thursday in
Obiri delivered on her pre-race promise to “try to run
fast” when she sped to a 5,000m world leading time of
14:21:75 at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco
obliterating her Ethiopian rival Dibaba, who finished
watched the highlights from my 5,000m race in Rabat and
I am really happy to win and set a world leading time.
Now next stop will be in London and then the Africa
championships,” said Obiri. Indeed in London, Obiri will
drop down the distance to one mile where she will team
up with compatriot Winnie Chebet and Nelly Jepkosgei.
“I want to
work on my speed and the mile distance will provide me
the ground to test just that. I want to win at the
Africa championships so that I may compete at the World
Cup in Ostrava,” said Obiri.
Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) will use the
championships in Asaba, Nigeria (Aug 1-5) to select the
Africa team that will go to the IAAF Continental Cup
(World Cup), which will be held in September.
The top two
athletes across the line in each discipline will make
the Africa team. Also keen to excel at the Africa
championships will be Olympic javelin silver medalist
Julius Yego who has struggled to redeem his form after
shaking off an ankle and groin injury, which saw him
forfeit the world championship title last year in
Kenya’s Korir targets
London Diamond League
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir is hopeful of
success at the Africa Championships in Asaba, Nigeria,
after visa complications denied him the chance to
compete at Birmingham’s World Indoor Championships in
Texas-based Kenyan teenager has since resolved his visa
situation, and will be in London on Saturday to compete
in the Diamond League against some of the top names in
the 800m race.
Xinhua, Korir said he is running in London in
preparation for the Africa Championships.
“I have no
doubt I’m in good shape and ready to show it in London.
Despite running with great athletes like Nijel Amos
(Botswana) and Wycliffe Kinyamal (Kenya), I am sure I
will emerge top. I have confidence in myself and will
certainly show it in the race,” said Korir on Friday.
warned that the London race will be tactical and that he
will time his strides to perfection, in a bid to prove
to the host nation that they were wrong to deny him
entry to the country in March for the World Indoor
Diamond League meet is important to me because it will
also help me gauge where I rank and what strength have
ahead of the Africa Championships,” he added.
This year in
Texas, Korir clocked 1:44.21 to set a new Kenyan record
in the indoor 800m race, beating the 14-year old mark of
1:44.71 set by Joseph Mutua.
during the London World Championships, Korir fell in the
semifinals despite being a favorite, after running a
world leading time of 1:43.10 with victory in Monaco in
22-year-old has since lowered the African record of
1:44.52 set by Ethiopian Mohammed Aman at the Birmingham
Grand Prix in February 2014.
Junior champion Jonathan Kitilit and Ferguson Rotich
will team up with Korir at the Africa Championships from
August 1st to 5th, with the top
two in the race expected to secure automatic
qualification to compete at the IAAF Continental Cup in
Ostrava, Czech Republic in September.
Kinyamal, who won the 800m gold for Kenya at this year’s
Commonwealth Games, says he is also focused on clinching
the continental ticket and will take the fight to Korir
when they meet in Asaba.
“I have no
doubt about my fitness and will be waiting for Korir in
London. This is the type of opposition that will always
inspire you to run a world leading time and I am happy
to challenge him,” said Kinyamal.
Chespol skips Monaco Diamond League
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Junior steeplechase champion
Celliphine Chespol will skip the Monaco Diamond League
meeting to avoid burning out ahead of the Africa
Kenya’s head coach Stephen Mwaniki, Chespol, who won
gold at the World U-20 Championships in Finland last
week, will not be allowed to travel to Monaco.
“She has no
permission to compete in Monaco from the federation and
we expect her in camp after returning from Finland,”
Mwaniki said on Wednesday in Nairobi.
of the Monaco Diamond League had slotted Chespol to
compete in the water and hurdle race together with World
Champion Emma Coburn of the USA, current world leader
Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya and Oslo’s Diamond League
winner Hyvin Kiyeng.
still young and we must treat her carefully. If exposed
too early she may burn out and fail to deliver the
performance required at the Africa Championships,” said
Africa Athletics Championships will be held in Asaba,
Nigeria from Aug 1-5. The Kenya team of 60 athletes is
due to jet out on July 28.
I have 50 athletes in camp with the others having been
allowed to fly to Monaco for the Diamond League. Some
will also go to London (July 20) for the next round of
the Diamond League and after that we expect them to
focus on training for the continental championships,”
Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) technical
director Vivian Gungaram has already given thumbs up
sign for the competition after touring the venue.
said in a statement he was satisfied with the level of
preparedness of the country to host the event.
“It is my
second inspection visit and a lot of work has been
finalized. I am sure the venue will be ready by this
week,” Gungaram said.
finished in second position during the last championship
in Durban with eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze
behind the hosts South Africa who amassed 33 medals
while Nigeria were third with 16 medals. But Mwaniki is
confident Kenya will secure the overall title this time
runners from each discipline at the Africa Championships
will qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup scheduled for
Ostrava, Czech Republic on Sept 8-9.