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Hellen Obiri makes last stop in London
before Africa athletics championships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- 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.

The 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.

With poor 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.

“It feels 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 Nairobi.

Last week, 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 sixth.

“I have 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.

The 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 London. 


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