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Kenya’s Obiri eyes Diamond League trophy,
Continental Cup success with Africa team

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri believes she is yet to give her best with only two competitions remaining in her calendar this season.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Obiri said she is already looking forward to better results at the Zurich Diamond League next Wednesday and the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, the Czech Republic on Sept. 8-9.

The Africa champion returned home this week after competing at the Birmingham Diamond League but is certain she will win the Diamond trophy when she turns up in the Swiss Capital.

“Of course I am a little disappointed because I did not get the win. But competition is not all about winning and losing, it was not that bad. For now I am back in Kenya to prepare for the Diamond League final in Zurich,” said Obiri on Thursday.

Obiri will then have one more race in Ostrava, which she believes is the most important this season as she was named among other 77 athletes to make the Africa team.

The team, selected by Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA), features many of the top performers from the recent African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria including world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, world 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi and Obiri.

Not only will the athletes be aiming to secure team points and individual prize money, but the winning team will also share—quite literally—the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 trophy.

Kenya’s Stephen Mwaniki has been named the Africa team head coach and believes he will learn more and held the continent win over teams from Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe.

Africa and Europe selected their athlete at their respective continental championships, however, the composition of the Asia-Pacific and Americas teams will be based upon athletes’ positions on the 2018 performance lists.

Each team will enter two athletes for each individual event and one team for each relay. Unlike the 2014 edition, there are no limits on the number of athletes entered from any one country.

Additionally, at least three athletes from the host country shall form part of their continental team. Each team may also enter up to a maximum of three overall reserve athletes.

The deadline for final entries is Aug 29.


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