It’s do-or-die as Obiri and Ayana lock horns

By IAAF: Friday, July 13th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
[PHOTO: COURTESY]

The other most eagerly-anticipated event is arguably the women’s 5000m which brings together world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba at the ninth stop of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco, tonight.

Dibaba, the world record-holder at 1500m, also has the fifth fastest 5000m time to her name with 14:15.41 from 2015 while Obiri has a 14:18.37 personal best, which makes her the eighth fastest of all time.

The pair have duelled over this particular distance twice in the past; firstly, in Rome last year, the race in which Obiri produced her lifetime best, taking the victory with Dibaba a distant sixth. Dibaba then won in Eugene this year in 14:26.89, with Obiri a well-beaten third, nearly 10 seconds behind.

The meeting record belongs to double Olympic champion Almaz Ayana, who clocked 14:16.31 in 2016 but despite it being a marvellous mark both women apparently have it in their sights.

It would also be unwise to discount the in-form Agnes Tirop of Kenya or the Ethiopian duo of Senbere Teferi and Letesenbet Gidey. They are all capable of upsetting the odds.

The women’s 200m brings together Bahamas’ Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Jamaica’s world and Olympic 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

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Miller-Uibo is undefeated this year. She won the Commonwealth 200m title in 22.09 and improved her season’s best to 22.06 when winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai. She also clocked a world-leading 49.52 to win the 400m in Eugene.

Jackson has stepped down in distance this year and proven herself against the best in the world.

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