Obiri targets double win in Doha

By JONATHAN KOMEN: Friday, July 5th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the women's 3000m at the Doha Diamond League on May 3, 2019. [REUTERS]

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri shook off strong opposition to win women's 10,000m at the Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Championships at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.

But she has huge dreams this season. She wants to win 5,000m and 10,000m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September and emulate Vivian Cheruiyot, who struck double gold in the events at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. This was after she won World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, in 2011.

Obiri, who won the World Cross Country Championships title in Denmark in March, rose from the ashes of poor performance at the Prefontaine Classic, the IAAF Diamond League meet in the USA last Sunday.

She won in 31:43.0 beating world 21km record holder Joyceline Jepkosgei (31:438) and Irene Kamais (32:04.6), who won the African Games trials a forth night ago.

Obiri, who is based at the Laikipia Airbase, expressed confidence that KDF would pick a sizeable number of slots to the IAAF World Athletics Champions scheduled for Doha, Qatar, on September 28 to October 6.

She said: "I don't think we have a stronger team this time. I want to compete in 5,000m and 10,000m in Doha but I am yet to know the event I will compete in the national trials."

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Obiri opted to skip tonight's meet in Lausanne and Monaco (July 12) to enable her to compete at the London meeting on July 20-21.

"I had to come here and represent Laikipia Air Base. I don't want to miss the Championship," she said.

In men's 5,000m, Peter Ndengwa beat more than 40 athletes to win the title in 13:31.4 ahead of Linus Maruka (13:40.7) and Fredrick Chebii (13.41.8).

In 200m, former national champion Mike Mokamba won in 20.5 seconds ahead of former national 400m champion Alphas Kishoyian of Moi Air Base Eastleigh who timed at 20.7 seconds as Samuel Chege came third in 20.9 seconds.

In long jump, two-time Africa Champion Mathew Sawe posted 2.15 metres to chalk up victory. He will leave tomorrow to France with his coach Moussa for one-month training.

KDF athletics chairman James Githaga said plans were underway to improve performance of KDF athletes.

"We have invested in better training facilities and introduce workable training programs in Ngong and Nyahururu. With new athletes coming up, it will be a matter of time before we reclaim our position in athletics," he said. 

Two national records in women's and men's hammer were set.

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