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Obiri and Gidey ready for 3000m showdown in Doha

ATHLETICS By World Athletics | May 6th 2021
Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates after winning the women's 5000-meter race with a world-leading time during the Diamond League athletics meeting at the Louis II stadium in Monaco Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.(Eric Gaillard/Pool Via AP)

Two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and world record holder Letesenbet Gidey will resume their rivalry when they line up over 3000m at the Wanda Doha Diamond League on Friday May 28.

Obiri, the world cross-country champion, set a Kenyan 3000m record of 8:20.68 in Doha in 2014. She also won over the same distance at the Doha Diamond League in 2019 and 2020.

Gidey smashed the world 5000m record in Valencia last year, clocking 14:06.62.

Although Obiri leads their career head-to-head record at 9-5, Gidey has finished ahead of Obiri twice in Doha: at the 2018 Diamond League meeting and at the 2019 World Championships over 10,000m.

Obiri, who defeated Gidey in their most recent clash over 5000m at the 2020 Monaco Diamond League, said: “After my half marathon debut in April (she ran 1:04:51 in Istanbul) I’m looking forward to getting back on the track, especially at the Doha Diamond League meeting where I will be going for my fourth 3000m win. I ran the Kenyan record there in 2014 (8:20) and the second-fastest 3000m in my career there last September (8:22).    

“Doha is also the place where I won my last world title in 2019, but this year it is all about the Olympic Games as that is the only major gold medal that I’m missing and I’m working hard to change that this year.

“The 3000m and 5000m races are very competitive at the moment and I expect we will see some fast times in the next few months and in Tokyo.”

“I’m happy to start my season in Doha,” said Gidey, who in 2019 broke Obiri’s African 3000m record with 8:20.27.

“It will be my first race as a world record-holder and I feel excited to see where I am in terms of condition. It will be a very important stepping stone towards the Olympic Games later in the season.”

This year’s Diamond League comprises 14 meetings – starting with Gateshead (replacing Rabat as the first host city on this year’s circuit) on Sunday May 23 – leading to a single final across two days in Zurich at the end of the season. Each meeting will be broadcast globally in a live two-hour programme.

The 2021 calendar remains subject to change depending on the global health situation in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the world’s oldest person, a 118-year-old Japanese woman, has decided not to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over pandemic fears.

 

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