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Obiri eyeing double success in Tokyo Olympics

ATHLETICS By Standard Sports | July 23rd 2021
Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates winning the Women's 5000m final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on October 5, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri has set her sights on clinching double gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Obiri will compete in both 5,000m and 10,000m at the Tokyo Games that kicks off officially on Friday.

Being the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country, Obiri is now eyeing the only medal that is missing in her illustrious career after she won silver during the 2016 Games in Rio, Brazil.

“The Tokyo Games are special for me since Olympic gold is the only medal I am missing in my career. I am really working extra hard to get it,” said Obiri.

Having competed at both 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Obiri said she learnt from the experience where she won gold in the 12-lap race and placed fifth in 10,000m.

“In 2019 I did not have much experience in the 10,000m but now I can say I know how to handle the race. I think this time I will also have enough time to prepare between the two races,” added Obiri.

As she prepares to make foray in 10,000m, the 31-year-old is set for a mouth-watering clash with world record holder and world champion over the distance Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands respectively.

“Hassan and Gidey are very good athletes but for me I have nothing to worry about since this is a championship, it is all about experience and shape. My target is also to attain a new personal best in the race,” she said.

Obiri will team up with former world cross country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait and world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop in the 5,000m race while in the 10,000m race she will compete alongside former world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and national cross country champion Sheila Chelangat.

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