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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Obiri charged up

Hellen Onsando Obiri of Kenya finish first in Women's 5000 metres heats during  World Athletics Championships in  London Stadium, London, Britain – August 10, 2017
Hellen Onsando Obiri of Kenya finish first in Women's 5000 metres heats during World Athletics Championships in London Stadium, London, Britain – August 10, 2017

All the Kenyans qualified for the 5,000m final to be run on Sunday. Hellen Obiri won the first race in 14:56.70 with Ethiopia’s contender Almaz Ayana in second position (14:57.06) and Senbere Teferi third in 14:57.23.

Sheila Chepkirui Kiprotich finished sixth to also make the qualifying mark. Her time of 14:57.58 was also a personal best.

Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi also made it to the final after she finished fifth in the second race won by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey (14:59.34). Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan was second and Shelby Houlihan of the USA third in 15:00.37.

Obiri, who is viewed here as a big medal prospect, promised to finish on the podium, especially if the race is fast.

“My body responded well. I have done my best and I wanted to be in the final and hopefully win a medal. I will plan to race well on Sunday,” she told reporters.

“I am happy to qualify for the final, hopefully the two will join me, so we can do team work to beat Ethiopians.

“I wanted a fast race as I was keen on doing 15:00, I still have a lot of energy for the Sunday race. As usual, Almaz Ayana will want to run in front, which will be good but only if the race is fast.

“A slow pace will open the race for everybody. We probably need to do 14:30 so that everybody can run her own race. If Ayana will go in front, I will follow her, but I know that I am the best in 400 metres, so I will be on her.

“Last year, I focused more on 1,500m than 5,000 but this year, I am in better form 14:25 my PB last year and 14:18 this year. I am in best form ever. I have been training well in 5,000m,” she said.

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