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September 24, 2018

Obiri shows class: World 5,000m champion keen on Africa Championships and World Cup this season

Hellen Obiri of Kenya celebrates winning the women's 5000m final of the IAAF Athletics Diamond League meeting at Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy, June 8, 2017. /REUTERS
Hellen Obiri of Kenya celebrates winning the women's 5000m final of the IAAF Athletics Diamond League meeting at Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy, June 8, 2017. /REUTERS

World and Commonwealth Games 5,000 metres champion Helen Obiri clocked 14:48.5 to cruise to victory in her speciality at the Kenya Defence Forces Championships at Moi, Kasarani Stadium yesterday

Obiri ran a tactful race, staying in the pack in the opening three laps with Doris Changeiywo leading at the front. Obiri then surged to the front after the fourth lap and never looked back as she opened a gap of 40 metres to seal the race in a sluggish time of 14:48.5.

Joyline Koima was a distant second in 15:03.6 with Gladys Kimana third in 15:06.8. Peninah Kandie (15:16.2) and Iness Chenonge (15:19.5) completed the top five places respectively with Linet Chepkurui placing sixth in 15:30.2.

Obiri was delighted with the victory and hopes to make the team for the Africa Championships as well as the World Cup in London in July.

“For me, the Africa Championship is a good opportunity. I have never won the 5,000 meters at continental level and that is why I am relishing to compete in both events,” he added.

Obiri said she expects her form to improve after finishing third in the Diamond League meeting in Eugene a fortnight ago, behind Genzebe Dibaba and World Half Marathon champion Gidey Letsenebet.

“My form will improve in due course. We still have a couple of Diamond League races coming up and I hope to be in peak condition by the time we have the Africa Championships in August,” she added.

Eric Kiptanui bagged the men’s 10,000 metres crown by clocking 28:17.1 with Leonard Oloitiptip second in 28:21.4. Eric Tirop took the final podium position in 28:22.8. Stephen Arita (28:26.8) and Navy’s Emmanuel Kipsang (28:39.1) wrapped up the five top positions.

World 5,000 metres finalists Cyrus Rutto stormed to victory in the first heat of the 5,000 meters when he clocked 13:50.0. Vedick Cheruiyot finished a close second, posting 13:50.1 while Peter Ndegwa was third in 13:50.6. Franklin Ngelel was fourth in 13:50.7. Simon Njuguna won the second heat after posting 14:00.00 ahead of John Kiptanui (14:01.0) and Charles Karanja (14:01.6).

James Magut romped to the final of the 1,500m after winning his heat in 3:47.1. Collins Koros (3:47.4) and Dennis Kilee (3:47.7) followed in that order. Laban Kiplimo took the second heat by posting 3:47.4 with Raput Saresi (3:47.7) and Vincent Leting (3:48.0) in toe.

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