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Obiri sets sight on Doha

Recently crowned world cross country champion leads a galaxy of stars in Doha

In Summary

• The world and Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Conselsus Kipruto, will renew his rivalry with Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.

•Korir faces a stern test in the two-lap race where he will be up against Botswana’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos.

World 5,000 metres champion Helen Obiri
World 5,000 metres champion Helen Obiri
Image: File

World 5,000 metres champion Helen Obiri leads a stellar cast to the Doha Diamond League meeting next month.

Obiri is fresh from winning the World Cross Country Championship senior women's title last month in Denmark.

The feat saw her become the first athlete – man or woman – to win titles at the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Relays.

Obiri will contest the 3,000 metres event in Doha. Obiri will be looking to start her track campaign on a high as she builds up for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha from September 27 to  October 6.

“Of course I have great memories of Doha,  where I set my African 3000m record of 8:20.68 in 2014,” she said.

“I am excited to race in the Khalifa International Stadium next month and I also look forward to returning for the World Championships later this year when I plan to contest both the 5,000m and 10,000m.”

Obiri is unbeaten so far in 2019 but her winning streak will be put to the test in Doha, where she will be up against world indoor record-holder Genzebe Dibaba, winner of the 3000m at the past three World Indoor Championships.

Obiri also faces opposition from teammates Caroline Kipkirui – who won in Doha 12 months ago in 8:29.05 – as well as world steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and 2017 world cross-country champion Agnes Tirop.

The world and Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Conselsus Kipruto, will renew his rivalry with Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.

The two were involved in one of the most dramatic and unforgettable races of 2018 in Zurich where Kipruto overhauled El Bakkali on the home straight to clinch the Diamond League title – 8:10.15 to 8:10.19 – despite losing his left spike in the second lap.

"That was a victory I will never forget,” said Kipruto. “I had a lot of pain on my left foot but I fought until the end."

"I am looking forward to opening my track season here in Doha where I expect another tough race against Soufiane. My main goal in 2019 is to defend my title at the World Championships but I want to start my track season with a victory here.”

The line-up also features fellow Kenyans Amos Kirui, Benjamin Kigen and Leonard Bett along with Ethiopia’s Chala Beyo, who won the steeplechase in Doha last year when it was a non-scoring event.

In the men's 800 meters Emmanuel Korir will be seeking to repeat his heroics of last year when he won in Doha.

Korir faces a stern test in the two-lap race where he will be up against Botswana’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos– the joint third fastest 800m runner in history – who handed Korir his sole defeat of 2018 at the African Championships in Asaba.

World 1,500 meters champion Elijah Manangoi face straining partner Timothy Cheruiyot, Ronald Kwemoi, and younger brother George in the event.