INSPIRED

Obiri’s force behind championship record

The 29-year old, who had entered the contest with the fastest time in the season shook off a strong opposition from compatriot Margaret Chelimo, who settled for silver and Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who took home bronze.

In Summary

• Chelimo recorded a personal best of 14:27.47 while the towering German clocked 14:28.23.

•Another Kenyan and former World U-18 3,000m champion Lilian Kasait, finished fifth, also on a personal best of 14:36.05.

Hellen Obiri celebrates after winning the 5,000m title
Hellen Obiri celebrates after winning the 5,000m title
Image: /REUTERS

The compulsion to improve on the fifth-place finish in the 10, 000m inspired Hellen Obiri to successfully defend her 5,000m title at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Obiri clocked a championship record of 14:26.62 to stamp her authority in the 12.5 lap race here at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday night.

The Laikipia Airbase Base athlete misfired in her 10, 000m debut earlier and contemplated giving the title defence a wide berth.

However, the Olympics silver medalist resoundingly led from gun to tape to clinch her second successive gold at the worlds. She had won at the previous championships held at the London Stadium in 2017.

The 29-year old, who had entered the contest with the fastest time in the season shook off a strong opposition from compatriot Margaret Chelimo, who settled for silver and Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who took home bronze.

Chelimo recorded a personal best of 14:27.47 while the towering German clocked 14:28.23. Another Kenyan and former World U-18 3,000m champion Lilian Kasait, finished fifth, also on a personal best of 14:36.05.

“I drew inspiration from the loss and rescinded the decision to not to run in my speciality. My body was a little bit tired but I asked myself why I should leave this year’s edition without a medal."

"I had even decided to try my luck in 2021 but after careful consideration, I had to rethink of my decision,” said Obiri. “During the race, I decided to stay at the front and be the pacemaker at the same time, and I am happy it paid off. It was not easy to run that record without pacemakers.”

With already two world and Commonwealth titles to her name, Obiri said she will take a one-month rest and resume training with her guns trained on next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. She also dropped a strong hint on her ambition to give the 10,000m another shot.

“It’s been a long season for me — national cross country, World cross and Diamond Leagues. I need to take one month off. Maybe I can go and try the 10,000m again the future.”