A TALL ORDER

Obiri unsure of double charge at Oregon despite favourite tag

Despite dominating the women's 10,000m, the two-time world 5000m wants to concentrate on defending her title at the World Championship.

In Summary

•Obiri timed 31:49.88 to cross the finish line first at Moi Stadium, Kasarani

•Mary Moraa was in seventh heaven after cruising to victory in the women’s 800m

•Another athlete who went home with a grin on his face was World Under 20 3000m steeplechase champion Amos Serem

World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri in action with other athletes during the women's 10000m final at Moi Stadium,Kasarani.
World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri in action with other athletes during the women's 10000m final at Moi Stadium,Kasarani.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Double world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri says she will not double in the 5,000m and 10,000m despite storming to victory in the latter race at the national trials for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. 

Obiri timed 31:49.88 at Moi Stadium, Kasarani, ahead of 2016 Africa 5,000m champion Sheila Chepkirui (31:50.13) and world 5,000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo (31:50.22). 

"I am not sure if I want to run in both races in Oregon. I just came here to try out in the 10,000m because that is a good thing. Doubling up in both races at the World Championships will be a tall order considering I have also run in a lot of road races this year," the double Olympic 5,000m silver medalist said. 

Obiri was in top form at Kasarani in a star-studded race, which also comprised newly-crowned Africa 10,000m champion Caroline Nyaga, former world cross country champion Irene Cheptai and former World U18 2000m steeplechase silver medallist Sandrafelis Chebet. 

Despite fulfilling the favourites' tag, Obiri conceded the race was not a walk in the park. 

"The race was tough. My opponents did not give me an easy time but I had come to try my luck, it's always good to try. I am going to do my level best in Oregon," she said.

At the same time, Mary Moraa was in seventh heaven after cruising to victory in the women’s 800m, defeating two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon. 

Moraa clocked 1:57.45 as Kipyegon timed 1:58.18 to finish second, ahead of Africa 800m champion Jarinter Mawia (2:00.36). 

Moraa said the win has boosted her charge for a first medal on the international stage. 

"After my poor run at the national championships, I had to rethink and retrace my steps. My victory at the Rabat Diamond League really energised me and encouraged me to intensify my training upon return home," she said. 

"I wouldn't want to pre-empt and say that I will win a medal but I am working hard to ensure I come back with a good result. My coach and I have come up with a solid training plan and I am confident of good returns." 

Another athlete who went home with a grin on his face is World Under 20 3,000m steeplechase champion Amos Serem, who won a star-studded water-and-hurdles race. 

Serem timed 8:17.03, ahead of 2016 African bronze medalist Abraham Kibiwott (8:17.79) and world champion Conseslus Kipruto (8:18.21) in second and third respectively. 

"After I clinched the World Under 20 title, the next step was to make it to the World Championships. Admittedly, at one point I was fearful that this dream would not materialise but I am happy all my hard work has paid off," Serem said. 

He admitted the pressure will definitely be on him as Kenya bids to avenge for last year's Tokyo Olympics when Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali ran away with gold — the first time in 53 years the country has missed out on the title. 

"I know there will be pressure but I think, with teamwork, we can reclaim our lost glory as a country. We need to improve on our speed,  especially in the last lap where the likes of Girma (Lamech) and Bakkali have been giving us a hard time," he said. 

In the women's 1,500m, newly-crowned Africa 1500m champion Winnie Chebet ruled in 4:11.21, ahead of Edinah Jebitok (4:11.87) and World Under 20 Purity Chepkirui (4:11.96) in second and third respectively. 

Olympic 800m champion Emmanuel Korir reigned supreme in the men's 400m, clocking 44.87,  ahead of Boniface Mweresa (45.79) and Kennedy Kimeu (46.38) in second and third. 

The trials continue on Saturday.