NAIROBI, Kenya- World 5000m women champion, Hellen Obiri, says she will use the 2018 Athletics Kenya (AK) National Cross Country Championships at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on Saturday to step up training for the World Indoor contest in Birmingham, United Kingdom next month.
It will be the first time that the Olympics silver medalist will be taking part in the National Cross Country Trials with hopes of making it to the Kenya team for the 5th CAA Africa Cross Country Championships in Chlef, Algeria.
“Winning Kenya Defence Forces trials last month boosted my confidence. It gave me assurance that I can do better in the national trials,” Obiri told SportPesa News.
“I’ve been training well here in Kibiko, Ngong. My body is in top shape. I’m positive that I will make it to the Kenya team.
Obiri indicated that her performance at Uhuru Gardens will show her direction to take in terms of training for the 2018 World Indoors Championships.
“My athletics career began at the World Indoors. My first gold in the women’s 3000m (flat) in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012, is still fresh in my mind.
“It will be another nostalgic moment as I head back to the World Indoors this year in England. I will attempt to post another impressive result,” Obiri underlined.
After a splendid performance at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London where she bagged gold in women 5000m contest, Obiri says she is now focused to break a world record in the category.
“Being a world champion has added life in my athletics career. I’m now energized to attempt the impossible in the game,” she stated.
The AK Women Athlete of the Year believes she can overcome the 14:11.15 World Record set by Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba in Oslo, Norway on June 6, 2008 in women’s 5000m if she trains hard enough.
“When I went for the world championships in London last year, everyone thought Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana would carry the day. But I am glad my hard training paid off.
“I ran according to the way we had planned with my coach and manager, staying behind Ayana all throughout the race then beating her with a lively finishing kick.
“Luckily, everything went as planned and I am now a world champion.
“I believe with determination and focus, these tactics will help me to lower Dibaba’s record in the race,” she stressed.
At the same time, Obiri is proud to be among the ten best women athletes who were selected by IAAF to contest for the coveted IAAF Athlete of the Year whose crowning moment was in Monaco, France on November 24.
“I had a great season last year, I won Gold at the world championships on top of the IAAF Diamond trophy.
“Back at home, I was awarded the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)/Star Times’s Sports Personality of the Month Award for being outstanding Kenyan athlete in August and also won the AK athlete of the year, I look forward for a great 2018,” Obiri concluded.
Hellen Obiri’s gold medals
2012: Women’s 3000m (flat) World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey
2014: Women’s 1500m African Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Morocco
2017: Women’s 5000m World Championships in London, England