The Star (Nairobi)

2 August 2013

Kenya: Obiri Fired Up

World 1,500m indoor champion Hellen Obiri is confident this month's World Championships in Moscow will provide her a chance to redeem herself after two failed attempts.

Obiri's first attempt at the 2011 Daegu World Championships resulted in a stumble after being tripped by fellow competitors. She only manage an 11th place finish despite entering the race as one of the favourites. This was to be repeated at the 2012 London Olympic Games where she finished 12th.

However, she believes her exposure over the time has made her a better runner heading to Moscow and will use to her advantage as she looks for a major title.

She believes she is the one to break the country's 13-year search for the title. "I think I am a more complete athlete right now," said Obiri.

"I made mistakes - running in the inner lane - but trust me this will not happen again. I was not as experienced as the rest of field but this time I feel I am in a better place to win a medal."

"I have changed my tactics a great deal and certainly, those falls will not be there this time. I don't want to think of falling again as I am looking beyond reaching the final."

Obiri observed that her personal best of 3:58 also works best for her since it is one of the best times. She added that the comeback made by Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Lagat will add the much needed impetus to their title hunt in Moscow. "I know she has a lot of experience and I am certain we will forge a good team as we fight for the title," Obiri said of Lagat who is making a return after shaking off a nagging knee injury.

The duo will be joined by national record holder Faith Chepngetich who reached the semi-finals in London. She holds the national record of 3:56.58.

She, however, said the Ethiopians, North Africans, Russians and Turks will be their greatest threat. "We are ready for them. We will do our best in fighting for that medal," she observed.

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