12 October 2017

Kenya: Obiri Targets World Record After Splendid 2017

Nairobi — World 5000m champion Hellen Obiri has hinted she will make an attempt of breaking Tirunesh Dibaba's nine-year 14:11.15 record for the 12-and-a-half lap race in the course of the Diamond League in 2018 after enjoying a stellar season this year.

Obiri has a personal best of 14:18.37 set at the Rome stop of the Diamond League in June this year but she believes with her form at the moment, she can bridge the seven minute difference and lower the women's record which has never been held by a Kenyan.

The 27-year old has also hinted she is still considering whether or not to compete for a place in next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia as she weighs up her bid for the record.

"I am looking at the Diamond League next year to see whether I can go for the World Record and that is why I have not yet made a decision on the Commonwealth Games. It is not easy, and I can't promise Kenyans that I will get it. However, I believe I can and I will try," the Rio Olympic Silver Medallist said.

She has just returned to training at her Ngong base after a short post-season recovery and her next assignment is the IAAF World Indoor Championship from March 1-4 next year in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

"I have a wild card and so that is what I am focusing on at the moment. I do enjoy running indoor a lot. Sometimes I think I enjoy it more than outdoor so I will go there and try to win something as well," Obiri who won the 2012 gold in Turkey and 2014 silver in Russia in the 3,000m said.

-StarTimes Sports Personality Award-

Obiri's fantastic season was crowned on Thursday when she was belatedly awarded as the StarTimes/ Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Sports Personality of the month for August, specifically for her scintillating run that saw her clinch the 5000m world title.

She was rewarded with a trophy, a 40-inch StarTimes TV and a Sh100, 000 cash reward.

"I feel very happy to be awarded at home because previously, we have seen only footballers being awarded monthly. I think it is a good motivation for me and probably a good sign of better things to come in Monaco during the IAAF Awards," an excited Obiri told Capital Sport at her training base in Ngong.

She has been shortlisted for the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year Award alongside her rival Almaz Ayana, South Africa's Caster Semenya, high jumper Maria Lasitskene, decathlete Naffisatou Thiam and World 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson.

Also nominated are World discus champion Sandra Perkovic, World long jump champion, Brittney Reese, World pole vault champion Ekaterini Stefanidi and World hammer champion Anita Wlodarczyk.

Obiri has urged Kenyans to turn to their social media accounts and vote for her with the online voting, which makes up 25 percent of the final vote set to close on Sunday night.

To win the StarTimes award, Obiri waded off from Faith Kipyegon (1500m), Geoffrey Kirui (Marathon) and Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase) all who won gold medals in London during the World Championships.

Also shortlisted in the 'heavyweight' August lineup was Wiyeta Girls Secondary School goalkeeper Dianah Tembesi.

Obiri put up a memorable devastating final kick to burn out Ethiopia's Ayana in the final of the 5000m and the memories from that famous run at the London Olympic Stadium, home to West Ham Football Club will always remain in her memory.

"Such races are very tactical and most of the times you need to be very calculative. I knew Ayana loves to lap people and move away early and my strategy was to keep up with her throughout. I knew I have good speed because I am a 1500m runner and I knew once I got to the final lap, it was over for her," a smiling Obiri recalled.

She described her season as a decent one and notes all of it was down to meticulous planning wither manager.

"As StarTimes we want o be a part of sports growth in the country and today we are pleased to be here awarding Obiri who gave joy to the millions of Kenyans who watched her breathtaking race in London," StarTimes head of Marketing and Public Relations Japheth Akhulia said.

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