8 November 2017

Kenya: 5000m Queen Obiri to Scale Up to 10,000m

World 5,000 metres champion Hellen Obiri intends to scale to 10,000m in 2018 Commonwealth Games due April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

If successful, it will be the first time Obiri, who is also the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, will compete in the 25-lap race, having represented Kenya in 1,500m in 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

But first, the Kenya Defence Forces Corporal is looking to recapture the World Indoor title during the championships in March 1-4 in Birmingham, Britain, before shifting her focus to Commonwealth Games.

Obiri, 27, won the 2011 World Indoor 3,000m title in Istanbul, settled for silver in 2014 edition in Poland behind Genzebe Dibaba.

She finished sixth in 1,500m at 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where the reigning Olympic and World 1,500m champion, Faith Chepng'etich, won.

"I want to reclaim by Indoor title before attempting the 10,000m crown at Commonwealth games," Obiri, who also targets to take part in the Africa Senior Championships planned for August 1-5 in Assaba, Nigeria, said on Tuesday.

Obiri explained that she would attempt the World 5,000m record in one of the Diamond League races next season after the record proved elusive this year.

The athlete from Kisii said she would plan with her manager Ricky Simms on the best venue to break Tirunesh Dibaba's world record time of 14 minutes and 11.15 seconds which has stood for nine years and five months.

Dibaba, 27, set the time in victory at the 5,000m race in Oslo on June 6, 2008, and the only athlete who came close to breaking the record was World 5,000 silver medallist, her compatriot Almaza Ayana, who won Rome's Diamond League in 14:12.59 last year.

Obiri, a mother of one, set two world fastest times this year in 5,000m when she won in Shanghai in 14:22.47 on May 13, this year and Rome in 14:18.37 on June 8, this year. Her exploits in Rome were enough to see her break the National Record.

The time is ranked fifth overall all time behind Ethiopians Dibaba, Ayana, Meseret Defar (14:12.88) and Genzebe Dibaba (14:15.41).

"I thank God for a great season and I hope to uphold the same form into the coming season," said Obiri. "It will now be a decade next year since Dibaba set that record. It's about time now someone else held it... that person will be me God willing."

A team from Africa will be selected from the Africa Senior Championships planned for August 1-5 in Assaba, Nigeria for the Continental Cup due September 8-9 next year in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Obiri is the 2014 Africa 1,500m champion.

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