Tokyo — After retaining her 5000m Olympic silver medal, magnificent Helen Obiri says she has unfinished business with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games that are being held in unprecedented period owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obiri believes she still has a realistic chance of racking up gold in the Women's 10,000m final, noting that the title will be a good stepping stone towards her marathon aspiration.
"I may have settled for silver in the 5000m final but, I have my eyes firmly set on the 10,000m gold. That will at least hand me the elusive Olympic gold in long distance running. Competition will come from the Ethiopian because she will come in fresh while myself and Sifan we have ran," Obiri, the two-time world champion said.
"The race was tough. I really tried to push but that's the best I could do under the circumstances. I honestly believe there was nothing more we could do to save the situation."
Obiri says she anticipated cutthroat competition from the strong field of runners lined up for the final.
"Everyone wanted to be on the podium today. For me, I am content given the challenges we have faced in the run up to the Games. I felt good going into the race. Now I have no pressure of going to run in the 10,000m race; so today was a good dress rehearsal," Obiri added.
Obiri also revealed that going into road races affected her performance.
"You need like two months to catch up and build on speed again. This kind of impeded my run; It was too late to recover. But finally, I would say I have reached where I wanted to."
-10,000m gold rush-
Obiri says many had written her off due to age issues, but she says she was able to prove them wrong.
"The race was slow and for me I find it hard to run when it's that slow so we waited for the last 400m and I think that's why Hassan (Sifan) was able to sweep the ground with us all. She is really good in kicking."
"All in all, I have not lost hope. I still have my race plan for the 10,000m; maybe I may be the victor-who knows? As you well know, it's nobody's race and I'm going to work hard to try and deliver gold for my country."
"Next year I am going to focus more on 10,000 and 21km races. Many had written me off but the silver medal has proven them wrong."