Obiri turns attention to KDF Championships
What you need to know:
- In Boston, Obiri edged out Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso to second place in 2:21:50 as Kenyan-born Lonah Salpeter of Israel came third in 2:21:57.
- World marathon champion Hiwot Gebremaryam (2:24:30) from Ethiopia finished eighth, while Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei (2:24:44), the 2019 New York City and 2021 London Marathon champion, settled 12th.
After conquering Boston and Manchester, Kenya’s world 10,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri is back in the country for the Kenya Defence Forces Athletics Championships starting Wednesday at Ulinzi Sports Complex.
Obiri, the two-time world 5,000m champion, claimed her maiden World Marathon Majors (WMM) race, clocking a personal best of two hours, 21 minutes and 38 seconds to win the Boston Marathon on April 17.
The victory came five months after she made her maiden grand entry to WMM and marathon with a sixth place finish (2:25:49) at New York City Marathon.
On Sunday, Obiri, the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, returned to England to not only seal her third Great Manchester Run 10km title, but also stage a successful title defence in 31:14.
Obiri, who won the race for the first time in 2019 in 31:23, regained the title last year in a course record time of 30:15, beating the previous record of 30:52 set by Eilish McColgan of Great Britain in 2021.
However, as Obiri landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, she looked for a choice at the Kenya Defence Forces event where she has won the 5,000m title four times, 10,000m once and 1,500m once.
However, one thing that Obiri, the 2017 and 2019 world 5,000m champion is sure about, is taking a break from representing Kenya at the World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 19 to 27 in Buda[pest, Hungary.
Obiri has opted for another WMM event in autumn where she is likely to take another stab at the New York City Marathon on November 5 or go for her maiden run in Berlin on September 24 in the German capital.
“I will probably go for my fifth 5,000m title at the KDF meet, but I have yet to decide if I will go for a double in the 10,000m,”said Obiri, who won the 10,000m crown in 2019.
Obiri has competed in four world championships, winning four medals with her best showing coming in 2017 and 2019 where she bagged the 5,000m gold medals.
She claimed bronze in 1,500m on her maiden world appearance in 2013 Worlds in Moscow and silver in 10,000m from the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States of America last year.
“I am through with track but making Team Kenya for now is not possible because I am still a novice in marathon, having done only two races. I still don’t have enough championship experience in road racing...maybe I should tackle one more major marathon before eying Team Kenya ticket,” said the 33-year-old sergeant, who has been training in Colorado, USA.
Obiri said that winning the Boston Marathon was a big surprise for her, considering the strong and experienced field she came up against.
“But I was in very good shape and chances were always high since I had no pressure, nothing to lose, being my second outing in a marathon, " said Obiri.
In Boston, Obiri edged out Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso to second place in 2:21:50 as Kenyan-born Lonah Salpeter of Israel came third in 2:21:57.
World marathon champion Hiwot Gebremaryam (2:24:30) from Ethiopia finished eighth, while Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei (2:24:44), the 2019 New York City and 2021 London Marathon champion, settled 12th.