Peerless Hellen Obiri wins 10,000m to book Tokyo Olympics ticket

Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri wins the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, who had finished second in the 5,000m final on Thursday, would win in 30 minutes and 53.60 seconds.
  • Cheptai came in second to qualify for her maiden Olympic Games in 31:06.86.

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri obliterated a rich field to win women's 10,000m final during the Kenyan trials for Tokyo Olympic Games at the Moi International Sports Centre on Saturday.

After running in a pack of eight, Obiri pulled away with nine laps to go dragging along Rosemary Wanjiru, World 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo, National Cross Country champion Sheila Chelangat and 2017 World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai.

Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (right) leads in the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
Hellen Obiri

Hellen Obiri (right)  cruises in the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (centre) leads the pack during the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
Hellen Obiri

Hellen Obiri (centre) leads the pack during the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Gedia Group

Then Chelimo pulled out of the race with five laps to go with Wanjiru throwing in the towel with four laps to he end.
That happened as Obiri swept through to lead by 50m from Cheptai and Chelangat.

Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, who had finished second in the 5,000m final on Thursday, would win in 30 minutes and 53.60 seconds.

Cheptai came in second to qualify for her maiden Olympic Games in 31:06.86.

Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (right) leads during the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Chelangat settled third in 31:10.27 but will now wait to see if she will get the third spot in the team when Athletics Kenya names the team later Saturday.

"I was thinking otherwise but I now look forward to double up in 10,000m and 5,000m. I hope to run well," said Obiri, who doubled up at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships to retain her 5,000m before finishing fifth in 10,000m.

"I didn't have enough experience in Doha but I have learnt the ropes now and know what to do in Tokyo, " said Obiri. "I want an Olympic gold medal now."

Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (right) leads in the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group
Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (centre) leads the pack during the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Cheptai was over the moon after gaining the automatic qualification.

"The field was rich and my comeback after maternity is a good thing for me. I also had a nagging hip injury that had bothered me for long. I am  happy to qualify for my first Olympics. It's a dream come true," said Cheptai.

Irene Cheptai

Irene Cheptai celebrates after finishing second in the women's 10,000m during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers at Kasarani on June 19, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
Hellen Obiri.

Hellen Obiri (centre) leads the pack during the women's 10,000 metres final during the Kenyan trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games on June 19, 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Gedia Group

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