Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Obiri on title defence mission

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba (R) and Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri (2R) run during the women's 1500 metres first round at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 11, 2013. Obiri is confident of retaining the 3,000m IAAF World Indoor Championships title during the upcoming edition of the games set for Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.AFP/PHOTO

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba (R) and Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri (2R) run during the women's 1500 metres first round at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 11, 2013. Obiri is confident of retaining the 3,000m IAAF World Indoor Championships title during the upcoming edition of the games set for Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.AFP/PHOTO 

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Hellen Obiri is confident of retaining the 3,000m IAAF World Indoor Championships title during the upcoming edition of the games set for Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.

The three-day competition begins on Friday. “I am in good shape, and therefore confident. We must retain the 3,000m title, either through myself or my colleague,” the 24 year old, who finished third in the 1,500m at the World Championships in Moscow last year told Daily Nation Sport.

Obiri, who is one of the eight Kenyan athletes flying the national flag, will be competing alongside compatriot and former World junior outdoor champion Irene Jelagat. The duo will have Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba for company.

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Also in the Kenyan team is world indoor silver medallist Augustin Choge, who will be eyeing the 1,500m title at the event. Others are Viola Kibiwott (1,500m), Jeremiah Mutai (1,500m) and Ndiku Caleb Mwangangi (3,000m).

Abraham Kipyego who is Athletics Kenya’s (AK) Central Rift chairman will lead the delegation.

AK Public Relations Officer, Evans Bosire, meanwhile revealed that the body is of confident of a better performance than in the last two editions staged in Doha in 2010 and Istanbul in 2012 and respectively.

Kenya finished fourth behind USA, Great Britian and Ethiopia during the 2012 edition having collected two gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

Pamela Jelimo  - who will not defend her 800m women’s title this year after she failed to attain the qualifying time - and Obiri earned Kenya her gold medals in the last edition.

The results in Istanbul were an improvement from the previous edition in 2010, when the country finished in 16th position, having won two silver and bronze medals each.

Boaz Kipagat (1,500m) and Vivian Cheruiyot (3,000m) bagged the silver medals. The team departed jetted out at 1:30pm on Tuesday aboard a Qatar Airways flight.

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