Hellen Obiri targets World record, World Indoor titles

Monday November 06 2017

Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri can't hide her joy after winning the final of the women's 5000m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. PHOTO | JEWEL SAMAD | AFP


World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri is planning an assault on the World 5,000m record next season.

Obiri, the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, said she will plan with her manager Ricky Simms on the best venue to break Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba’s nine years and five-months-old world record time of 14 minutes and11.15 seconds.

Dibaba, 27, set the time while winning the 5,000m race in Oslo on June 6, 2008, and the only athlete who came close to breaking the record was compatriot World 5,000 silver medallist 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 all time fifth overall 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.”


Detailing on her plans for next year, Obiri , the Kenya Defence Forces Corporal, said she will attempt to recapture the World Indoor title during the championships in March 1-4 in Birmingham, Britain before focusing on the Commonwealth Games due April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

Obiri won the 2011 World Indoor 3,000m title in Istanbul, Turkey, settled for silver in 2014 Sopot, Poland where Genzebe Dibaba beat her to the top spot.

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

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

Africa’s team will be selected for the Continental Cup due September 8-9 next year in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Obiri is the 2014 Africa 1,500m champion.