NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7 – Despite losing her first race outdoors this season in Paris on Friday, Hellen Obiri’s resolve to ascend to Commonwealth glory has not been derailed as she prepares for her Club Games bow in Glasgow.
Furious finishing Sifan Hassan (3:57.00/WL) from Netherlands and America’s Jenny Simpson (3:57.22) showed the World Indoors silver medallist a clean pair of heels at the Ariva DL meeting in France to snap a five-race winning streak but she’s not lost the will to bring home her first senior outdoors gold.
Obiri is motivated to succeed fellow Kenya Defence Forces training partner and mentor, Nancy Jebet Langat as the women 1500m Commonwealth champion to keep the crown ‘home’.
Beijing 2008 gold medallist, Langat also won the 800m title but Obiri is not keen on the double.
“I’m well prepared to run in the Commonwealth Games that I have eagerly waited for since this will be my first time to compete in the event.
“I’m going to represent Jebet and make sure we return the gold back home, I’m targeting to finish first and at least add something in my career,” Obiri told Capital Sport.
The 24 year-old has had a sterling performance this season including setting an African, Diamond League, meet and national record of 8:20.68 as well as the fifth fastest mark of all time in the women 3000m at the DL opener in Doha.
She went on to lead compatriots, Mercy Cherono, Faith Kipyegon and Irene Jelagat to set a world record of 16:33:58 in the women’s 4X1500m at the inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships in Bahamas.
“I’m in a good shape and I believe this is my year to win gold at major competitions after coming close last year at the World Championships where I won bronze.
“We have enough time to prepare, we only pray that we are not affected by injuries and if all goes well, we will come with more medals that what we collected in 2010 since we have a strong team of elite athletes,” Obiri a silver medalist at the Sopot World Indoors in Poland added.
Apart from Obiri, Kenya will be represented by national record holder and twice World junior champion Faith Chepng’etich and Selah Jepleting in the three and three quarter lap race.
Other house hold names that will be making debut in the Club Games include Olympics and World record holder David Rudisha, who opted out of the 2010 edition in the 800m and 4X400m relay team.
Kenya will send 195 athletes in 15 disciplines with rugby 7s the only team sport and Chef de Mission Stephen Arap Soi is optimistic the squad will improve on their 2010 performance where they finished fifth after collecting 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze.
The team is training at the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium before the first batch of rugby, shooting and Judo expected to depart on Sunday.