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Obiri returns to fine form with WL in Rabat

Hellen Obiri powering through in Rabat

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 13 – World champion Hellen Obiri returned to her super form after fueling through in the women’s 5000m, setting a World Leading time of 14:21.75 at the Rabat IAAF Diamond League meet on Friday night.

Obiri, who had a slow season start, out classed a deep field the included Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and compatriot Agnes Tirop to clinch the win in a scintillating fashion.

Obiri, the Olympic silver medallist unleashed the after burners with 200m to go, outkicking Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey as she pumped hard to swing into the straight to cross the line first.

Sifan, who stick with the leading five pack till the bell, had a great finish but could not match the flying legs of the quick Kenyan to settle for second in a time of 14:22.34 while Gidey was third in 14:23.14.

World Cross County champion Agnes Tirop came fifth in a Personal Best time of 14:24.24 ahead of pre-race favourite Dibaba who clocked 14:42.98, fading to sixth.

With the pace makers dropping out after doing a fantastic job, the lead group took off, controlled by Senbere followed by Obiri, Tirop, Gidey, Hassan and Dibaba in that order.

However, as the pace increased, Dibaba began to tire dropping behind with 1500m remaining as Obiri hit the front. The Commonwealth Games champion led the pack through 4000m in 11:37.

Obiri, who looked comfortable in the lead group throughout, made a break on the bell lap, with Sifan hanging behind her shoulder waiting to kick since she is good at it in the 1500m but it wasn’t against the Kenyan who proved to be the more stronger to condemn Sifan to second thigh in a European record.

It was a sweet victory for Obiri who proved doubters wrong since there were question marks over her form coming into this race, as the last time she competed on the Diamond League circuit, in Eugene, she was well beaten by her old adversary Dibaba.