NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – Despite registering to compete in the discretionary 5,000m race at Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic, world champion Hellen Obiri is still prepared to dazzle and give her home fans a show at the final stop of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour.
Obiri who has won two races in the short make-up Diamond League calendar is hoping to close her track season on a high and in the capital city as Kenya hosts its first ever senior global event.
“It is such a good thing that Kenya is hosting a global event and as athletes we are happy that we can compete in front of our home fans. They are used to watch us on TV but now at least they can come to the stadium and watch us. It really feels good to finish the season at home,” Obiri told Capital Sport.
Only 6,000 fans will be allowed at the Nyayo National Stadium and race organizers on Thursday announced it will be free entry with tickets availed on first come first served basis.
Obiri has called on athletics fans to ensure they get the tickets and make their way to the newly re-opened Nyayo Stadium to cheer on the Kenyan stars who will line up for the race.
The world champion is hopeful of concluding the season with a win, having had a relatively successful Diamond League campaign with a win each in her favorite 5,000m race in Monaco and last week’s 3,000m win in Doha.
“The 5,000m field is very competitive and I am looking forward to a tough race. In athletics, the most important thing is friendship and competing well,”
“My target is to compete very well on Saturday and competing well means fighting to win the race. I feel very well prepared and I am hopeful that I can get the win and finish the season on a high,” Obiri further stated.
Looking back at the COVID-19-shortened season, Obiri is thankful that at least they managed to race.
“This has been a very tough year for sportsmen because of the coronavirus. But getting back to compete though in few races has been great. I am truly thankful for the races I have gone to and getting to win two is really important for me,” Obiri noted.
She says plans for her new season will be drawn after Nairobi, with hopes that she can get a few more races on the road in December.
Her focus remains going for an Olympic title, the only piece of achievement missing from her decorated hat.