Obiri, Gidey set for Doha showdown

Chief writerathletics Two- time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will face off with world 5,000m record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia over 3,000m at the Doha Diamond League slated for May 28. It will be the first clash between the pair since Obiri defeated Gidey over 5,000m at the 2020 Monaco Diamond League. Obiri, the world cross-country champion set a Kenyan 3,000m record of 8:20.68 in Doha in 2014, and also won over the same distance at the Doha Diamond League in 2019 and 2020. Gidey smashed the world 5,000m record in Valencia last year, clocking 14:06.62 and although Obiri leads their career head-to-head record at 9-5, Gidey has finished ahead of Obiri twice in Doha: at the 2018 Diamond League meeting and at the 2019 World Championships over 10,000m. It will be the first track appearance this season for Obiri who made her  debut over half marathon last month in Istanbul. “After my half marathon debut I’m looking forward to getting back on the track, especially at the Doha Diamond League meeting where I will be going for my fourth 3,000m win. I ran the Kenyan record there in 2014 and the second-fastest 3,000m in my career there last September. Obiri, who is aiming for her maiden Olympic gold medal said she is using the series in her preparations for the Summer Games. “Doha is also the place where I won my last world title in 2019, but this year it is all about the Olympic Games as that is the only major gold medal that I’m missing and I’m working hard to change that this year. The 3000m and 5000m races are very competitive at the moment and I expect we will see some fast times in the next few months and in Tokyo,” said Obiri. Similarly, Gidey who will be making her first appearance since smashing the world record said she is also seeking to build momentum ahead of the Olympics. “I’m happy to start my season in Doha. It will be my first race as a world record-holder and I feel excited to see where I am in terms of condition. It will be a very important stepping stone towards the Olympic Games later in the season,” said Gidey. The Doha meeting is the second leg of the 2021 Diamond League season which is set to kick off on May 23 in Gateshead, England.

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