Obiri plans strong finish at DL finale in Zurich
Two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri will be eyeing a third Diamond League trophy as she ends her glittering track career at the Diamond League series on the finals set for Tuesday evening in Zurich, Switzerland.
The two-day finals is the culmination of a rigorous 2021 campaign that saw athletes battle it out in 12 cities beginning with Gateshead in May and ending in Brussels last week.
Obiri who bagged Diamond League titles in 2017 and 2018 will be hoping to reclaim her title she lost to Sifan Hassan in last year’s campaign.
The 31-year-old who remains as the pre-race favourite admitted to feeling some pressure ahead of the showdown where she will face off with some 10 women.
“It will be like a championship since it is a race that anybody can win. It is true there is some pressure on my side as there are many young athletes who are coming up while age is catching up with me. I am going to focus and give out my best and above all it is going to be my final event in the Diamond League,” said Obiri.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist revealed that she will be heading to road races next season as she explores the next phase of her career.
“After 11 years in track I feel that has not been an easy task and I am excited to venture into another phase of my career. I think it is the right time to move on although I will really miss the track,” said Obiri.
Obiri will be joined by compatriots Beatrice Chebet, Lilian Kasait, Eva Cherono and Margaret Chelimo.
The Kenyans will face stiff competition from Burundi’s Francine Ninyonsaba who recently beat Kenyans at the Brussels meeting last week.
The in-form Niyonsaba said she is eager to get her first Diamond League title but is wary of Obiri’s strength and experience in the 12-lap race.
“Kenya is the home of champions in the long distance races and I am happy to be competing in the finals alongside Obiri which is really a great honour for me,” said Niyonsaba.
In the men’s 5000m the Kenyan quartet of Nicholas Kimeli, Michael Kibet, Jacob Krop and Bethwell Birgen will battle it out for the top honours.
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