NAIROBI, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Helen Obiri is leading a team of five Kenyans to the final round of the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.
Obiri, who has ruled herself out of contention in the World Cross Country Championships, is seeking to win the overall tour title on the last stop of the five-leg series before returning home for more training ahead of the outdoor season, which starts in May with the Diamond League in Doha, Qatar.
"I have opted for the indoor circuit because I wanted to work on my speed. However, I do not look down on the cross country, but will seek alternative ways to boost my endurance ahead of the Diamond League," she said in Nairobi on Thursday.
Obiri has been in outstanding form, both on the track and on cross country since December. Her only loss in three months competition came in Karlsruhe (Germany) where Britain's Laura Muir, who is seven points behind, beat her over 3000m, but she still has a healthy lead in the points standings.
With Muir contesting the 1000m in Birmingham, Obiri's toughest challenge will come from world indoor 1,500m champion Sifan Hassan, world indoor 3,000m bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury and world indoor 1500m silver medallist Dawit Seyaum.
But on the men's side, Silas Kiplagat will be seeking to redeem his career after series of injuries as he takes on his compatriot Bethwel Birgen.
The duo will be seeking to clinch this season's World Indoor Tour titles and boost their preparations for the outdoor campaign.
There will be three Kenyans going for the battle for points. Birgen, who won in Torun (Italy), Karlsruhe winner Kiplagat and Boston runner-up Vincent Kibet are all within touching distance of the series victory.
Kiplagat and Birgen both have amassed 20 points after the first four rounds and whoever finishes first in Birmingham will walk away with the title.
However, the two runaway leaders could be usurped if anyone between Elijah Manang'oi (17 points) and Vincent Kibet (15 points) wins the race and both Birgen and Kiplagat finish outside the top two.