Kenya's Obiri to challenge champ Ayana at IAAF London worlds

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-11 20:45:47|Editor: Yurou
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NAIROBI, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri has thrown down the gauntlet to her Ethiopian rivals ahead of their Sunday final when the curtains come down at the IAAF London World Championships.

Obiri, 27, has singled out World 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana as her potential rival and said it will be a tough showdown when the two leading athlete meet.

"The essence of this championship is to run against the best and there is no other platform to get this type of competition if not here in London," said Obiri in a telephone interview on Friday.

However, Obiri insisted that she is under no pressure to deliver the race to Kenya and that she will be running her own way and hope it will be strong enough to defeat the opponents.

"We last met in Rio in the finals and we (together with Vivian Cheruiyot) we beat her. Ayana then got an injury and that has limited her performance this season. We were to meet at the Monaco meeting last month but she was obstructed from competing. This will be our second meeting after battling him in the semi-final on Thursday," said Obiri.

Indeed with the retiring from track of Cheruiyot, it will be Obiri that will carry Kenya's hope. However, there will be no Dibaba sisters Genzebe and Tirunesh from the Ethiopia line-up.

The Kenyan, however, warned her rival from Ethiopia, she is ready to take in her stride anything they will throw towards her path.

"I feel good, I prepared well and I want to do my best on Sunday now. I am in very good form and I am not going to fear anyone. It will be a good race I am sure. Maybe I want a fast race for the final. That shows everyone at their best and makes it a better race. If (Almaz) Ayana goes to the front, I will go with her. It will be interesting to see how she responds. I would not run it from the back," she added.