Kenyan athletes Obiri, Korir relish IAAF Continental Cup challenge, eye faster times

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-04 23:09:06|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- World and Africa 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya believes she can do even better at the IAAF Continental Cup, which will be held in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Sept. 18-19.

Obiri, 27, who is coming back from illness and fitness loss, obliterated the opposition to clinch Kenya's first gold at the Africa Championships, but believes she could have done even better had it not been the poor organization that saw her miss two days of training ahead of the championships.

Now she is eyeing an attempt to run close to the world record set by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba 14:11.15.

Last year, the Kenyan clocked the fastest time in the world of 14:18.37, which is just six second off the world mark.

"It will be a hard race knowing that all championships lacks pace setters. So I plan to prepare more over the next few weeks," Obiri told Xinhua on Saturday.

Her winning time of 15:47.18 at the Africa Championships was ten seconds less than her closest rival Ethiopian Senbere Teferi Sora (15:56.48) and Meskerem Mamo who clocked 15:57.38 for bronze.

But now the Kenyan wants to improve her ante in Ostrava, which will be the last race this season before taking a deserved rest.

"This season I started early with the indoor circuit, but it did not go well for me at the World Indoor championships in Birmingham. I lost speed owing to lack of iron in my body, but I have been working on it and I am now back to almost my full potential," said the Kenyan.

The Olympic silver medalist believes the Kenya team will weather the storm and be able to dominate the final two days of the continental championships as they eye to beat their mark from the 2016 championships in Durban, South Africa where the country won 24 medals - eight gold, eight silver and eight bronze - to finish third behind South Africa and Nigeria.

Meanwhile, this year's fastest 800m runner Emmanuel Korir says he is contended with his silver medal from the Africa Championships after losing to Nigel Amos of Botswana.

Korir, who clocked 1:42.05 in London two weeks ago believes she will do better at the IAAF Continental Cup, which picks the best two athletes across the finish line.