Kenya's Obiri, Manangoi cleared to compete in 2 events at Doha Worlds

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-17 20:36:27|Editor: mingmei
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NAIROBI, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan champions Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manangoi's dreams of doubling up at the 2019 IAAF World Championships have been boosted after the country's athletics body exempted them from national trials next month.

The two are keen to follow in the footsteps of Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who struck double gold at the 2011 Daegu World Championships.

Cheruiyot became the second woman to win gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m after Tirunesh Dibaba.

Now Obiri seeks to become the third woman to attain the same feat, and Athletics Kenya (AK) has paved the way for her and compatriot Manangoi to go for the double in Doha in October.

"Diamond League winners from 2018 and world champions at London 2017 have gained automatic qualification for the world event," said AK president Jack Tuwei on Wednesday in Nairobi.

Obiri has confirmed her intention to double up in the 5,000m and 10,000m races after reviewing the program in Doha.

Manangoi is also keen to make the most of the championships, and will both defend his 1,500m title and attempt to win gold in the 5,000m.

Both athletes will, however, have to achieve the required qualification standard to secure a green light for the double assault in Doha.

"I want to compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m in Doha but I am yet to know the event I will compete in at the national trials," said Obiri, who is also the African 5,000m champion.

"I opted to skip the last two Diamond League meetings in Lausanne and Monaco to prepare for the London meeting on July 20-21. I don't want to miss the Championship," she said.

Kenya will hold its national trials in Nairobi from August 20 to 22, with the World Championship to be held from September 28 to October 6 in Doha.

Kenya collected 11 medals - five gold, two silver and four bronze - to finish second behind the United States at the previous World Championships held in London in 2017.