World champ Obiri delays transition to marathon until after Tokyo Olympics

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-08 22:20:03|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will wait until after the Tokyo Olympics to decide if she will transition to the marathon competition.

Obiri, who retained her title at the just concluded World Championships, believes she still has some unfinished business on the track despite failing in her ambitious bid to strike two gold medals at the global track and field championships.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, Obiri said she felt her world crashing when she lost out to Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan in the 10,000m race, but encouragement from her coach and family forced her to contest the 5,000m, which she easily won.

Now the 29-year-old says she will not make any rash decision on taking up marathon full time until after competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I feel some justice done to me after I won the gold in 5,000m. But I will wait until after the 2020 Olympic Games to make any decision about my future competition. I don't know what will follow. I could consider exploring other ideas as well as focusing on my family," said Obiri.

However, Obiri was resolute saying she will compete in a single event at the Olympics to consolidate her energy on winning a gold medal, the only title missing in her illustrious career.

"I have silver and bronze, now I need gold for the Olympics. But it is the 10,000m race that I intend to take part in and hopefully, I will get the reward," she added.

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot, Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) and now Sifan Hassan (the Netherlands) are the only successful women who have doubled at the World Championships and emerged victorious.

"I will concentrate on one event and deliver gold on that front. Maybe I will get a hold in the 10,000m race. Doubling could come with its fair share of risks and I don't want to be over-ambitious. I will play my cards close to my chest. Chances are I could only focus only on 10,000m and see what becomes of it," she said.