World champ Obiri's injury forces her out of competition

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-14 22:10:15|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Feb.14 (Xinhua) -- World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri has sustained a back injury and faces a race against time to be fit ahead of the new season that starts in April.

Speaking in Nairobi, Obiri says she felt a strong pain in Seville, Spain in January where she was competing in cross country. She was cautious and has pulled out of all other competitions to focus on her rehabilitation.

The Olympic silver medalist added that she wants to regain her fitness before she can commit to any future events.

"Of course my dream is to be fit for the Olympics. That is why I have taken a deliberate decision to stay away from competition and give my body the chance to recuperate. I don't want to exert any undue pressure on my back to aggravate the right hamstring," Obiri said on Friday in Nairobi.

With the Diamond League starting on April 17 in Doha, Obiri is hopeful to be ready to gauge her body.

However, should she miss the tour of Qatar, the 30-year-old is certain to be ready for action by the time Nairobi hosts the first round of the World Athletics Continental Tour on May 2.

Obiri was due to compete for her unit in Saturday's Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) Cross Country meeting in Nairobi.

But she will stay away as World Half Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and Dorcas Kimeli, Irene Kamais, Perin Nenkampi and Caroline Jeptoo face off.

"I was up for the KDF event but I felt some pain in my back through to my right hamstring during the warm-up session. I had to pull out," Obiri told reporters in Nairobi.

Other top names expected in the local meeting include Former World Half Marathon champions Peris Jepchirchir and Gladys Cherono, the former Berlin Marathon winner.

Obiri has remained guarded on her targeted assault of the Tokyo Olympics after her failed bid to win a double at the World Championships in Doha.

She has insisted on competing in the traditional 5,000m race, but she can also try her luck in the 10,000m race.