Hellen Obiri wins at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus
The world 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri became the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. The only man to achieve such a feat is Kenenisa Bekele.
“It is really special,” smiled Obiri after completing the 10.24km course in 36:14. “It was my debut IAAF World Cross Country Championships and my only chance to do it. I now don't need to do any more cross country.”
Obiri arrived in Aarhus in good form, having clocked 29:59 for 10km at the end of December and winning at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Elgoibar in January and at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships last month.
The 29-year-old had clearly also thought about her tactics ahead of this weekend. She led the race from the early stages and could be seen visibly leaning into the hill as she tackled the climb up the Moesgaard Museum roof on each lap.
“I thought you must look down, as you don't want to look up to see where you are going and at how difficult the hill is,” she revealed of her technique. “I knew it wasn't going to be a test of speed, as it was a tough hill. It was all about mind games.”
At the end of the second of five laps, a group of five had already broken away, led by Obiri in 14:16, with sub-2:22 marathon runner Dera Dida, world U20 steeplechase silver medallist Peruth Chemutai, steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and two-time world U20 cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey in close procession.
posted Saturday March 30th