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Articles tagged #Hellen Obiri
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Hellen Obiri ponders plans for Olympics and beyond

Hellen Obiri came close to walking away from the sport eight years ago.

The Kenyan, aged 22 at the time, was so disappointed with her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games, she considered quitting there and then. She had won the world indoor 3000m title earlier that year and went on to improve her 1500m PB to 3:59.68 at the start of the outdoor season, making her one of the fastest women on the startline for the Olympic final.

But she finished right at the back of the field in 12th place – later upgraded to eighth following the disqualification of four athletes from that race – and was unable to explain what had gone wrong.

Thankfully, however, she soon got over the disappointment and her career has gone from strength to strength.

She is now the only woman in history to have won world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. One medal is missing from her collection, though.

“I’ve won a lot but I’m not yet there,” she says. “Olympic gold is the only medal that's missing from my collection.

“At the start of the year we were training for the Olympics in 2020 but then of course we received the sad news that there would be no Olympics this year,” she added. “It’s hard to put your dreams on hold for another year when you wanted to achieve something good, but we have to be patient and train hard for 2021. The pandemic has affected the whole world. All we can do now is look ahead to 2021.”

Had the Games gone ahead this year, the 30-year-old would have been one of the big favourites over 5000m, the event in which she won world titles in 2017 and 2019. She has raced just three times on the track so far in 2020, but produced world-leading times in two of those appearances.

The 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting was her season opener and she won convincingly in 14:22.12, the fourth-fastest time of her career. Just earlier this week, in a high-quality 3000m that she described as being “like a championship final”, she triumphed again in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the outdoor African record of 8:20.68 on the same track in Doha.

In a year with no major championships and with world rankings and Olympic qualifying suspended, performances in 2020 may not count for much. But Obiri has sent a clear message to her competitors that, even in an off year like this one, she is hard to beat. And she will be an even more formidable opponent in an Olympic year.

“I have one more race in Nairobi (at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting on 3 October), then I’ll take a break and start to prepare for the Olympics,” she said. “I hope to do even better in 2021.”

(09/28/2020) Views: 99 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Hellen Obiri won the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha

With about 90 seconds to go in the women’s 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday (25), it looked as though Hellen Obiri would register a rare defeat in the Qatari capital.

Little more than 24 hours earlier, the world cross-country champion from Kenya had explained how Doha was one of her favourite cities to race in, having set her 3000m PB here in 2014 and retained her world 5000m title last year in the Khalifa Stadium.

But when world steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech breezed into the lead with about 550 metres left in tonight’s 3000m race, Obiri kept her cool for another 200 metres before she unleashed her trademark kick for home, eventually winning in a world-leading 8:22.54.

The field of 15 women, loaded with world and Olympic medallists, was paced through the first kilometre in 2:48.46. Obiri and Chepkoech were tucked behind the pacemaker with world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop and world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi also near the front of the tightly-bunched pack.

After the pacemaker dropped out at the 1600m point, Obiri led the pack and reached 2000m in 5:39.70, the pace having slowed slightly. Eight women were still in contention with two laps to go with Obiri, Chepkoech, Tirop and Kipkemboi still occupying the first four places.

Chepkoech made her move as she entered the home straight for the penultimate time, but Obiri responded with about 350 metres remaining, her head rocking and arms fighting, as is often her style at the end of races.

Tirop and Chepkoech made up some ground in the final stages, but Obiri held on to win in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the 8:20.68 African outdoor record she set on this track six years ago.

The next five women to cross the line were all rewarded with PBs. Tirop and Chepkoech finished second and third respectively, both timed at 8:22.92, while Kipkemboi (8:24.76) and 2015 world steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng (8:25.13) were fourth and fifth. For the first time in history, seven women finished inside 8:27.

“Doha has become like a second home to me as I've won so many races here, including the World Championships last year,” said Obiri. "The season has not been the best for everyone but I am happy it is coming to an end."

(09/26/2020) Views: 105 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Hellen Obiri will experience the next-best thing when she takes to the start line for the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday

In a year without any major international championships, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri will experience the next-best thing when she takes to the start line for the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday (25).

“It’s going to be like a championship race,” she said when asked about the quality of the field.

In fact, it’s arguably a higher standard than a championship race, because it brings together medalists in four different events from last year’s World Championships and isn’t limited to just three athletes per nation as would be the case at most championships.

World steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech, world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop and world 1500m bronze medalist Gudaf Tsegay are just some of the other standout names set to take part.

But Obiri, who won over 5000m at last month’s Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, feels confident.

“I've trained well, and when I train well I have no doubts in a race,” said the world cross-country champion. “Whenever I line up for a race, I'm focused on doing my best. I don't feel the pressure. Maybe I'll do something special.

“I've always enjoyed racing in Doha,” she added. “In 2014 I set my PB over 3000m (8:20.68), and last year I won the World Championships here. I like racing here because it's favorable to me.”

(09/24/2020) Views: 73 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Conseslus Kipruto are planning to raise the bar in the 800m and 1,500m respectively at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday

The world and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Kipruto, who missed the opening leg of Diamond League series in Monaco in August after testing positive for COVID-19, will return to action after shaking off the virus.

However, the 25-year-old Kipruto will be competing in an unfamiliar event in Doha, when he takes on compatriot Brimin Kipruto, Vincent Kibet and Bethwell Birgen in the men's 1,500m event.

"I am glad to have been declared fit to compete after missing the opening leg of the series. I am also excited to compete in the 1,500m, I am really looking forward to running the shorter distance on Friday," Kipruto, who boasts a personal best of 3:39.57 in the 1,500m told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Cheruiyot, the world 1,500m champion, will race over 800m. The 24-year-old has a personal best of 1:43.11 in the event from August 2019 during the Kenyan national championships in Nairobi.

He clocked an impressive 3:28.45 to win the 1,500m in Monaco, just four one-hundredths of a second outside his lifetime best.

Cheruiyot will contest the event with fellow Kenyans including the world 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich and Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal.

Both Kinyamal and Rotich boast personal bests of 1:43.12 and 1:42.54 respectively in the 800m.

"It's good to try other events, but I haven't run an 800m event outside Kenya and I will be happy to register good times and compete against the events specialist," Cheruiyot told Xinhua.

There will be an exciting lineup in the women's 3,000m. The event will consist of Kenyan quartet Hellen Obiri and Beatrice Chepkoech, 2019 world champions over 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase respectively, in addition to Olympic 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng, and world 5,000m runner-up Margaret Chelimo.

The world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop of Kenya will also spice up the 3,000m event.

After running 2:29.15 for the 1,000m in Monaco, narrowly missing the world record in the process, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the Olympic 1,500m champion will return to her specialty, the 1,500m.

(09/22/2020) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Why young Kenyan Sandra Chebet cannot wait for London Marathon?

It’s baffling that, at just 22 years of age, Sandrafelis Chebet has fallen in love with road running.

Ideally, one would expect her to gain some track experience from the middle distance to the 10,000 meters before hitting the asphalt.

The dearth of Kenyan talent in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, with just Hellen Obiri to bank on, means Kenyan coaches needed to have enticed the likes of Chebet to work on the track, hoping to stop the potentially dangerous streak by Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan that could threaten Kenya’s gold medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Nonetheless, the 2015 World Under-18 Championships silver medalist in the 2,000 meters steeplechase hopes that her enlisting to pace the women’s lead group at next month’s London Marathon will motivate her to bigger things.

Chebet has been tasked with pacing for the lead group of women in London who include world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei, world champion Ruth Chepng’etich, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Nation Sport caught up with Chebet at Lemotit Athletics Camp in Londiani, Kericho County, where she said her featuring in a major marathon will help improve her performance.

“I’m lucky to have been selected as one of the ‘rabbits’ who will be pacing for the lead group in London,” she said.

“It’s a tough task, but I will do my best to make sure I deliver good results,” said Chebet who is under the Italy-based Rosa Associati management, the same stable as Kosgei and Chepng’etich.

Chebet admitted that when the coronavirus struck, everything came to a standstill and with the closure of training camps, she decided to continue her training following the guidelines from the ministry of health of social distancing.

“It was tough training in a group of three or less but I’m happy because I was not discouraged knowing that the virus will be contained and competitions will resume.

“I went on with my training and with the big assignment ahead, I will do what I can to deliver,” she said.

She praised her training partner Beatrice Chebet, who is also the World Cross Country Championships’ junior title holder, for her assistance in speed work session.

“Beatrice has been of great help to me because she has good techniques in finishing which is good for an athlete, and I have been always ready to listen from her,” added Chebet who has a half marathon personal best time of 68:14.

Still only 22, Chebet looks forward to graduating to the full marathon in future and believes that pacing the best athletes in the world in London gives her the much needed drive.

She looks at it as a learning experience.

“I have participated in various half marathon races and by next year, I will be shifting to the full marathon where I want to register my name as one of the best in the distance, but I have to start slowly before becoming a world beater,” she added.

She said her mentors are Kosgei and Cheruiyot who make her work hard as she seeks to venture into marathon races and build up from there.

With silver medals at the World Under-18 Championships (steeplechase, Cali, Colombia), Africa Under-20 Championships (5,000m, 3,000m, Tlemcen, Algeria) and a 3,000m bronze at the Africa Under-20 Championships (3,000m, Addis Ababa), Chebet hopes to graduate to become the golden girl of distance running.

(09/17/2020) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Kenyan Ruth Chepng'etich, is the world champ that trains without coach

Ruth Chepng’etich kept postponing the interview but it was quite understandable considering the Covid-19 contagion in the country.

There have been no sporting activities in the country since March this year after the government instituted measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus following the first case in the country.

By Saturday, Kenya had reported 35,969 cases with 22,771 recoveries and 619 deaths from the disease.

We checked into Vapor ground, Ngong, Kajiado County, where she had directed us and found her warming down after her morning workout in readiness for the delayed London Marathon due on October 4.

The diminutive athlete was alone.

On a normal day, Vapor ground could be teeming with elite and the not so serious athletes going through their paces.

Though well-kept, the place looked like a ghost arena...thanks to Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings and social distancing.

Only a handful of athletes were working out separately at the venue but observing strict Covid-19 guidelines.

Well, many top athletes whether in athletics or other sporting disciplines can barely perform without the input of a coach.

They will go to greater lengths to hire or take along their coaches to major championships so that they reap the benefits of the “second eyes” to the maximum.  

Majority of professional athletes have made it big after aping or getting inspired either by family members or friends, who were great sportsmen or women in a particular event.

However, there are always unique cases where some sportsmen and women are self-made right. Some have gone on to perform well at the highest level without a coach.

Chepng’etich is one of them.

The only time she had a coach, briefly, was when she was still in Kericho before shifting her base to Ngong in Kajiado County in 2015, a move that would toss her into a roller coaster of athletics achievements.

She has never thought about engaging a coach since setting foot in Ngong, an area that has produced some of Kenya’s top athletes like World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri.

It would sound strange but self-coaching and group training are what have unleashed the best in the 26-year-old Chepng’etich and the best is yet to come through.

Within four years of moving to Ngong, she already has a world title and is ranked the fourth fastest women in marathon history, an accomplishment most female athletes can just but dream about.

(09/14/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot unstoppable in the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot stamped his authority to seal his season’s double with an emphatic front-running victory in the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday.

World 800m bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich might not have been lucky yet, but staged an improved performance to finish fourth as compatriots, Continental Cup 1,500m champion Winny Chebet and World 5,000m title holder Hellen Obiri failed to click in their respective races.

Nine days after clocking a world lead of three minutes and 28.45 seconds in Monaco, missing a personal best by four seconds, Cheruiyot timed 3:30.25 this time around in the Swedish capital.

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen once again played second fiddle, finishing second in 3:30.74 as Australian Stewart Mcsweyn dug in for third in personal best 3:31.48.

“It was a bit windy, but the pace was good and I am pleased with my win today. We are travelling around many countries but we are following all precautions and wearing masks so I am happy to be racing,” said Cheruiyot.

Ingebrigtsen noted that his target was to get close to Cheruiyot and see if he could beat him, but the Kenyan still looked stronger.

“I didn't have the great legs that I had in Monaco, it was a tough race, it wasn't too easy today, “said Ingebrigtsen

“I am closing in on him though, and it’s just a matter of time before I beat him.”

The Norwegian, who set a new European record and personal best 3:28.68 in Monaco, explained that his goal to get a fast race this season and he did that in Monaco.

In the men's 800m, Rotich clocked 1:45.11 to lose the battle to World champion American Donovan Brazier, who sealed his second win in 1:43.76.

Marco Arop from Canada and Swede Andreas Kramer settled second and third in 1:44.67 and 1:45.04 respectively.

Laura Muir from Britain, who finished second behind Kenya’s World 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich in 1,000m race in Monaco, cashed in on Chepng’etich's absence to win the metric mile race in Stockholm.

Muir returned a world lead of 3:57.86 in a race where Chebet settled fourth in 4:02.58 as Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, who won the 5,000m in Monaco, came in 12th in 4:10.53.

(08/24/2020) Views: 105 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Lots of fast times in Monaco including a new 5000m world record

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old world record in the 5000m by nearly two seconds, clocking 12:35.36 in Monaco on Friday.

Cheptegei, the 2019 World 10,000m champion who reportedly needed 80 hours to travel from Uganda for the Diamond League meet, took 1.99 seconds off Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record from 2004. Bekele is also the 10,000m world-record holder and the second-fastest marathoner in history.

“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home, but you have to stay motivated,” Cheptegei said, according to organizers. “I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.”

Cheptegei, 23, came into Monaco as the 73rd-fastest man in history with a personal best of 12:57.41. But he declared before the meet that the world record was his goal, given he had no Olympics or world championships to peak for this year.

“It is very difficult to run any world record,” was posted on the Instagram of Bekele, who is part of the NN Running Team with Cheptegei. “Congratulations to my teammate [Cheptegei].”

The Diamond League next moves to Stockholm on Aug. 23.

In other events Friday, Noah Lyles easily won a 200m after raising a black-gloved first before the start. More on Lyles’ gesture and victory here.

Donavan Brazier extended a year-plus 800m win streak, clocking 1:43.15 and holding off countryman Bryce Hoppel by .08. Brazier won his last seven meets, including national, world and Diamond League titles in 2019, when he broke a 34-year-old American record.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain won the 110m hurdles in 13.11 seconds, overtaking world champion Grant Holloway. Holloway, who won worlds in 13.10 last autumn, finished fourth in 13.19.

Timothy Cheruiyot followed his 2019 World title by clocking his second-fastest 1500m ever. The Kenyan recorded 3:28.45, holding off Norwegian 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a European record of 3:28.68.

Sifan Hassan, the world’s top female distance runner, dropped out of the 5000m with two and a half laps left while in the lead pack. Two-time world champion Hellen Obiri won in 14:22.12, surging past Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on the final lap.

Karsten Warholm ran the joint eighth-fastest 400m hurdles in history, a 47.10 against a field that lacked rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba. Warholm, the two-time world champion, ranks second in history with a personal best of 46.92, trailing only American Kevin Young‘s 46.78 from the 1992 Olympics.

American Lynna Irby won her Diamond League debut with a 50.50 in the 400m. Irby, the second-fastest American in 2018, failed to make the 2019 World team. On Friday, she beat Wadeline Jonathas, the top American in 2019.

(08/14/2020) Views: 103 ⚡AMP
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Taking all safety precautions, Turku and Monaco are ready to kickstart the international season

After a delay of more than three months, the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting series kicks off on Tuesday (11) with the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland. Three days later, the Herculis EBS Meeting in Monaco will signal the start of the scaled down 2020 Wanda Diamond League season.

As recently as two months ago, with event postponements and cancellations becoming the norm, it began to seem more and more unlikely that any season would emerge from the havoc that the coronavirus pandemic has left in its wake. But Jean-Pierre Schoebel and Jari Salonen, respectively the directors of the Monaco and Turku meetings, saw things differently.

From the beginning of the pandemic, both have continued their work under the assumption that their events would go ahead. Instead of waiting until next year, Salonen pushed his meet back two months, hoping the situation would improve. Schoebel too, bided his time. Lockdown restrictions in the Principality eventually eased, paving the way for his meet, like Turku’s, to go on after all, albeit under strict conditions.

“Life is beginning to start again,” Schoebel said. “The Herculis EBS meeting in Monaco gives the possibility to show that, yes we have been confined, but now life is starting again and that we can live again.” 

But in order to do that, Schoebel added, “We have changed everything,” from the athletes’ travel and accommodation logistics to the way the competition will be staged and conducted. “We studied everything to ensure we'd provide the maximum security to everyone involved in the meeting.”

‘We've never worked as hard as this year’

Staging an international competition has its challenges under the best of times. Throw in a slew of unprecedented public health and safety concerns, global travel restrictions and painful budget cuts, and you find yourself facing a near impossible chore.

“We’ve never worked as hard as this year,” Schoebel said. “I can't tell you how difficult the situation has been.”

Especially with bringing athletes from the United States, Kenya and Uganda, for example, countries that are not yet on the European Union’s Schengen Area “safe” list, therefore limiting non-essential entry.

For months Schoebel and his team have worked closely with French and Monegasque authorities investigating ways to secure entry visas and formulate transport options for athletes arriving from outside of the European Union.

Mandatory testing in Monaco, selective in Turku

But the athletes, who include world and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, women’s steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, will have to adhere to strict health protocols prior to and upon arrival in Monaco. All will be tested for Covid-19 prior to departure and will be required to take another test upon arrival in Monaco before they’re cleared to compete.

Schoebel said he’ll require all athletes, even those arriving from within the European Union, to follow a strict testing protocol.

For Salonen and his team in Turku, the regimen won’t be quite as demanding since very few athletes will be arriving from outside of the Schengen zone.

“We made a decision quite early that we would concentrate on athletes coming only from Europe or within the Schengen area, to minimise the risk.”

Athletes arriving from countries not on Europe's current list of “safe” countries will be tested, he said.

“We will also be ready to test on-site. Finland is considered a very safe country, from our authorities’ point of view, so we are very careful with those coming from the other countries.”

Cooperation

The testing in Turku is also being organised with the Herculis meeting in mind.

"We have also agreed to help Monaco with some athletes, to test them in Turku in order for Monaco to know that healthy athletes are coming from Finland,” Salonen said. “I think this is very important, that meetings work together in order to make sure that athletes are healthy during the tour, and therefore the meet organisers can be more safe. 

Both are expecting a similar number of athletes, Turku about 150 athletes across 12 disciplines, including 50 to 80 from outside of Finland, and Monaco between 140 and 150 across its 14 events. All will be more or less secured in the meeting bubble from arrival until departure.

Confined to the bubble

To help maintain that bubble, Monaco organisers switched hotels this year, choosing to accommodate the athletes at the Riviera Marriott located across the street from the Stade Louis II, keeping everything and everyone within walking distance.

“And from the hotel they will have direct access to the warm up track. It's very convenient, they won't see or interact with anyone.”

Similarly in Turku. 

While there will be some doubling up in rooms, mostly among athletes who train or travel together, there will be more single accommodations than in other years, Salonen said.

“The main idea is to try to isolate the athletes from all the other personnel who are not involved with them, as well as the public and media. That is the main idea in our programme. From the transport to the hotel and from the hotel to the stadium area, we will maximise the isolation, therefore secure the social distancing.”

That also means that any pre- and post-meet press conferences and media interviews at both competitions will be held virtually or individually with strict distancing protocols.

Social distancing on the programme 

Social distancing regulations have also forced logistical changes within the stadium, particularly in Monaco, for both athletes and spectators. The call room area, where athletes gather just prior to their race, is too small to meet current social distancing guidelines, so it was moved to the stadium’s infield. That move forced the long throw events off of the programme this year.

Schoebel said his team worked closely with Salonen's when formulating their respective programmes, which ensured that a strong slate of throws events would be available in the Finnish meet that week.

Salonen said that as of 1 August, Finland will no longer mandate limits on outdoor gatherings. But to play it safe, and to serve as an example, Turku will voluntarily cap attendance at between six and seven thousand, roughly half of the sell-out crowds the meeting typically attracts.

Monaco, on the other hand, will allow a maximum of 5000 spectators who will be directed towards their seat through seven of the stadium’s gates. They will be seated in every other row and will be obliged to wear masks. Concession stands will be closed but spectators will be allowed to bring bottled water.

Budget cuts

Another factor shared by both meetings are vastly reduced operating budgets this year. Salonen said his was cut by about 25%, while Schoebel said his was slashed nearly in half. But both say that they’re glad they will be able to provide athletes with a paycheck.

“Of course we want to help them as much as we can,” Schoebel said. “And we're pleased that we can give prize money and some appearance money.”

Albeit less than in the past. But Salonen is quick to add that managers and athletes have been very understanding of the financial situation the pandemic has sown. “We’ve had no problem with our negotiations this year. Athletes are craving competition.”

Minimising the risk

Yet for all the precautions, risks do remain. That’s part of the game right now, one that both are confident they’re going to win.

“I think that all we can do is to minimise the risk,” Salonen said. “With the (good) situation that we have in Finland at the moment, the possibility of the virus coming to us is very, very, very low if we use the protocol we have built - to bring healthy athletes to Turku, so that they can leave healthy. The existence of corona in Turku at the moment is almost zero. And we need to make sure we can keep it that way.”

“We're making a big effort as we know the athletes want to get back into competition,” Schoebel said. “And I hope we will succeed.”

(08/07/2020) Views: 95 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Warholm, Kipyegon, Cheruiyot and Kendricks are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14

Herculis organizers have announced another four global champions who are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14.

Two-time world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will compete in Monaco for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old, who set a world best for 300m hurdles at Oslo’s Impossible Games last month, will have one eye on Kevin Young’s meeting record of 47.60, set just five days after the US hurdler set a world record of 46.78 to win the 1992 Olympic title.

"I've always wanted to run in Monaco because of the track," said Warholm. "I know people have run fast there before, and I've trained there too. It’s a nice stadium and I know I might be able to run even faster on it.

"In Norway we've been able to train very well, so my shape is actually good," he added. "I was hoping to get a chance to test myself, so when the opportunity came for Monaco, that was nice."

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon and training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, the world 1500m champion, will also be in action. Kipyegon, who’s also making her Herculis debut, will contest the 1000m in which she’ll face world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi and European 1500m champion Laura Muir. Cheruiyot, meanwhile, will line up for his specialist distance to take on Jacob and Filip Ingebrigtsen.

Two-time world champion Sam Kendricks has been confirmed for the pole vault. The North American record-holder will face world record-holder Mondo Duplantis, whose participation was announced earlier this month.

Other clashes include Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega and world bronze medalist Pascal Martinot Lagarde in the 110m hurdles, Ukrainian duo Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Yuliya Levchenko and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the high jump, and world bronze medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Ajla del Ponte in the 100m.

They will all join the previously announced stars, including double world champion Sifan Hassan, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, world 200m champion Noah Lyles, two-time world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas and world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei.

(07/23/2020) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri pulls out of Monaco event

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri won’t take part in women’s 5,000m race during the Monaco leg of the Diamond League on August 14.

Obiri, the Africa and Commonwealth champion, said it will not be possible for her to compete efficiently having not trained and tested track since retaining her World 5,000m title on October 5, last year in Doha.

Obiri and Conseslus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), were among five world champions, who have been lined up by the organizers of the Herculis EBS meeting.

“You can’t go to such an event without having done speed work. We were hoping venues like the Nyayo National Stadium or Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani could be opened for us, but it has not happened,” said Obiri. 

Obiri, who is also the Continental Cup champion, said her only hope this season is the Doha leg that will go down on October 9.

The last time Monaco hosted a long distance track event for women was in 2017 where Obiri won the 3,000m race.

Sporting facilities in the country have remained closed since March this year after the government announced measure to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Before Doha, Obiri will line up for the Kip Keino Classic, one of the World Athletics Continental Tour events due September 24 in Nairobi.  

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world champion in the heptathlon, will compete in the high jump, her best individual discipline.

Another middle distance star announced is Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, the surprise 800m champion in Doha last year. 

Organizers also announced that Noah Lyles, the World 200m champion, will headline his favorite event. 

Others on the slate include world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis; Laura Muir of Great Britain, who will race over 1000m; and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, the European indoor 5000m record-holder.

(07/17/2020) Views: 148 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Organizers of the Herculis EBS Meeting have confirmed five more world champions who are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League fixture in Monaco on 14 August

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the world champion in the heptathlon, will compete in the high jump, her best individual discipline. Hellen Obiri, the world champion in the 5000m, will race over that distance in the Principality.

Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, the world and Olympic champion in the the 3000m steeplechase, will headline that event, always a popular fixture in Monaco. Another middle distance star announced is HalimahNakaayi of Uganda, the surprise 800m champion in Doha last year.

Organizers also announced the Noah Lyles, the world 200m champion, will headline his favorite event.

Others on the slate include world pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis; Laura Muir of Great Britain, who will race over 1000m; and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, the European indoor 5000m record-holder.

All three of Norway's Ingebrigtsen brothers, Henrik, Filip and Jakob, are also on the slate. It wasn't immediately announced which distance they would race. The men's programme includes both the 1500m and 5000m.

(07/14/2020) Views: 175 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Swedish Athletics Association now tightens rules for Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes

As concerns increase over rising violations of anti-doping regulations, Kenyan athletes will now face more intense scrutiny before competing in Sweden.

This is after the Swedish Athletics Association on Monday said they are sharpening rules for athletes who train in countries where out-of-competition tests are not quite advanced, with Kenya and Ethiopia classified in this category.

According to EME News, an independent track and field information agency, quoting Swedish public broadcaster SVT, Swedish Athletics Association secretary general Stefan Olsson has expressed concerns over the capacity of anti-doping testing in Kenya and Ethiopia.

“There is no prohibition on going there, but if they do, we should really have knowledge of where the athletes are, how long they should be there, with what training group, coach and manager they train with,” Olsson said.

“It may be that we contact Swedish anti-doping so that they can add extra resources before, during and after these trips,” he added.

Kenyans and Ethiopians have always featured prominently in athletics competitions in Sweden, both in road racing and in track and field.

Athletes from Kenya have been regular winners at the annual BAHAUS-galan Diamond League meeting in Stockholm whose new 2020 date was on Tuesday set for August 23 after changes in the global track and field calendar by World Athletics.

At last year’s meeting, Rhonex Kipruto and Timothy Cheruiyot triumphed in the 10,000 and 1,500 meters races, respectively, with Agnes Jebet Tirop winning the 5,000 meters in a race that also featured eight Kenyans, including two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri.

Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes have won 13 titles out of the 20 on offer in the men’s and women’s divisions of the annual Stockholm marathon.

(05/13/2020) Views: 170 ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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Kenyan Margaret Chelimo says that 2020 Tokyo Olympics was her big target this season

Restriction introduced by the government to fight the spread of Covid-19 such as social distancing and banning of social gatherings has forced several athletes to take a much closer interest in their side activities.

One such athlete is world 5,000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo. Now getting used to training individually she has found herself with more me-time at her farm in Kapng’etich in Nandi County and spends it farming.

She said that after her morning run, she goes to her farm where she has planted maize, beans, sugar cane and other crops.

When Nation Sport visited her on Sunday she was busy on her sugarcane plantation. This planting season she dedicated two acres of land to the sugar producing cash crop, a new venture for her she duly informed.

She is among many other farmers in the region who are now abandoning the traditional maize farming which they feel doesn’t bring any value to them due to poor market prices.

“I have decided to venture into sugar cane farming because I have been planting maize for a long time and I’m not getting any profits,” said Chelimo.

Of course the farming activity comes after her individual run to keep her body in shape for the season, when it will resume. Remember athletics is her main bread and butter business at this stage in her life.

Chelimo bagged silver in last year’s Doha World Athletics Championships women’s 5,000m after clocking 14:27.49 behind race winner, compatriot Hellen Obiri who timed 14:26.72.

In 2018, she won silver for Kenya in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 5,000m, finishing second to Obiri after crossing the line in 15:15.28. Chelimo started the season explosively, winning the BOclassic Silvesterlauf 5,000m race in 15:30.

In January, Chelimo stunned World Cross Country champion Obiri to win the Cross Internacional de Italica in Seville, Spain after cutting the tape in 28:37 ahead of compatriot Beatrice Chebet (28:49).

High in confidence she was all primed to run in the Doha Diamond League series 3,000m race on April 17 before the athletics calendar was suspended following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was her big target this season before the Games were pushed to next year.

(04/27/2020) Views: 584 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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World 1,500m champion Cheruiyot rues missed chance to break record

World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has said he had high hopes of peaking at the right time this season to make a serious attempt on the world record.

"When the year started, I had two items I wanted to accomplish - winning Olympic gold and breaking the world record. At the moment, the Olympic dream is gone, moved to 2021 and the dream chance of running at the higher level at full throttle looks bleak," he said on Sunday.

Hicham El Guerrouj's record of 3:26.00 has stood the test of time for over two decades and Cheruiyot, who has seen his rise from obscurity to blossom as a world champion feels he was the man to finally shatter the record.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has nipped in the bud his dream as he has no idea when he will return to action.

Cheruiyot is worried many athletes will struggle to regain fitness and sharpness in competition whenever the ban on sports competition is lifted.

With the shutdown of all training camps in Kenya, Cheruiyot, like many other athletes is facing the prospect of lazing at home in 2020 after the Covid-19 global pandemic wrecked the sports calendar.

Cheruiyot now has turned his focus on staying safe and forgotten his hope of chasing records.

His best time on the miler is 3:28.41, which he posted in Monaco in 2018.

"People break records when they run regularly and competitively at the highest level. So clearly from where we stand that is not going to be the case this year," he added.

Meanwhile, Olympic 5,000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri has urged fellow athletes to follow social distancing and practice good hygiene standards.

Obiri, the world 5,000m champion, who has been forced to amend her training program, says she only has one session in the morning to train.

She believes, like other sectors, sports will have to suffer initially before order is restored. However, she believes she will emerge out of the self-quarantine stronger and ready to battle her way to the top to win the only medal missing in her collection, Olympic gold.

"I have to train alone and it is difficult. It requires a lot of discipline and focus because distractions are many," Obiri said on Monday in Nairobi.

"These are difficult times, which call for special measures. As athletes and role models we must sensitise the need to keep safe and follow government directives. We must be very careful, that is why I can only afford to train once a day."

With no Diamond League meetings and the World Athletics Continental Tour having been postponed, Obiri has had to be careful not to peak too soon.

"There will be time for action and the important thing now is to remain safe and healthy. When everything is done and there is no coronavirus, we will train as a team and compete at the highest stage again," she said.

World Athletics President Seb Coe has said it will be a lot harder to stage all competitions in 2020 when the situation allows and athletes will have to select which events to take part in after Covid-19 is defeated.

(04/12/2020) Views: 217 ⚡AMP
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Chelimo floors Obiri at Cross Italica

World 1,500m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo stunned World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri to win the ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Seville, Spain on Sunday.

Chelimo cruised to victory in 28 minutes and 37 seconds beating compatriot and World Cross Country Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet to second place in 28:49 as Ethiopian Tsehay Gemechun settled third in 29:00.

Obiri, who is also the World 5,000m champion, came in fourth in 29:27 followed by fellow countrywoman Eva Cherono in 29:41.

Ethiopian Radese Worku reigned to claim victory in the men’s race in 27:31 as 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo from United States clocked 27:42 for second.

Kenya’s Richard Yator took the last podium place in 27:48.

 

(01/19/2020) Views: 474 ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious...

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Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the favorites athletes at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce on Sunday

Ethiopia’s Tadese Worku and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri will be the marquee athletes at the ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica’ in Santiponce on the outskirts of Seville on Sunday, the sixth leg of the 2019/20 World Athletics Cross Country Permit series.

The event promises to be a rematch of last Sunday’s races in Elgoibar as both podiums will be on show again.

Will Worku confirm breakthrough?

Turning 18 the day after the race, the young Ethiopian will be happy to celebrate his birthday one day in advance with a victory to confirm his overwhelming win last weekend was no fluke. The reigning world U-20 cross country silver medalist proved to be in stellar form last Sunday and should be tipped as the main favorite in the 10km event.

One of his stiffest opponents should be Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo, the 22-year-old who will be making his sixth appearance on Spanish soil this cross country campaign. He’s produced three wins -- in Alcobendas (Nov 24), Aranda de Duero ( Dec 1) and Cantimpalos (Dec 8) -- plus a runner-up finish in Soria ( Nov 17). The Italy-based runner, who was ninth at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus last year, only finished outside the top-five in Atapuerca (Nov 9) where he finished sixth.

Kenya’s Richard Yator and Aron Kifle, runner-up and third respectively in Elgoibar should also be in contention. The Kenyan was 13th in Aarhus while Kifle has changed his base from Madrid to Nijmegen after joining the Global Sports agency. He will be joined by fellow Eritrean Yemane Haileselassie, an 8:11.22 3000m steeplechase specialist who reached the Rio Olympics final.

Watch out too for USA’s Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir. The former is the reigning Olympic 5000m silver medalist and is fresh from a fourth place in Elgoibar while Kipchirchir came tenth at the Doha worlds over 10,000m and holds a PB of 27:07.55 set in 2017.

Obiri the woman to beat

The women’s cast is headed by the reigning world cross country champion Hellen Obiri. The 30-year-old Kenyan kicked-off her winter campaign successfully in Elgoibar where, after running alongside compatriot Beatrice Chebet for most of the race, broke away from the reigning world U20 cross country on the last lap.

The 19-year-old Chebet should pose the main danger for Obiri, again alongside the reigning world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo. The 26-year-old captured a surprise silver in Doha where she set a lifetime best of 14:27.49 and has shown fine form recently by winning a 5km road race in Bolzano on 31 December before taking second at the Campaccio cross country on January 6.

Trying to deny a Kenyan clean sweep over the 9135m contest will be Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu, fourth at the Doha worlds over 5000m in a career best of 14:29.60. Barely two weeks later the 21-year-old set a 1:06:00 personal record for the half marathon in New Delhi. She’ll be racing her first race of the year on Sunday. Gemechu will be joined by fellow Ethiopian Tsige Abreha, the winner in Amorebieta. Kenya’s Eva Cherono, third in Elgoibar, and Bahrain’s World Championships marathon silver medalist Rose Chelimo will also be on show.

 

(01/17/2020) Views: 410 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious...

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NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR FEMALE WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2019

This week marks the opening of the voting process for the 2019 World Athletes of the Year ahead of the World Athletics Awards 2019 in Monaco on Saturday 23 November.

The IAAF is pleased to confirm a list of 11 nominees for Female World Athlete of the Year who were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF. The nominations of 11 athletes reflects the remarkable range of exceptional performances that the sport has witnessed this year, at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, and in the Diamond League and in road and cross country events. The IAAF’s Competition Performance Ranking show that the World Championships in Doha was the highest quality competition in the history of the event.

The nominees for 2019 Female World Athlete of the Year are (in alphabetical order):

Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN)- won world 3000m steeplechase title in a championship record of 8:57.84- won Diamond League title- won seven of her eight steeplechase races

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM)- won world 100m and 4x100m titles in world-leading times of 10.71 and 41.44- won Pan-American 200m title- won seven of her 10 races at 100m

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR)- won world heptathlon title in a world-leading 6981- undefeated in all combined events competitions, indoors and outdoors- won European indoor pentathlon title with a world-leading 4983

Sifan Hassan (NED)- won world 1500m and 10,000m titles in world-leading times of 3:51.95 and 30:17.62- won Diamond League 1500m and 5000m titles- broke world mile record with 4:12.33 in Monaco

Brigid Kosgei (KEN)- set a world record of 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon- won the London Marathon- ran a world-leading 1:05:28 for the half marathon and 1:04:28 on a downhill course

Mariya Lasitskene (ANA)- won world high jump title with 2.04m- jumped a world-leading 2.06m in Ostrava- won 21 of her 23 competitions, indoors and outdoors

Malaika Mihambo (GER)- won world long jump title with a world-leading 7.30m- won Diamond League title- undefeated outdoors

Dalilah Muhammad (USA)- broke world record with 52.20 at the US Championships- improved her own world record to win the world 400m hurdles title in 52.16- won world 4x400m title

Salwa Eid Naser (BRN)- won world 400m title in 48.14, the third-fastest time in history- won Diamond League title and three gold medals at the Asian Championships- undefeated at 400m outdoors

Hellen Obiri (KEN)- won world cross-country title in Aarhus- won world 5000m title in a championship record of 14:26.72- ran a world-leading 14:20.36 for 5000m in London

Yulimar Rojas (VEN)- won world triple jump title with 15.37m- jumped world-leading 15.41m to move to second on the world all-time list- won nine of her 12 competitions, including the Pan-American Games

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF's social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a 'like' on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.

Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closes on 5 November. At the conclusion of the voting process, five men and five women finalists will be announced by the IAAF.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the World Athletics Awards 2019.

 

 

(11/02/2019) Views: 437 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Kenya's Hellen Obiri is undecided for title defence in Doha

Defending champion, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri, is a major doubt for the first round of women’s 5000 meters race of the 2019 World Athletics Championships which goes down Wednesday evening from 6.25pm.

Obiri, who finished fifth in the final of women’s 10,000m race, indicated that she would assess her condition and consult coaches before deciding whether or not to compete in the race.

“I am yet to decide whether I will compete,” Obiri said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

On Saturday after women’s 10,000m race, Obiri said she has had a long season in which she had scaled up to the 25-lap race which had placed extra demands on her body.

“My body got a bit tired after I scaled up to 10,000m. As you know, it involves more laps than 5,000m and I think my body took a beating. It has been a long season for me and my body needs a break,” she said on Saturday.

(10/01/2019) Views: 619 ⚡AMP
by James Onyango Mwamba
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Kenyan Lilian Kasait qualified for the World Championships

African Games 5,000m champion Lilian Kasait employed an explosive kick in the last 400m to win women's 5,000m race to qualify for the World Championships due September 27 to October 6 in Doha.

Kasait timed 15 minutes and 43.55 seconds to win beating former Africa 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo to second place in 15:.46.65.

National champion Sheila Chelagat settled third to seal the last place in the 5,000m team.

The trio will join defending World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri in the race. Obiri, who is the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, will double up in 10,000m.

"I wanted to test my final kick in the last 400m and it came out well," said Kasait. "We have a strong team capable of defending the title."

Kasait, the 2017 World Cross Country bronze medallist, will be making her maiden appearance at the World Championships.

Chelimo, who will be making her second appearance at the World event, promised to make the podium in Doha after finishing fifth in 2017 London event.

(09/14/2019) Views: 691 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Hellen Obiri has announced she will compete in both the 5k and 10k races at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha

Kenyan middle-distance champion Hellen Obiri has announced she will compete in both the 5k and 10k races at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha next month.

Obiri, 29, the current world 5,000m champion, aims to become one of the rare athletes to win over both distances at the same event.

“Since I have a wild card for the 5,000m in Doha, I feel it is the right time to run both the 5k and 10k. The humid weather has been favourable to me the three times I have ran in the Qatari capital,” Obiri told AFP.

“I know that this is a big task but I am going to intensify my training in these remaining five weeks before we travel to Doha.”

Obiri qualified for the 10k race by coming second behind world bronze medallist Agnes Tirop in the Kenyan trials on Wednesday. Rosemary Wanjiru finished third in the qualifying race.

(08/22/2019) Views: 680 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Hellen Obiri is having the season of her life and seemingly nothing will stop her attempt of lighting up the World in Doha

By all means, Hellen Obiri is having the season of her life and seemingly nothing will stop her attempt to etch her name amongst Kenya’s athletics folklore.

If her exploits on the track so far this year is anything to go by, she could break the ceiling when the 2019 IAAF World Athletic Championships get underway in Doha, Qatar on September 28.

The month of March was particularly monumental for her what with the World Cross Country triumph in Aarhus, Denmark which earned her a spot in the track greats, having emerged as the first female runner with senior crowns in the IAAF World outdoor (3,000m), World Indoor (5,000m) and World Cross Country Championships (10km).

She reckons it is the toughest win of her career having had to shake off an absorbing Aarhus terrain to reign supreme.

Given that the cross county victory was her debut; she observes that was the best highlight for the first half of the year.

“So far the year has been fantastic for me because I made my debut in World Cross Country and I won.

“That was a good start to form me. We are in the middle of the season and given that we have three months before the year ends, I’m   sure it will be my best,” She told Citizen Digital.

Her meteoric rise has seen her stage strong performances in both indoor and outdoor games and she is leaving nothing to chance in her preparations.

“We are working hard, my coach and my manager are working hard to make sure that everything I need is in place.

“The aim at the moment is to establish my weaknesses and also the areas I need to improve on so that I’m ready for the World Championships,” she added.

(08/13/2019) Views: 575 ⚡AMP
by Dan Ogega
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Kenya has eliminated the wildcard selection criteria for its elite athletes seeking to make the team to the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei, however, said that reigning world champions and Diamond League Trophy winners would be exempted from the national trials set for Nairobi from August 20 to 22.

"Unlike previous editions, this year only athletes finishing the trials in positions one to three will be assured of an automatic ticket to the World Championships. The criteria is simple; it will be 1, 2 and 3 across the finish line," said Tuwei on Tuesday in Nairobi.

Kenya hopes to send a huge team to Doha, with over 70 athletes expected to make the cut. However, to be considered for selection, every athlete must have achieved the IAAF-mandated qualifying standard in each event.

"Currently, only a few athletes have attained these conditions and therefore there is a need for the coaches and athletes to check their status with Athletics Kenya," said AK competition team leader Paul Mutwii.

Two years ago, Kenya amassed 11 medals - five gold, two silver and four bronze - to finish second behind the United States in the medal standings at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Mutwii believes the team has the capacity to recapture the overall title they claimed at Beijing 2015, and wants every athlete to study the championship program to decide if it is possible to double up in certain events.

"We will not deny any athlete who intends to double up at the World Championships as long as the program allows," said Mutwii. "But they must focus more on their traditional event before considering other races."

World 5,000m and 1,500m champions Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manangoi have already hinted at doubling up in Doha.

Along with athletes from Ethiopia, Morocco, Ukraine and Russia, Kenya will also be subject to strict anti-doping measures, and athletes will have to undergo three separate anti-doping tests to be eligible to compete in Doha.

"All athletes must fulfill the anti-doping requirements by the AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit) of the IAAF. It requires the selected athlete to have undergone three out-of-competition and same number of in-competition anti-doping tests before the selection date," said Tuwei.

So far, six athletes have tested positive this year as the AIU and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) tighten the noose on Kenya in an effort to curb doping and have a clean championship.

(07/16/2019) Views: 758 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Olympic silver medalist Hellen Obiri is targeting qualification times to enable her to chase double gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October

Obiri confirmed on Friday that with a conducive program in Doha, she will try her luck in both 5,000m and the 10,000m races.

However, there is a small matter of qualifying in the 10,000m distance to confirm her slot in the Kenya team.

"I have shaken off the bruises from my fall in Stockholm and am back in good shape despite not running well at the Prefontaine Classic in California, USA, last Sunday," said Obiri on Friday in Nairobi.

The Africa champion in 5,000m says London leg of the Diamond League in two weeks' time will offer her a best chance to clinch the qualifying times.

"I will be running and looking for qualifying time in 5,000m at the London Diamond League on July 20-21 after the Stockholm mishap," she said.

On Thursday she won in the Kenya Defence Forces championships clocking 31:43.

On May 20, Obiri endured torrid time in Stockholm as she fell hard and eventually finished 12th in the 5,000m.

However, she will have to be wary of world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei who was second to her in Nairobi.

Jepkosgei said she has shelved her marathon plans to focus on making Kenya team for the World Championships. Others are Agnes Tirop, Pauline Korikwiang, former World Champion Linet Masai and Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang.

"The focus is always on getting in the best shape and going for the gold. But I have not competed in the 10,000m for a while and that is why I want to test and see how my performance will be in London and then I will decide," said Obiri.

As the defending champion Obiri has an automatic ticket for the 5,000m race. However, she must hit the qualifying mark in the 10,000m race and be among the top two at the Kenyan trials later in July.

(07/05/2019) Views: 775 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Kenyan World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei hopes to secure qualifying marks and compete at this year's World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which is set to run from September 27 to October 6

"For now I want to train hard because I target to qualify for the World Championships. Then I will see how it goes on in Doha," said Jepkosgei on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old transited from half marathon to the ultimate distance at the London marathon in April, but could not withstand the pace and had to drop out.

But she is keen to make amends and will start from scratch with an attempt to win a medal in 10,000m race at the World Championships.

"The marathon program is on hold at the moment, but it is something I will certainly watch to return to and conquer," she said.

Jepkosgei on Wednesday took advantage of the absence of World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri to win in the race when she clocked 15:19.3 ahead of Dorcas Kimeli and Sheila Chepkirui during the Kenya Defence Forces Championships in Nairobi.

Jepkosgei now targets making the Kenya team in 10,000m but has to face the final hurdle that is the national trials later this month to select the team to the World Championships.

"It was a tough race especially from my opponents who were as well prepared for the race. I now shift my focus to the trials with my main target is to make it to the national team," said Jepkosgei.

Jepkosgei last featured in the track competition back in 2015 when she won bronze medal at the Africa Games in the 10,000m race.

"I have to wait and see how my body reacts to the training. Once I'm certain I will see what kind of form I am in then I will determine my final goal for the season," she added.

(07/04/2019) Views: 814 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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South African Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800m ever run on American soil at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford clocking 1:55.7

Caster Semenya was almost four seconds ahead of Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, who crossed the line in season’s best times of 1:58.36 and 1:58.65. This was Caster’s 31st straight victory over this distance clocking 1:55.7 and the fastest time ever on US soil.  

Semenya continues to race well despite the controversy surrounding the IAAF’s efforts to prevent her from racing without taking medication to lower her naturally-high testosterone, something she has consistently said she will not do.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled that she must be allowed to race while it is considering her appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone rule, upheld in a May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In other results, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000m in a new European record of 8:18.49, in a race that also featured Konstanze Klosterhalfen (who finished second with a new PB of 8:20.07), Genzebe Dibaba (fourth, with a new PB of 8:21.29) and World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri(who finished sixth).

Also on Sunday, Canada’s Mo Ahmed set a new personal best of 8:15.76 in the 2-mile event, good enough for fourth place. Justyn Knight finished ninth, in 8:19.75. The race was won by World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a world-leading time of 8:07.54. Ahmed broke his own Canadian 5,000m record at the Oslo Diamond League last month.

(07/02/2019) Views: 815 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Impressive International field will be racing at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford

World 5000m and cross-country champion Hellen Obiri will be making her sixth appearance at the Prefontaine Classic. She set meeting records at 1500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5000m in 2016.

The Kenyan, who won the 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in 2018, is undefeated this year and won the 3000m at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha earlier this month in a world-leading 8:25.60.

Multiple world record-holder and five-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba has won all three of her past Pre Classic appearances and her 14:19.76 victory in 2015 is the fastest 5000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1500m Diamond League trophy in 2015 and followed it with world indoor gold over the same distance in 2016. The Dutch athlete is one of the most versatile runners in history, boasting an 800m PB of 1:56.81 and a half marathon PB of 1:05:15. She also holds the European 5000m record and the world 5km record.

Olympic 10,000m champion and world record-holder Almaz Ayana will be competing in the US for the first time. The Ethiopian won the 2015 world 5000m title, 2016 5000m Diamond Trophy and 2017 world 10,000m title, but missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Obiri, Dibaba, Ayana and Hassan are among the seven fastest women of all time at 5000m, but this will be the first time they have all raced one another at any distance.

The addition of world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya adds further interest. Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Senbere Teferi, ranked eighth and ninth respectively on the world 5000m all-time list, are also in the field. Gidey is a two-time world U20 cross-country champion, while Teferi earned world silver medals at 5000m and cross country in 2015.

The field also includes two-time Ethiopian champion Fantu Worku, versatile Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkurui, world U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman, six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer and USA’s Rachel Schneider.

(05/22/2019) Views: 900 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Caster Semenya is going to run the 3000m at the Pre Classic, a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels

South African's Caster Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 3,000m at the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.  This is a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels, however it is not really her distance at least not at this point.

Semenya, who has won two Olympic gold medals over 800m, has made it very clear that she will not take medication to lower her testosterone levels to comply with the new IAAF rules.

This race will be her first since the new rules went into effect.

Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400m to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

Barring an appeal, Semenya can no longer compete in her specialist event after she lost her appeal against the new rules, stating that the regulations were necessary to ensure fair competition.

Semenya will be part of a world class field at the Prefontaine Classic that includes world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba.

“It was a request from Caster Semenya’s agent asking if she could run a 3,000,” meet director Tom Jordan told Reuters. “Of course we said yes.”

Semenya became South African national champion over 5,000m in April, but her time is way off the leading runners in the world over that distance.

Semenya has a personal best of 9:36 for 3,000m, the slowest in the field.  Dibaba is the quickest in the field with a best of 8:16. 

The South African’s last race over 800 meters was in the Diamond League in Doha on May 3, when she cruised to victory in 1:54.98, nearly three seconds ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.

“I’m a crazy athlete, 800 meters is my calling, I believe in it, and that’s what I want to do,” she said after winning in Doha.

“I will switch races when I want to — no man can tell me what to do. I’m here for a purpose, if I want to switch events I switch them, but if someone wants me to switch them, that’s their own problem, not mine."

The Prefontaine Classic is being staged in Stanford, California this year while a new stadium is built in Eugene, Oregon for the 2021 world championships.

(05/21/2019) Views: 895 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Kenyan Hellen Obiri is aiming for success over 5000m and 10,000m at IAAF World Championships Doha

Hellen Obiri has revealed she will target IAAF World Championships success over both 5000m and 10,000m in Doha this summer as part of her plan to bow out from track competition on a high.

The Kenyan won gold over the shorter distance in London two years ago and is focused on retaining her title in the Qatari capital. She admits, however, that a full-time switch to road running is in the offing after next year’s Tokyo Olympics and, with that in mind, also wants to tackle the 25-lap event for the first time.

“My main target is to retain my title and then most probably I will focus on the double – 5000m and 10,000m,” the 29-year-old said.

“I’ve not done the 10,000m on the track so I’m going to do it at the Kenyan trials (for the world championships). It’s very hard to even make the Kenyan team but of course I want to make it and then from there you can see me doubling in Doha.”

“What made up my mind is that I’m almost done with the track," she says,  "so I think I need to do final, final things. I have never done 10,000m on the track so I wanted to do it before I go to the roads, maybe from next year after the Olympics.

“I will do 10km and the half-marathon on the road from there and then maybe (move up to the marathon) in the coming years.”

Obiri will race over 10km on the roads this weekend as one of the star attractions at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, where she will be looking to carry on what, thus far, has been a winning habit in 2019.

There was her impressive and memorable victory at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus back in March, which followed gold at the Kenyan Championships, while a marker was put down on her first track outing this year thanks to a fine 3000m win over a quality field which included 1500m world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba at the recent Diamond League meeting in Doha in a time of 8:25.60.

(05/18/2019) Views: 895 ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Hellen Obiri, Steph Twell, Andy Vernon and Stanley Biwott are among the big names racing the Great Manchester 10km on Sunday

The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run returns on Sunday, with a number of top elite athletes set to battle for titles ahead of the 30,000-strong mass race.

Kenya’s world 5000m and recent world cross country champion Hellen Obiri is making her debut at the event and will be faced with a field containing Ethiopia’s Tokyo marathon winner Ruta Aga, while two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat also features, as does Ireland’s Fionnula McCormack.

A healthy British contingent is headed by Steph Twell, who won the Brighton 10km in 31:58 last month, and she is joined by Mhairi Maclennan, Jenny Nesbitt and Aly Dixon, who was recently named part of Britain’s IAU 50km World Championships team for the event in Romania in September.

Ugandan world cross silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo is fastest in the men’s field with a personal best of 26:41, though he will be facing the likes of Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, Boston Marathon runner-up this year, and Kenya’s 2015 New York marathon winner Stanley Biwott.

Mo Farah is not defending the title he won last year but the British presence will feature Nick Goolab, a man on form and the fastest Briton over 10km so far this year after breaking the course record with a run of 28:22 when winning in Brighton.

He will be joined by compatriots Emile Cairess, Ieuan Thomas and Dan Studley.

(05/17/2019) Views: 922 ⚡AMP
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Great Manchester Run

Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run, established in 2003, is an annual 10 kilometer run through Greater Manchester and is the largest 10K in Europe. Usually held in mid-May, it is the third-largest mass participation running event in the United Kingdom behind the Great North Run and the London Marathon. It is part of the Great Runs series of road races in...

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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.

(03/30/2019) Views: 867 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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The Crown Prince of Denmark is so excited about the upcoming world cross-country championships that he decided to run it

This Saturday is the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Many of the world’s best athletes will be competing, including world half-marathon champion and world 10,000m gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor in the senior men’s race.

Also running is distance stud Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 men’s race, 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri in the senior women’s race and world juinor 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet in the U20 women’s event.

The IAAF president and former Olympic medallist Seb Coe and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, are taking part in the 8K event.

The Crown Prince is an avid runner.

(03/27/2019) Views: 878 ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Kenya’s Kosgei smash the woman’s course record in Madrid’s 54th Annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10k

The women’s event at the 54th Annual Madrid’s San Silvestre Vallecana 10k was billed as a thrilling encounter between Tirunesh Dibaba and Hellen Obiri, but the Ethiopian star was never a factor as Obiri and Brigid Kosgei flew from the gun, covering every kilometre well inside three-minute pace.

By the 3000m point (8:46) they had built an eight-second margin on Dibaba before extending their lead to 14 seconds by halfway (14:40/14:54). At that point it already seemed clear that Burka’s 30:53 record would fall by a huge margin.

With some 2500m left the Kenyan tandem had increased their advantage on the Ethiopian to 26 seconds and neither of them showed a minor signal of weakness. Kosgei, a standout marathoner with a 2:18:37 best, made most of the pacing while Obiri, the world 5000m champion, seemed willing to wait until the later stages to take advantage of her superior closing speed.

The key move came inside the closing kilometre when Kosgei opened a small gap on Obiri. That proved decisive as the 24-year-old crossed the finish line in a brilliant 29:54 to Obiri’s 29:59. Dibaba completed the classiest ever podium with a fine 30:40 performance, also under the previous record.

"The race is very fast, I’m delighted with my clocking but despite this fast time I'll keep focused on the marathon,” said Kosgei, who won here in 2016 in a much slower 32:07.

Kosgei said her next appearance is not yet confirmed, but she does plan to compete at the Kenyan trials for the World Cross Country Championships.

(01/01/2019) Views: 899 ⚡AMP
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