This is the second week, fourth day of the Nike Talks World Indoors Series. Thanks to Nike Sports Marketing, @runblogrun will provide a Monday-Friday story on a key athlete from US, Great Britain, Europe, Africa and Asia. On the weekends, we will go back in World Indoor history and provide a favorite moment. This sponsorship goes from January1-March 5. We hope you enjoy. And please check out www.nikerunning.com. Remember to support our sponsors. They are supporting the heart of running.
Today, we are writing about 2017 London World Champ 5000 meter gold medalist, Hellen Obiri!
And always remember to check out www.wicbirmingham2018.com
Hellen Obiri won her first gold in 2012 at the World Indoors. In Istanbul, Hellen defeated Genzebe Dibaba in the 3000 meters in March 2012. We had first seen Hellen in Daegu in 2011, in the World Championships, in the 1,500 meters, where she made the final, finishing 11th.
One of the aspects of the sport that I find so interesting is how athletes reach the major events in our sport. Most of them have been competing for years. In a talent laden country like Kenya, there are many talented athletes who do not make their national teams. Hellen Obiri competed at the 1,500 meters outdoors, and in 2013, her second World Outdoors,she took the bronze, finishing behind silver medalist Jenny Simpson, USA and gold medalist Abeba Aregawi, Sweden.
World championship 1,500 meter races tend to be a combination of very tactical, and slow for the first 1000 meters, then, a screaming last 500 meters. Hellen had fine speed, and over 1,500 meters, she was a speed demon.
In 2014, Hellen returned to the 3000 meters indoor. In March 2014, at the World Indoors in Sopot, Poland, Obiri took the silver medal in the 3,000 meters to Genzebe Dibaba, whom she had defeated in Istanbul 2012. At the inaugural World Relays, Hellen Obiri was on the Kenyan team which took gold in the 4×1500 meters, in 16:33.58.
The big race for Hellen Obiri was at the Prefontaine Classic, where she ran 3:57.05 over 1,500 meters, with a fine field, defeating Abeba Aregawi, Faith Kipyegon, Jenny Simpson and Sifan Hassan, all under 4 minutes!
Yet, even with that speed, Hellen Obiri did not win the Commonwealth Games, finishing sixth. Hellen finished the year at the African Championships, taking the gold over 1,500 meters.
Hellen Obiri took the silver medal in the 5,000 meters at the Rio Olympics in August 2016, as she and Vivian Cheruiyot upset Almaz Ayana in the Olympic 5000 meters, running 14:29.77! . Hellen ended 2016 with a fine 5,000 meters in Brussels, at the Van Damme Memorial, with a fast 14:25.78!
In 2017, Hellen opened the season with fine 5000 meter times, running 14:18.37 at the Rome Diamond League. The most important race for Hellen Obiri was in London, where she used her tremendous speed to defeat Almaz Ayana by seven seconds. Hellen’s 14:18. 37 was less than a month after her Shangai DL solo run of 14:22.47!
For 2018, Hellen Obiri has big plans. She wants to take gold again in the 3000 meters in Birmingham in March. “I want to reclaim by Indoor title before attempting the 10,000m crown at Commonwealth games,” Hellen Obiri told the Daily Nation’s Ayumba Ayodi last November. Birmingham and the Gold Coast are her championship goals, as well as a real attempt for the 5000 meter world record, where she is ranked fifth all times.
At the World Indoors, Hellen won the 3000 meters in Istanbul 2012, and took silver in the 3000 meters in Sopot 2014. Hellen wants gold at the Birmingham Arena in March 2018. In April 2018, Hellen will move up to 10,000 meters in the Commonwealth Games, hoping to claim gold at the 2018 CG. In the 2014, Hellen was sixth in the 1,500 meters in Glasgow.
We look forward to seeing Hellen Obiri run the 3,000 meters in Birmingham. There are never easy races at a championship, but with Hellen’s fierce speed, lets look for an exciting 3000 meters!