Sparkling Obiri, Cheruiyot roar on home soil

Sparkling Obiri, Cheruiyot roar on home soil

Chief athletics writer at Nyayo

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot continued their fine form on home soil at the Kip Keino Classic Saturday.

Fresh from notching a win at the Doha Diamond League, Obiri left nothing to chance as she stormed to another routine victory in the 5,000m to close the season on a high.

However, it was not a walk in the park for the Commonwealth Games champion as she had to shrug off stiff competition from compatriot Agnes Tirop who pushed her to her limits.

Obiri  cut the tape in 15:06.36 with Tirop finishing second in 15:06.71 as world silver medallist Margaret Chelimo closed the podium in 15:11.11

Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselema came out fourth in 15:13.38 with Joyce Chepkemoi clocking 15:19.79 for a fifth place.

“We have not had many races this season because of Covid-19 and having a race of this magnitude at home is something that we should celebrate. It has been  challenging and as I close the season at home I am looking forward to the new season,” said Obiri.

Meanwhile Cheruiyot dominated the men’s 1,500m race after clocking 3:34.31 with Kumari Taki following closely in 3:35.00 while Abel Kipsang ranked third in 3:35.43.

Cheruiyot’s training partner Vincent Keter placed fourth in 3:37.59 as Boaz Kiprugut settled for the fifth spot in 3:37.71

Cheruiyot said he was not back to his best but was nevertheless targeting a win for a perfect closure of the coronavirus-ravaged season.

“Although I was not 100 percent fit, I am happy with today’s win. It is now time to relax and focus on the coming season where my main target is the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said Cheruiyot.

He added. “Generally, I can say it was a good season despite the challenges we had brought about by the global spread of coronavirus.”

At the same time, the in-form Ferguson Rotich continued his fine run when he stormed to victory in men’s 800m after clocking 1:44.78 ahead of Joseph Deng of Australia (1:45.21) and Commonwealth Games champion Wycliffe Kinyamal (1:45.52) who finished second and third respectively.

African Games silver medallist Cornelius Tuwei placed fourth while Collins Kipruto came home fifth.