Tirop tops, Obiri seals double as Wanjiru closes 10,000m Worlds team
The 2017 world bronze medallist Agnes Tirop clocked 31:25.00 to beat a determined Hellen Obiri in 10,000m race, booking the first ticket to the Doha World Championships set for September this year.
Obiri, who is the reigning World Champion in the 5,000m, crossed the line at 31:25.38 ahead of Kenya Prisons Monica Wanjiru (31:26.22).
It was not until the last 400m that a park of four contenders was separated, the top three breaking from Irine Kimais who had led up to the 23rd lap, at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Casting her eyes to the Doha duel, Tirop says she is now well equipped for the global title challenge.
“I was very green in the senior race for this speciality in 2017, when I brought home a bronze. Now I can say I have the experience necessary to compete better. We also have a very strong team, with Obiri and Wanjiru, so we can be more optimistic as we go to Doha,” Tirop said.
She admitted it was hard to beat Obiri, noting training alongside men has helped her increase her endurance.
“I’m thankful to my coach and manager who have given me a very good training, focusing on today’s race. It was not easy, I think training with male counterparts enhanced my strength,” revealed Tirop.
Obiri, who is also the World Cross Country champion was chuffed at making the cut, underlining her desire to compete in the 10,000m and 5,000m in Doha is fulfilled.
“I have already made the 5,000m team so I will now focus on delivering medals in both races. I have ran in Doha and it is hot, I like running in hot conditions so I think I will do even better there,” said the mercurial Obiri, who will, like her former track compatriot Vivian Cheruyiot, now a marathoner, is primed for double gold in the distances.
Obiri is not worried about the threat posed by the Ethiopians who have dominated the distance over a time.
“We don’t know who is coming for Ethiopia, I cannot even talk about Almaz Ayana because we have to wait for their list. I respect them (Ethiopia opposition) but I’m not much concerned. We have a good team that we can work with to get the best in Doha,” said Obiri of the KDF team.
Athletics Kenya (AK) chose to conduct trials for the Doha 10,000m early before the main trails event later this month, to allow the athletes enough recovery time.