Kenya’s Hellen Obiri in action during the women’s 5000m in Tokyo 2020 on Friday. [Reuters]
Kenya’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics has not been encouraging so far.
Not much was expected of the events Kenyans attended, however, and only an overly optimistic Kenyan would have expected the country to go gold in boxing, swimming, taekwondo, indoor volleyball and even beach volleyball.
The athletics program began on Friday, however, and with the men’s 10,000m final, the only competition of the day, there was hope of at least one medal for Kenya, an event last won by a Kenyan 53 years ago.
However, the days of expecting much, of which there is no hope, are over as the 3,000m obstacle final and women’s 5,000m final are on the Olympic menu today.
It is the day that Kenya’s athletics fans wait with bated breath when you consider that the 5000 m world champion and Olympic runner-up Hellen Obiri will start next to Agnes Tirop and Lillian Kasait in the Olympic Stadium at 3:50 p.m. .
Before that, however, Abraham Kibiwott and Benjamin Kigen will have taken to the track to protect Kenya’s honor in the 3,000 m obstacle race at 3:15 p.m.
However, there are fears that Kenya could lose the Olympic title over 3000 m in the obstacle course for the first time in nine Olympic Games. However, Kigen has promised to protect Kenya’s mighty men, even if that means they’ll collapse at the start line.
“We know the obstacle course is a Kenyan event and we have to fight to make sure we take home the gold medal,” said Kigen.
In the 5,000m final, however, the Kenyans think Obiri’s race is losing, despite the 2019 world champion’s quick to point out that a championship race is always difficult to predict.
“It’s a tough race and I’ve seen that everyone is strong. This is a pacemaker race so it will be unpredictable and I know Hassan (Sifan) will fight hard, ”said Obiri.
When it comes to big championships, however, Obiri is the only woman to ever win a string of indoor, outdoor and cross country world titles and has been the dominant force in recent years, winning in both 2017 and 2019 and 2019 World championship over 5000 m Olympic silver behind Vivian Cheruiyot in Rio five years ago.
She may have finished second in the exams, but she won the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
Tokyo Olympic Games Hellen Obiri