Obiri faces stern test in Prefontaine Classic next month


World 5000m champion Helen Obiri leads a quality field in the 3000m ahead of next month’s Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, USA.

Obiri, who is also the world cross country champion, is coming off a victory at the Doha Diamond League meeting early this month, where she posted 8:25.60.

Obiri has a good record at the Prefontaine Classic where she set meet records at 1,500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5,000m in 2016.

Obiri will have World U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet and 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk for company 

The Kenyan quartet faces a strong field in the seven-lap race which will be graced by world and Olympic champion 800-metres champion Caster Semenya.

Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

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.

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 5,000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1,500m Diamond League Trophy in 2015 and followed it up 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.

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.

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. Double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman and six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer will also feature in the race 


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