In her hotel room, Helen Onsando Obiri is listening to some Swahili gospel music on YouTube as she chats with her fellow athletes.
Hellen Obirilooks relaxed, she had an early morning training session, and “we went at 6am, the earlier the better, followed by a good rest.”
“How do you feel,” I prompt, “I feel okay. My body feels good. London has been good so far” she keeps her answers short to the point.
The 27-year-old is one of the three Kenyan athletes in the 5000m final set on the final day of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The other two are Margaret Chelimo and Sheila Chepkirui.
Obiri has won all her races in 3000m and 5000m this season. She has posted the world-leading times of 8:23.14 in 3000m and a national record in 5000m of 14:18.37. She has been winning them in style.
Different ball game
If her performance during the season is anything to go by, Obiri is primed for a gold medal in the 5000m. She has been in a splendid form, something she mainly attribute to her training.
“2017 has been good so far, all my wins and efforts geared towards the 5000m final, it is the main one for me to see if all I have done this year will amount to the one thing I want to achieve,” said Obiri who added that, “this is a different ball game.”
In the 1st heat which was almost like a final, Hellen Obiri qualified with the fastest time of 14:56.70 in the event.
Last year she picked a silver medal at the Olympics after coming back from maternal duties. She says the medal is an inspiration going to the final.
“That is still an inspiration, that was my first in 5000m and at the Olympics, now looking forward to the world championships,” said Helen.
The 2013 World 1500m silver medalist moved from the 1500m to 3000m and 5000m after maternal duties.
“It is all about focus. The training for 1500m and 5000m is different, you do more because the distance is longer, you basically change everything in training.”
On Sunday, she’s lining up against current 10,000m champion Ayana Almaz, Letesenbet Gidey, Sifan Hassan, Senbere Teferi, and Molly Huddle.
“This is a very a strong field, I’m ready for whatever outcome. When the focus is on you, you also feel the pressure.”