Revealed: Two things that catapulted Hellen Obiri to Boston Marathon victory against strong competition

Hellen Obiri after winning the Boston Marathon. Photo: Imago

Revealed: Two things that catapulted Hellen Obiri to Boston Marathon victory against strong competition

Joel Omotto 12:00 - 16.04.2024

Hellen Obiri has explained what motivated her to go for a win at the Boston Marathon after coming close to losing her title to compatriot Sharon Lokedi.

Hellen Obiri has disclosed that the presence of her family and the need to seal an Olympics ticket were the reasons she shrugged off tough competition to defend her Boston Marathon crown.

Obiri beat off a challenge from compatriot Sharon Lokedi to become the sixth woman to win back-to-back titles at Boston.

It was not an easy race, however, as Obiri, Lokedi and Kiplagat exchanged leads but stayed close to each other in the final half of the race.

The 44-year-old Kiplagat appeared set to pull an upset, and perhaps win her third title in Boston, but she ran out of gas when Obiri and Lokedi pulled away.

Obiri then waited until the tail end to sprint away from Lokedi to win her second straight title in a time of 2:22:37 and she admits having her family waiting for her at the finish line plus the Olympics ticket in mind motivated her the most.

“To defend the title is not easy and it was hard when Sharon was there,” Obiri admitted after the race. “I said, ‘oh my,’ but I was like, she is a Kenyan so it will still be okay if she wins.”

“But I told myself, I am good in 400m and my family is there, my husband, my daughter are there watching,” added Obiri, who received an embrace from her husband Tom and daughter Tania after the race.

“I gave myself strength and you know we are also fighting for Olympics, I knew winning here was would guarantee that so I went for it. It means a lot to have my daughter and husband here. I went for it because of them.”

Obiri has now stamped her authority on the Boston course which many have found difficult, having secured her first marathon victory in the same city last year before winning the New York Marathon last November.

The 34-year-old has effectively sealed her place in Kenya’s final marathon team to the Paris Olympics having been among the six that were unveiled by Athletics Kenya lover a week ago.

With the Olympics gold the only medal still missing from her collection, few will bet against the two-time world 5,000m champion winning it in the French capital based on her current form.

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