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Postby anyway » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:41 am
By John Kwoba


NAIROBI, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri of Kenya has her eyes focused on the cross country, but will divert to compete at the Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting in Germany on Feb. 4.


Though Obiri has no plans to contest the full indoor circuit, she will honor the meeting, which she last ran in 2012 as part of her desire to improve her speed. She will compete over the 3,000m flat distance.


"It is obvious that I want to do well. But the focus this season is on Cross country and I have a contract obligation to compete in Karlsruhe and after that I will return to train on cross country because I want to make the Kenya team to the World event in Kampala in March," she said.


In Germany, Obiri, 27 will come up against British 1,500m record-holder Laura Muir, one of the event favorites over 3,000m. The Karlsruhe meeting is part of the IAAF World Indoor Tour.


Both athletes will be seeking their first victory in the German city. Obiri finished second over 1500m in Karlsruhe in 2012 before going on to win the world indoor 3000m title one month later. Muir, meanwhile, finished second over 3000m in 2015.


Obiri and Muir have been in the form of their life over the past 12 months. Obiri clocked season's bests of 3:59.34 for 1500m and 8:24.27 for 3000m before going on to take the Olympic 5000m silver medal in Rio and ended her summer season with a PB of 14:25.78 at that distance.


Her form has continued through the winter and the Kenyan has won numerous cross-country races in recent months against quality fields.


Muir broke Kelly Holmes' British 1500m record with her 3:57.49 run at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London last summer.


She improved it to 3:55.22 in Paris and ended the year as the Diamond Race winner in the event. Earlier this month, she smashed the British indoor 5000m record with a time of 14:49.12.


Obiri holds the Kenyan indoor 3000m record at 8:29.99. Muir's outright PB of 8:38.47, set outdoors in early 2015, looks due for revision and she may have one eye on the British indoor record of 8:31.50. Both runners could also challenge the meeting record of 8:35.28 set by Meseret Defar in 2013.


Obiri and Muir will line up against the top two finishers from the 1500m in Karlsruhe last year: Ethiopia's 2014 world indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye and Germany's world U20 3000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen.




NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The top of the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York, will shine in red and gold at sunset Thursday and Friday celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year that starts on Jan. 28.


The international icon of the New York skyline, the Building's tower lights will "shine in a special Chinese Lunar New Year design entitled 'universal celebration'," said John B. Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Realty Trust, at a lighting ceremony with Chinese Consul General Zhang Qiyue, in the lobby on the Fifth Avenue Thursday morning.


The lights were created by world renown lighting designer Marc Brickman in collaboration with China Central Academy of Fine arts in a salute to the Year of the Rooster which represents punctuality, trustworthiness and good luck, Kessler said.


This year's theme of "universal celebration" is well chosen, Zhang said, as the Spring Festival is now an important holiday for both Chinese, Asians and Americans.


The Chinese diplomat said that about 950.000 visitors from the Chinese mainland visited New York last year and Empire State Building is one of the must-visit NY landmarks for many of them.


The Chinese mainland has become the second largest source of foreign visitors for the city, next only to Britain, she said.


"I believe China-U.S. relations will stay healthy and strong for the benefits of the two peoples," she said.


According to its lighting calendar, the Building will be lit in red and gold at sunset Thursday and Friday, and change every 60 seconds until the next morning,


Since 1976, the Empire State Building's tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize various occasions and organizations throughout the year. New York state has added the Spring Festival to the list of public holidays since 2014.


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