Nairobi — Multiple World and Commonwealth Games champion Hellen Obiri has landed a new apparel sponsor after signing with Swiss company ON Running, putting to an end 12 successful years with American company Nike.
Obiri signed up with ON Running just after the Tokyo Olympic Games as she prepares to begin her transition into road running.
According to a description posted on their website, On was born in the Swiss alps with one goal: to revolutionize the sensation of running. It's all based on one radical idea. Soft landings followed by explosive take-offs.
"They have been very friendly people and have welcomed me well. They have also given me everything I want and they have also been there monitoring my training every time. They have been very close to me and I have felt good being welcomed to a new house," Obiri told Capital Sport.
With ON Running, Obiri will be provided for with both training and competition gear from spikes, to road running shoes, singlets and track suits and will have all her needs catered for by the new sponsors.
"I have been with Nike for the last 12 years and it was very difficult to move. But I am glad to be in a new family. They have been very welcoming to me and now the challenge is thrown back my way to see for myself what I can also win for them in terms of medals and titles," further added Obiri.
Obiri has already competed once under the ON Running banner, clinching victory at the Athletics Cross Country Tour silver meet in Dundonald, Northern Ireland in January.
She led from gun to tape and spread the field early, eventually winning by nearly 20 seconds in a time of 26:44.
She also competed at the Kenya Defense Forces Cross Country Meet at the Eastleigh Airbase in Nairobi where she was easily crowned champion.
Her next mission with the new sponsors will be the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon that is scheduled for February 19 in the United Arab Emirates.
She says that her main target, as she prepares for the third road race of her career will be improving her personal best.
"I am targeting to have a good race at RAK. This will be my debut there and hopefully I can do well to get a good result and also to give the new sponsors more belief in me. I want to run a faster time. During my 21km debut in Istanbul I ran 64:51 and now I want to reduce that even if it is by one second," she added.
"There are very good athletes who have been confirmed for the race and I know it will be very competitive. I want to measure myself against the best and I am really excited to go and run there. Last year I was set to run but it was cancelled. This year, I feel much better and stronger and I feel that my body is in good shape," she added.
Hellen Obiri is one of the few athletes in the world to have won titles across all surfaces. She is the current World Cross Country, 5,000m World and Commonwealth Games defending champion. She also has a World Indoor title to her name.
The only elusive title in her decorated cabinet is the Olympic crown. She has only managed to win double silver in the 5,000m in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2020.