Dibaba- 3rd WR in 2 wks



Genzebe Dibaba made it three from three in 15 days as she produced her third breath-taking world record performance to bring the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix to a scintillating climax in the British city of Birmingham on Saturday (15)

Having taken three seconds from the 1500m record in Karlsruhe on 1 February and six off the 3000m mark in Stockholm last week, the Ethiopian ran 9:00.48 to smash her compatriot Meseret Defar’s five-year-old mark by more than five seconds at the last of this winter’s six IAAF Indoor Permit meetings.

It is the 16th world record - although technically Dibaba’s time is a world best as there are no official records for the distance - set at the National Indoor Arena but the first since Kenenisa Bekele broke the men’s two mile mark in 2008, and the appreciative sell-out 7000 crowd came to its feet in full support as the Dibaba powered away on her own over the second mile.

Having gone through one mile in 4:31.7 behind the Polish pacemaker Renata Plis, Dibaba struck out alone, running 4:28.8 for the second half (unofficial timings by Mark Butler).

Astonishingly, her finishing time could have been even quicker as she was some 10 seconds up on Defar’s record schedule with a quarter of a mile to go (7:54.0) when a sub-nine minute time was clearly on the cards.

She passed 3000m in 8:24.85, the fifth fastest ever time for that distance, and reached the bell in 8:27.7.

With the crowd roaring her on, she sprinted the last lap in 32.8 before throwing her arms up in triumph and frustration: the record obliterated; the nine-minute barrier missed by a whisker.

“I’m very delighted, because to break three world records was what I’d planned,” said Dibaba, who confirmed she will run go for 3000m gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, next month. 

“In the middle of the race I felt a bit weak and tired, but with the help of the crowd and all the buzzing I was able to gain momentum and get the record.

“I’m hoping to win a gold again at the World Indoors, that’s the plan. I have a 1500m gold from last time, so this time I want the 3000m.”

Record haul

Dibaba, who pocketed a tidy US$15,000 bonus for her efforts, had never before run over two miles, indoors or out. She now holds not only the world, African and Ethiopian records for the distance, but the family record too, overtaking her older sister Tirunesh who ran 9:12.23 on the NIA track four years ago

Genzebe also surpassed her sister as the most prolific indoor record-breaker among the Dibaba siblings.

Dibaba won by more than 20 seconds, her fellow Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew a second place in 9:21.59 as all six finishers ran personal bests.

Dibaba wasn’t the only Ethiopian in world-beating form as Mohamed Aman took more than half a second from his 800m world lead with an African indoor record of 1:44.52.