Q&A #28 There is a new WR in the Women's 1500 who set it

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                                                                                                                                                                                                     Genzebe Dibaba with her 1500m world record figures at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco (Philippe Fitte)

Genzebe Dibaba achieved what many had believed to be unachievable, breaking the 1500m world record* with a time of 3:50.07.

Qu Yunxia's mark of 3:50.46, set at the 1993 National Games, was considered to be one of the toughest world records on the books. But in a perfectly judged race, world indoor 800m champion Chanelle Price paced Dibaba through 400m in 1:00.31 and 800m in 2:04.52 before leaving the Ethiopian to finish.

Dibaba still had European champion Sifan Hassan for company as she passed the bell in 2:50.3, but the two-time world indoor champion kicked hard. With 100m left to run, it became clear that Dibaba was, at the very least, going to get close to the world record. But she charged for the line, crossing it in 3:50.07 to become the fastest 1500m runner in history.

In a race of great depth, six women ran faster than four minutes. Hassan clocked a national record of 3:56.05 in second, while Rowbury broke the North American record with 3:56.29 in third. 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson recorded her second-fastest time ever with 3:57.30 in fourth.

Britain’s Laura Muir and Maureen Koster of the Netherlands were fifth and sixth, smashing their PBs with 3:58.66 and 3:59.79 respectively.

“The pacemaker did a great job,” said Dibaba. “I’m the first athlete from Ethiopia to break the world record in the 1500m; that is amazing.

“I think Tirunesh will be happy, all of Ethiopia will be happy,” added Dibaba of her older sister, who recently gave birth to her first child. “I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and I feel like I can still improve. I’ll try to break the 5000m world record after the World Championships in Beijing.”

Genzebe Dibaba

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Genzebe Dibaba
Genzebe Dibaba by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Genzebe at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot.
Personal information
Born8 February 1991 (age 24)[1]
Height168 cm (5 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight52 kg (115 lb)[1]
Event(s)1500 m3000 m5000 m
Coached byJama Aden
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 m: 3:50:07 WR[2]
Indoor 1500 m: 3:55.17iWR[3]
3000 m: 8:26.21[3]
Indoor 3000 m: 8:16.60iWR[3]
Indoor 2-mile: 9:00.48i WR[3]
5000 m: 14:15.41[3]
Indoor 5000 m: 14:18.86iWR[3]
‹ The template below (Patronymic name) is being considered for merging. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus.›
This article contains a patronymic name. This person is addressed by her given name, Genzebe, and not as Dibaba (the original or modified given name of her father).

Genzebe Dibaba Keneni (Amharic: ገንዘቤ ዲባባ;[1] Afaan Oromo: Ganzabee Dibaabaa; born 8 February 1991) is an Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner. She is the sister of three-times Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba, and the cousin of former Olympic champion Derartu Tulu.[4]

Subject to ratification, Genzebe is the current world record holder in the women's 1500 metres, running 3:50.07 at the Herculis meet in Monaco on July 17, 2015. At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, she became World Champion in 1500 m as well as claiming the bronze medal in the 5000 m event.

She was the 2012 World Indoor Champion for the 1500 m and holds the World record for the distance, and is the reigning 2014 World Indoor Champion and World Indoor Record Holder in the 3000 m. She represented Ethiopia at the 2012 Summer Olympics and has twice competed at the World Championships in Athletics (2009 and 2011). She was highly successful as a junior (under-20) athlete, having won two junior world cross country titles and one world junior 5000 m gold medal.


Genzebe Dibaba comes from an athletic family. Her older sister Tirunesh is a celebrated athlete who won more than 19 major medals, including five in summer olympics. Another older sister, Ejegayehu, won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics. And brother Dejene is also an athlete. Her cousin is 1992 and 2000 10000m Olympic champion Derartu Tulu.


Genzebe won the junior women's title at both the 2008[5] and 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships[6] and finished fifth in the same event in 2007. Genzebe became the second junior woman ever to win two junior cross country championships in a row. She also competed in IAAF Golden League meetings, including the Reebok Grand Prix and the Oslo Bislett Games. At the 2008 Bislett Games she recorded a personal best time of 15:02.41 in the 5000 metres, during the same race where her sister Tirunesh set a new world record.[7] She did the same a year later in the same race, improving her personal best by more than five seconds.


After winning the 5000 m at the Ethiopian Athletics Championships, she was included in the Ethiopian squad for the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships. In Berlin she replaced Tirunesh on Ethiopia's 5000 m team, who withdrew due to injury. Genzebe ran an excellent heat, finishing fourth and qualifying for the final where, in her first major senior championship race, she finished in eighth position. She also won the 5000 m gold at the 2009 African Junior Athletics Championships.

She began her 2009–10 cross country campaign with a win at the Cross de Atapuerca.[8] She also competed indoors, improving her 1500 m best to 4:04.80 at the Indoor Flanders meeting.[9] Despite her wins on the senior circuit, she failed to complete a hat-trick of junior race titles at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She performed far below expectations, ending up in eleventh and barely making it into the silver medal winning Ethiopian team.[10] Her fortunes improved at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics as she defeated the junior cross country winner Mercy Cherono to take the 5000 m gold in a championship record time.[11] In November she took a second consecutive victory at the Cross de Atapueca, taking a prominent scalp in Emily Chebet (the reigning senior champion).[12]


She was the runner-up at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country in January 2011 behind Linet Masai.[13] She placed ninth at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships two months later.

Genzebe improved her 5000 m best to 14:37.56 minutes at the Bislett Games and went on to place eighth in the event at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. After this point she began to move away from the 5000 m an focus on the 1500 metres instead – a move which paid significant dividends for her career. She began 2012 with the fifth fastest ever indoor 1500 m, winning the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe in 4:00.13 minutes.[14]A win at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix preceded her first world title at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships.[15] Turning to the outdoor track, she ran an Ethiopian record time of 3:57.77 minutes at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.[16] She was third at the Golden Gala and runner-up at the Bislett Games. She was selected for the 2012 London Olympics, but a hamstring injury in the final lap of her heat saw her eliminated from the competition.[17]


Genzebe opened 2013 on grass, winning the 3 km competition at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country,[18] then took two indoor wins in Karlsruhe and Birmingham.

On February 1, 2014, in Karlsruhe, Germany, Genzebe Dibaba ran 3:55.17 in the 1500 m indoor event, beating the previous indoor world record by over 3 seconds. This mark was the fastest 1500 m in the world, indoor or outdoor, since 1997.[19]

Five days later, she improved the world indoor record in the 3000 metres to 8:16.60 at the XL Galan meet in Stockholm, Sweden. In that one race, she improved her own personal record by over thirty seconds, the world record by almost seven, and even though it was set on a shorter track indoors, her time was the number four time at the distance ever. Only on one occasion has the time been bettered, that was the 1993 Chinese National Games, when three athletes Wang JunxiaQu Yunxia and Zhang Linli set the event on its ear, running times that had previously not been approached in two decades.In the month of February and in just 15 days Genzebe was able to break her third world record at indoor two-mile record at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix nine minutes and 0.48 seconds was her new record that shattered Meseret Defar previous record by six seconds.[20]

With these records Genzebe is now one of only three athletes in history to break three world records in three different events within 15 days, joining Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt. She stands alone as the only one to do this feat in three different cities and meets, and in all individual events under FAT.[citation needed]

In summer IAAF Diamond League competition, Genzebe won the 1500 at Monaco.


Genzebe won the women's 5000m at the 2015 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon in a then-personal best time of 14:19.76.[21] She then went on to win the 5000m at the Diamond League Meet Areva in Paris on July 4 in a new personal best time of 14:15:41. This was her fifth 5000 meter run under 14:30. Only four days later, she set a new African record for the 1500m of 3:54.11, virtually single handedly running the fastest 1500 in the world in 18 years[2] and the ninth fastest of all time. 6 of the 8 times ahead of her were run in two races at the 1993 Chinese National Games, where much of the running community believes the communist government was sponsoring a doping scheme in the days before serious drug testing was required. On 17 July 2015 in Monaco, Genzebe broke the 1500m world record, which had previously been considered near-unbreakable, in a time of 3:50:07.

At the World Championships in Beijing, she would become World Champion in 1500 m as well as claiming the bronze medal in the 5000 m event.


2007World Cross Country ChampionshipsMombasaKenya5thJunior race (6 km)21:23
2008World Cross Country ChampionshipsEdinburghScotland1stJunior race (6.04 km)19:59
World Junior Championships in AthleticsBydgoszczPoland2nd5000 m16:16.75
2009World Cross Country ChampionshipsAmmanJordan1stJunior race (6 km)20:14
Ethiopian Athletics ChampionshipsAddis AbabaEthiopia1st5000 m
African Junior ChampionshipsBambousMauritius1st5000 m16:11.85
World ChampionshipsBerlinGermany8th5000 m15:11.12
2010World Junior ChampionshipsMoncton, Canada1st5000 m15:08.06
2012World Indoor ChampionshipsIstanbulTurkey1st1500 m4:05.78
2013World ChampionshipsMoscowRussia8th1500 m4:05.99
2014World Indoor ChampionshipsSopotPoland1st3000 m8:55.04
2015World ChampionshipsBeijing, China1st1500 m4:08.09
3rd5000 m14:44.14

Personal bests[edit]

Outdoor1500 metres3:50.0717 July 2015Monaco, MonacoWorld record
3000 metres8:26.219 May 2014Doha, Qatar
5000 metres14:15.414 July 2015Paris, France
Indoor1500 metres3:55.171 February 2014Karlsruhe, GermanyWorld record
3000 metres8:16.606 February 2014Stockholm, SwedenWorld record
Two miles9:00.4815 February 2014Birmingham, EnglandWorld best
5000 metres14:18.8619 February 2015Stockholm, SwedenWorld record[22]