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Dibaba sets new Record

Genzebe Dibaba

Her big sister Tirunesh has twice been a world record breaker indoors and it was the turn Genzebe Dibaba to make her own mark on the under cover record books when she smashed the women’s world indoor 1500m record * by more than three seconds with a run of 3:55.17 at the IAAF Indoor Permit meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Saturday (1).

The previous best had been 3:58.28, set by Russia’s Yelena Soboleva in 2006, and Dibaba’s own previous indoor best was 4:00.13. Her time was also more than a second faster than Abeba Aregawi’s Ethiopian outdoor record of 3:56.54 and the outdoor African record of 3:55.30, set by Hassiba Boulmerka.

Slovenia’s Sonja Roman took Dibaba through 400m in 1:02.39 and then 800m in 2:08.96, just under a second faster than Soboleva at this stage in proceedings on her world-record run with the Russian having clocked 2:09.7 after four laps of the track. But soon afterwards the Ethiopian hit the front and then it was just a race between her and the clock.

Dibaba, still only 22, went through 1200m in a sizzling 3:10.47, compared to Soboleva’s 3:13.1. After a third 400m of just over 61 seconds, she kept up the tempo all the way to the line.

“I felt I was ready for a world record,” said the world indoor 1500m champion who is set to defend her title at this year’s edition in the Polish city of Sopot next month. “But I didn’t think I would run 3:55. I was well prepared for tonight, though. I’m extremely happy.”

The city of Karlsruhe had replaced the 25-year-old surface in the Europahalle only last summer, and Dibaba admitted that “the track was very fast,” compared to previous years. She has become a regular visitor to Karlsruhe and won the 1500m at the same meeting in 2012 and last year.

Poland’s Angelika Cichocka finished a distant second, almost 13 seconds in arrears, in 4:08.15.

Germany’s David Storl continued his fine form, the reigning outdoor world champion and principal domestic headline act beating his indoor counterpart Ryan Whiting.

In a repeat of the gold and silver medal positions from the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last summer, Storl opened with a meeting record of 21.33m and that proved to be the winning throw.

He then pushed himself unsuccessfully the rest of the way in an attempt to take over the world lead. “I didn’t have enough tonight to hit 21.50m,” commented Storl, “but my second throw had potential if I had not fouled.”

Storl also referred to the stress of having competed, and winning, only two nights earlier in Düsseldorf. Whiting, who had arrived straight from winning in Bydgoszcz with a world-leading 21.37m on Friday evening, was clearly tired as well but finally got over 21 metres in the fourth round, reaching 21.01m, which proved to be the US putter’s best effort of the night.

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