Dibaba shines in Karlsruhe
She might be the lesser-known sibling in her family for now, but that may not be the case for much longer for Genzebe Dibaba, younger sister of double Olympic champion Tirunesh and former Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu. At the International Indoor Meeting in Karlsruhe on Sunday, Dibaba made up for a disappointing result two days prior at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf, where she was disqualified for breaking too early.
This time, she made no such mistake. After being paced through the first 800m in 2:11.47, Dibaba took up the running and continued to pull away from the rest of the field, stopping the clock in 4:00.13 – the fifth-fastest indoor 1500m of all-time. It was also almost two seconds quicker than her disqualified performance from Friday night, and a belated birthday surprise having turned 21 earlier in the week.
Helen Obiri, winner of the 3000m in Glasgow last month, finished second with a PB of 4:06.25, while Steph Twell skipped the UK Indoor Championships to instead opt to make her indoor debut in Karlsruhe, finishing seventh with 4:09.84.
There were two other world-leading marks set in middle-distance events in Karlsruhe. The men’s 3000m got off to a quick start, and although the pace dropped slightly in the second kilometre, the field picked it up again over the final few laps. Former Commonwealth champion Augustine Choge and Kenyan team-mate Edwin Soi were left to duke it out, and both crossed the line neck-and-neck in 7:29.94 with Choge being awarded the victory. Yenew Alamirew, one of the sensations of the 2011 indoor season, was third in 7:31.23.
Bethwell Birgen made it a Kenyan double, winning the 1500m in 3:34.65. Former compatriot Ilham-Tanui Ozbilen, now representing Turkey, set a national record of 3:34.76 in second. The women’s 3000m was similarly high-quality with Morocco’s Mariem Alaoui-Selsouli winning in 8:36.87.
Ivet Lalova continued to build on last year’s resurgence by winning the women’s 60m with a PB of 7.16, 0.02 ahead of Jamaica’s Aleen Bailey who broke her lifetime best from nine years ago.
Elsewhere, Jeff Porter won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.54, although Russia’s Konstantin Shabanov clocked 7.52 in the heats. Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski defeated world champion David Storl in the shot, 21.27m to 21.03m, and European indoor silver medallist delighted the home crowd with her pole vault victory, clearing 4.68m.