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International News: Genzebe Dibaba Breaks World Record

The Wall Street Journal: Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba Breaks 1,500-Meter World Record

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia broke the world record in the women’s 1500 meters on Friday, running 3:50.07 in Monaco that saw perhaps the single best day of metric mile races among both men and women in recent history.

Friday’s world record came at the Meeting Herculis in Monaco, the tenth leg of track-and field’s elite Diamond League meet series. Among the 28 men and women who raced respective 1500-meter races, 20 ran personal bests, including at least four regional records.

Also in the women’s race, Shannon Rowbury of the U.S. broke Mary Decker Slaney’s 32-year American record at the distance, running 3:56.29 for third place, behind Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.

In the men’s race, Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, the reigning 1500-meter world champion defeated the reigning Olympic champion, Taoufik Makhloufi, running 3:26.69, the third-fastest time in history.

Dibaba, age 24, shattered the previous world record of 3:50.46 set by China’s Yunxia Qu in 1993, a time so fast that many in track and field believed it to be untouchable. No woman had broken 3 minutes and 55 seconds in 18 years, until Dibaba herself ran 3:54.11 just a week ago in Barcelona.

“Gosh, it’s amazing. I knew the race was going to be very fast with Dibaba and that I needed to pass the more people I could. I also knew I needed to beat Jenny Simpson if I wanted to break the national record,” said Rowbury, referring to her fellow countrywoman who has won gold and silver medals at the World Championships and was last year’s Diamond League champion in the 1500 meters. Ms. Simpson ran 3:57.30 for fourth place.

Dibaba is the younger sister of Tirunesh Dibaba, the world-record holder in the 5,000 meters, and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. The elder Dibaba is skipping the 2015 track and field season after the birth of her first child earlier this year.

Speaking after the race, Dibaba said she thinks she could run under 3:50, and will also try to break her older sister’s 5,000-meter world record sometime after this year’s World Championships in Beijing.

“I’m the first from Ethiopia getting 1500-meter world record, that is amazing,” Dibaba said. “I think Tirunesh will be happy, all Ethiopia will be happy.”

Washington Post: One of women’s track and field’s most suspect marks goes down

In 1993, the Chinese women won the 1,500 meters, 3,000 and 10,000 at the world championships and later that summer broke the world records — in stunning fashion — in all three events at a national meet in Beijing. None of the three had been touched since — until Friday.

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba won the 1,500 at the Diamond League meet in Monaco in 3 minutes 50.07 seconds, topping the world mark set nearly 22 years ago by Qu Yunxia by .39.

“I’m the first from Ethiopia to get the 1,500-meter world record. That is amazing,” Dibaba told reporters after the race. “I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and am still able to improve, maybe under 3:50.”

How fast was the race? Shannon Rowbury broke Mary Decker Slaney’s 32-year-old American record (and set a North American record as well) and finished third, more than six seconds back in 3:56.29. In all, six women, including 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson of the United States, were under four minutes.

This was long thought one of the toughest — and most dubious — records in track and field. Qu broke the mark by more than two seconds in 1993, and no non-Chinese woman had ever gone under 3:52 before Friday. In fact, no woman had run under 3:55 since 1997 before Dibaba ran 3:54.11 earlier this year.

Qu and her teammates, all “peasant” women coached by Ma Junren, passed drug tests that year despite doping rumors. But six of Junren’s “army” were among those dropped from China’s Olympic team for testing positive for EPO, a substance not tested for previously. Those positive tests have long shaded the records set in 1993, when 42 seconds were shaved off the 10,000 mark and 16.5 seconds off the 3,000 mark.

Dibaba was helped Friday by a world class pace-setter: former indoor 800 world champion Chanelle Price. The American led the pack through 400 meters in 1:00.31 and 800 in 2:04.52 before giving way. A final lap under 60 seconds gave Dibaba the mark.

The men’s race Friday was quick as well. Asbel Kiprop of Kenya ran 3:26.69, .69 off Hicham El Guerrouj’s 1998 world record, leaving him the third-fastest man of all time. Matthew Centrowitz, the former All-Met from Broadneck High, ran 3:30.40 to make him the third-fastest American ever, and he finished 10th overall.

Shanghai Daily: Dibaba sets new world record of women’s 1,500m in Monaco

MONACO, July 17 (Xinhua) — Two-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba came out the clear winner of women’s 1,500 meters here Friday evening at the Monaco Diamond League meeting with a new world record time.

The middle-distance runner of Ethiopia clocked three minutes and 50.07 seconds to improve her own world-leading result of this year by more than four seconds.

“Pacemaker did finally a great job,” said Dibaba after the race. “I’m the first from Ethiopia getting 1500m world record. That’s amazing.”

She mentioned her elder sister Tirunesh Dibaba, three-time Olympic champion and the reigning 10,000m world champion who has to skip the 2015 season due to pregnancy.

“I think Tirunesh will be happy, all Ethiopia will be happy,” said Genzebe Dibaba, the Laureus’ Sportswoman of the Year set world indoor records for 1500m and 3000m in 2014.

“I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and I’m still able to improve, maybe under 3:50,” added Dibaba, who predicted her breaking of a world record at a pre-race press conference on Thursday.

The Ethiopian, undefeated so far this year, came close to the 5000m mark in Paris, and used the Monaco meeting a check point before deciding on whether to compete both 1500m and 5000m, which she said to be her focus and must-go.

“One thing is clear I will double at World Championships. And let’s try for 5000m world record after Beijing,” she said.

BBC: Genzebe Dibaba breaks 1500m world record at Diamond League

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba produced a stunning run in Friday’s Monaco Diamond League meeting to set a 1500m world record of three minutes 50.08 seconds.

The 24-year-old took four seconds off her personal best to break Chinese athlete Yunxia Qu’s record of 3:50.46, which had stood since September 1993.

Dibaba may not compete at the distance at next month’s World Championships, having specialised in 5,000m recently.

“I’m very happy the time is so fast, very happy with this record,” she said.

“Finally all of this preparation is paying off.”

Dibaba, younger sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba, already held the 1500m indoor record, and broke three world bests in 15 days last year. But she is still waiting for her first major championship medal.

Her previous outdoor best had been set in Barcelona just last week, and was already the year’s world-leading time.

“With the training I did in Barcelona, I knew I was going to break the record,” Dibaba added, speaking through a translator.

Britain’s Laura Muir finished fifth, breaking her own Scottish record in 3:58.66. Only 2004 Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has run faster among Britons.

On a night of fast races, Asbel Kiprop’s winning time in the men’s 1500m was the fifth fastest ever.

The 26-year-old Kenyan won in a time of 3:26.69 seconds, making him the third fastest athlete over the distance.

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