Threepeat For Genzebe Dibaba At IAAF World Indoor Championships

By Steven Mills, @Trackside2018 (c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (01-Mar) -- Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia became the third athlete to win the women’s 3000m title at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on at least three occasions in an exciting climax to the first day which had a sparse but enthusiastic home crowd cheering the narrow but growing possibility of a home winner in Laura Muir on the last lap.

After an uneventful first kilometer which was covered in a pedestrian 3:14.67, noted front-runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen --who broke the 30-year-old German indoor record with a solo effort of 8:36.01 at her domestic championships in Dortmund two weeks ago-- was the first of the 14 finalists to move to the front with any purpose.

Content to sit at the back of the pack, Dibaba sensed the danger and moved up into closer contention as Klosterhalfen brought a sub-nine minute winning time into view with a second kilometer timed at 2:52.95 through the corresponding kilometre mark in 6:07.62.

With five laps remaining, the serious racing began. Dibaba made a hard surge which was immediately covered by reigning world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri from Kenya while Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, who has a propensity to sit off the pace in championship races, had to extricate herself from the chasing pack to cover the break.

Klosterhalfen and Obiri both began to drift out of medal contention with three laps to go but the volume inside the Birmingham Arena rose again as Muir moved into the reckoning for her first global medal, although the gap to the gold medal widened as Dibaba kicked again with 500 metres remaining.

With a grimace beginning to show on her face as the clock showed 8:14.61 at the bell, Dibaba had amassed a safe --but by no means unassailable-- lead of roughly twelve metres on Hassan and Muir, but in their chase for the silver medal, the gap to Dibaba began to narrow. Approaching the final turn, the deficit narrowed to a matter of metres but Dibaba gritted her teeth again and kept the pursuers at bay with a final circuit of 30.46 seconds.

Dibaba crossed the finish-line in 8:45.05, a finishing time made respectable courtesy of a scintillating final kilometer of 2:37.43. "I'm very happy to be indoor champion for the third time. This is a great competition and the race was fantastic. This day is for me and my country,” said Dibaba, who is due to contest the 1500m heats tomorrow evening.

Hassan moved off the rail and almost into lane three in an expedient bid to hold off Muir. The Dutchwoman claimed silver in 8:45.68 but bronze was still a milestone performance for Muir. After near misses at the last three major outdoor championships over 1500m, the double European indoor champion was rewarded with her first global medal in 8:45.78.

Due to her final year university commitments, Muir could only travel down to Birmingham on the Wednesday, a task made difficult by unseasonal snow and sub-zero temperatures which immobilized large parts of the British transport system.

After a series of cancelled flights, Muir eventually arrived into Birmingham at just before midnight on Wednesday but only after a treacherous six-hour taxi ride from Scotland. "This time yesterday I was in a taxi halfway down the M6. We couldn't see the bonnet, the windscreen wipers were freezing and it took six hours,” she said.

Unbeaten over 5000m outdoors in 2017, Obiri finished fourth in 8:49.66, one place ahead of reigning USA indoor 1500m and 3000m champion Shelby Houlihan, who ran a strong last lap to finish fifth in 8:50.38, overhauling Ethiopia’s Fantu Worku (8:50.54) and Klosterhalfen (8:51.79) in the final 200m.

Like Dibaba, Hassan and Muir, Houlihan will also be back in action tomorrow evening in the 1500m heats. “I just need to wipe the memory of today’s race and go into it with a clean slate and a fresh attitude. I’m excited for it; I love racing so I’m excited to race again,” Houlihan said.

Why Allie Ostrander Is Taking A Stand Against Body-Focused Commentary

With two laps to go in the NCAA Division I women’s steeplechase final at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium earlier this month, Boise State's Allie Ostrander surged to what would be a winning lead, and her third straight national title in the event—a streak no other collegiate woman can claim. 

Weekend Recap: The Women's 100m Just Got A Lot More Interesting

Not much was expected in terms of exciting track and field in a week with no Diamond League meets on the calendar, but the stars of the sport exceeded expectations with fast times and strong marks coming from the Ostrava Golden Spike on Thursday and the Jamaican National Championships over the weekend.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Briana Williams Sets 100m High School National Record With 10.94

Northeast (FL) High School junior Briana Williams smashed the national high school, world U18 and Jamaican U20 records in the 100m when she clocked a 10.94 to finish third at the Jamaica Senior Championships Friday night in Kingston.

Exposing How Stupid IAAF's New World Rankings Truly Are

As most of you know, earlier this year, the IAAF announced their new World Ranking system, which will be used in part to select future global championship fields. I wrote about how dumb the rankings were when they came out, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that Kim Conley reminded me how stupid IAAF's new World Rankings truly are.

POLL: Which Men's Bowerman Finalist Should Win?

Today, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced this year's men's Bowerman finalists: LSU's Armand "Mondo" Duplantis, Florida's Grant Holloway, and Texas Tech's Divine Oduduru.

Matthew Boling Nominated For 'Record-Breaking Performance' ESPY

null

It was the kind of magical performance we rarely see in high school track and field. 

De Grasse Beats Coleman, Miller-Uibo Smashes 300m World Best

The 58th Ostrava Golden Spike meeting, an IAAF World Challenge event, went down on Thursday in the Czech Republic, with Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo running a world best and silver medalist Andre De Grasse announcing his return to the top of the sport.

House Of Run: Which DL Events Have Clear Favorites Already?

Jason and Kevin discuss Sydney McLaughlin’s Diamond League debut win, Christian Coleman’s world lead, the current state of the women’s 800m, Tori Bowie’s season debut, Marcin Lewandowski’s medal potential and Genzebe Dibaba’s chances at gold in Doha.

The Unofficial 2019 Track And Field Mock Draft

Let’s imagine a utopian world where professional track and field was like every major sport, and top prospects wishing to be paid for their services could be selected in an amateur draft. Never mind that a singular league comprised of individual teams could never exist in a sport as disparate as track and field, where various elements of running, jumping and throwing are all encompassed under one roof. We’re not getting caught up in logistics here. So in honor of tonight’s NBA Draft, here is a very fake but totally fun track and field mock draft order for either those who have announced their intentions to go pro in 2019 or, in Matthew Boling’s case, a pre-college 19-year-old who would be age-eligible under the NBA’s rules.

7 Events To Watch At USA Junior Nationals

Women's 800m - Hurta 2:00, Athing Mu 2:01

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The USA Track and Field Junior National Championships is bound to be one of the best meets of the spring season.