Genzebe Dibaba (Photo: Getty Images)

Genzebe Dibaba (Photo: Getty Images)

Karlsruhe, Germany – Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic 5000m champion Meseret Defar was appearing at the Weltklasse meeting in Karlsruhe – an IAAF Indoor Permit Meeting – for the first time but it showed no signs of unfamiliarity and controlled the women’s 3000m right from the gun before posting a world-leading 8:35.28 on Saturday (2).

Compatriot Gete Dima was competing indoors for the first time and was the designated pace maker, bringing Defar through the first kilometre in 2:52.43 before departing just before the end of the second kilometre, which was reached in 5:46.72, and Defar easily achieved her goal of a meeting record.

“This was my first race of the year,” said Defar. “Although I wanted to run 8:31, I’m lucky that it went so well with the pacer during the first part of the race. The speed was quite high.”

Behind Defar, Azerbaijan’s Layes Abdullayeva held third place midway through the race, albeit at a distance from the Ethiopian pair, but Germany’s Corinna Harrer kept Abdullayeva in view and passed her with just over four laps to go.

Women’s 1,500m

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba tore away from the start and fashioned a 15-metre lead after only the first 150 metres of the women’s 1500m.  The reigning World indoor champion may have had her sights on bettering her own meeting record of 4:00.13 but she had to settle for a 4:02.25, which was still a world-leading mark.

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