Dibaba and Defar to compete at Great North Run on Sunday

Tirunesh Dibaba (left) and Meseret Defar
Tirunesh Dibaba (left) and Meseret Defar

After years of not competing against each other, Ethiopia’s dominant distance duo faces off twice in one month.

Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba, both world champions, hadn’t raced since the 2012 London Olympics. On August 29, they competed at 5,000 m in Zurich. Defar triumphed. On Sunday, Sept. 15, the two will face off again, this time over the half marathon distance at the Great North Run in England. We talked with Dibaba in Zurich.

Fresh off her world championships 10,000m victory in Moscow, Dibaba was heading to the Aug. 29 Zurich 5,000m when she arrived at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport and discovered her flight to Rome was delayed. “They said it was delayed for three hours, and I wasn’t going to go back home for three hours, so I sat there,” she told Running Times. It ended up being delayed for eight hours. “And then in Rome,” Dibaba added, “I waited for three, four hours. In total, I spent about 22 hours on the road.” Read more


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