Paris, France – In the end it wasn’t even a world-leading time for the year, but the Ethiopian pair of Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana threw almost everything they had at their assault on the 5000m world record in Paris on Saturday.
The results will show Dibaba claimed the victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in a personal best and meeting record of 14:15.41, with the hard-working Ayana second in 14:21.97, some seven seconds outside her solo-run world lead from Shanghai in May.
But that doesn’t tell the full tale of a sometimes bizarre but always enthralling race in which the pair had been meant to share the pace as they attacked Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record from 2008.
It was actually Ayana who did the lion’s share as the tempo fluctuated from six seconds down to five seconds up on record pace at half way, before they finally faltered over the last kilometre.
Dibaba bided her time before pouncing at the bell and running a last 200m of 31.3 to leave her compatriot in her wake.
It was all a bit déjà vu for Ayana, who finished second to the elder Dibaba here in 2013, a performance that persuaded her to switch to 5000m after some early career success in the steeplechase; and drew her back here this evening with the world record in her sights.
The throat-gripping stickiness of earlier in the day had fortunately given way to a warm gentle breeze by the start of the race, making the conditions almost perfect for a record attempt.
Read more at: IAAF.org