Abeba Aregawi & Hayle Ibrahimov dominate at European Indoor Championships

Abebea AregawiGothenburg, Sweden – Ethiopian-born athletes Abeba Aregawi (Sweden) and Hayle Ibrahimov (Azerbaijan), who was formerly known as Haile Desta Hagos, dominated at the 32nd European Indoor Championships here today, where they won in the 1,500m and 3,000m respectively.

Aregawi, who represented Ethiopia at the London Olympics this past summer, is married to a Swede.

The Ethiopian-born athlete – who recorded the second-fastest time in history of 3:58.40 for the indoor metric mile in Stockholm last month – laid waste to her beleaguered opposition by running them off their feet to strike gold in 4:04.47.

It was by some way the greatest victory margin – 9.72 second – in the 42-year history of the event at the European Indoor Championships. A long, long way behind were Spain’s Isabel Macias who took silver in 4:14.19 with Poland’s Katarzyna Broniatowska winning bronze.

Hayle IbrahimovIn the day’s other track final, Ethiopian-born Hayle Ibrahimov (formerly known as Haile Desta Hagos)  went one better than at the 2011 edition by securing Azerbaijan’s first ever gold medal at the European Indoor Championships in the men’s 3000m. The pre-event favourite always looked in control and out-sprinted the opposition from the front on the final lap in 7:49.74. Spanish veteran and 2007 1500m champion Juan Carlos Higuero finished strongly to take silver in 7:50.26 with Ireland’s Ciaran O’Lionaird some 0.14 back in third. Read more