Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia powered to the second fastest indoor 1500m of all time to highlight the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe as the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour kicked off here yesterday.
The Ethiopian’s sensational 3:57.45 run was one of five world-leading performances to play out before a vociferous sell-out crowd of 4,500 at the Messe Halle Karlsruhe, but the only one likely to remain atop the world lists, unless Dibaba herself decides to attack it later this season.
Clearly, Dibaba likes to race in Karlsruhe. The Ethiopian set the 3:55.17 world indoor record at this meeting four years ago on the nearby Europahalle track. She clocked 4:00.13 two years prior to that, which is, after this evening, the 10th fastest run of all time.
On this return engagement, she looked like the Dibaba of 2014, attacking her world standard from the gun. She appeared eager early on, testing her patience behind the pacesetter Nelly Jepkosgei, who opened with a 1:01.16 opening 400m. That was well inside the 62.5 in Dibaba’s world record run, but too quick for Jepkosgei, who struggled in the waning stages of her 800-metre assignment. The tempo not to her liking, Dibaba forged ahead to go it alone, passing the 800m mark in 2:07.52, a second-and-a-half faster than four years ago.
Unrelenting, her record assault intentions, mere whispers prior to the race, were clear by 1100m. Here the clock read 3:10.57, almost identical to the 3:10.5 en route to her record. Forging on, she finally ran out of steam midway through the final bend, but still managed to finish well under the formidable indoor four-minute barrier for the third time. No other woman can claim that achievement.
While Dibaba went for broke from the outset, the race for second was a contest of patience. Kenyans Beatrice Chepkoech and Winny Chebet tried to maintain for the first 800 metres, but quick paid for those ambitions, both falling back over the next two laps. That played well into the hands of Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who often prefers to run alone. Passing the Kenyan duo, the German, who will celebrate her 21st birthday on 18 February, pushed on to eventually reach the line in 4:04.00, a personal best.
Chepkoech was third in 4:08.33 and Chebet fourth clocking 4:09.45.
An Ethiopian 1-2 Finish in Men’s 3000m
Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yomif Kejelcha bided their time before pouncing in the men’s 3000m to leave Karlsruhe with an Ethiopian 1-2.
The pair waited until midway through the final lap before taking command, Gebrhiwet winning in 7:37.91, to close the meeting with its fifth world lead. Kejelcha was next in 7:38.67, a personal best, holding off the Abdalaati Iguider’s strong but late finishing charge. The Moroccan clocked 7:39.92 ahead of Adel Mechaal’s 7:74.14, a personal best for the Spaniard who took last year’s European indoor crown.
Read more at: IAAF.org