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IAAF.org: Golden League, Rome: Dibaba has the better sprint again

2006-07-15

In Paris last Saturday (8), Olympic champion Meseret Defar had set the agenda, now tonight it was the World title holder Tirunesh Dibaba who was dictating the tactics, and as a result we were treated to another splendid last lap sprint between the two petite Ethiopians in the women’s 5000m.

Whereas a week ago Defar had set out her stall and let the World champion make a counter attack, tonight Dibaba never allowed the World record holder to get her nose in front. The bell sounded with 13:55 on the clock, and soon after Defar’s pursuit of Dibaba began, as both women kicked. Defar never came closer than about 5 metres of her compatriot, with Dibaba showing a fleet turn of speed to close on the finish in 14:52.37, with Defar second in 14:53.51. The top-8 broke 15 minutes.

Koech impressive; American record broken after 21 years!

An impressive solo effort following the heels of the designated pacemakers brought Olympic bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya a sub-8mins clocking of 7:59.94, second only to World champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen’s 7:56.32 in Athens on 3 July. Koech was followed home by the third, fourth and fifth quickest times of the summer from fellow Kenyans Richard Matelong (8:07.50) and Olympic silver medallist Brimin Kipruto (8:08.32), and Morocco’s Abdelkader Hachlaf (8:08.78 PB). In 5th was an American record for USA’s Daniel Lincoln, his time of 8:08.82 improving on Henry Marsh’s ancient mark of 8:09.17 established back on 28 August 1985.

Bekele comfortably shows heels to Shaheen and Songok

Ten men went under 13 minutes in the 5000m outlining the quality of the race but the real story was not about times it was about a three-way battle for middle distance running supremacy. Kenenisa Bekele, the World record holder, came out on-top in 12:51.44, the second fastest time of the summer. He had gone marginally quicker when winning in Paris last week (12:51.32).

The victory was what was important tonight, as the Ethiopian’s finishing burst was able to see off double World Steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Bahrain, whose 12:51.98 was an Asian record, and


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