Genzebe Dibaba’s astonishing indoor season continued as she smashed her third world record in 15 days at the indoor grand prix here.
A fortnight ago, in Karlsruhe, the 23-year-old Ethiopian snipped three seconds off the 1500m record. Last week in Stockholm she took apart the women’s indoor 3,000m by nearly seven seconds. She leaves Birmingham with another record and a $15,000 (£9,000) bonus after obliterating Meseret Defar’s two-mile world record by nearly six seconds after winning in 9min 00.48sec. It might have even been a second or two quicker if she had not been forced to veer around athletes she was lapping.
Dibaba admitted that halfway round she felt “a bit weak and tired”. Try telling that to decent British athletes like Helen Clitheroe, the 2011 European indoor champion, and Stephanie Twell, a 1500m Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, who were both lapped – yet still set personal bests.
Dibaba said: “In the middle of the race I felt a bit weak and tired but with the help of the crowd and all the buzzing I was able to gain momentum and get the record. Now I’m hoping to win a gold at the world indoors.”
On this evidence Dibaba will also have outdoor records in her sights too.
Genzebe’s elder sister Tirunesh, the Olympic and world 10,000m champion and world record holder in the 5,000m, will be looking over her shoulder – or even into the distance – in the months ahead.
Another record was taken apart in the women’s 1500m as Laura Muir ran 4:05.32 to break the Scottish record by four seconds but it was the manner of the victory that was really startling.
Against experienced athletes, the 20-year-old decided to strike for the front with a lap to go and just about held off Sifan Hassan for victory. Muir, who studies veterinary science at Glasgow University, said: “I’m so happy. I was feeling really good with one lap to go so I just went for it and managed to hold them off.”
She added: “I didn’t know I could run that fast. The likes of Hassan are world-class athletes so it gives me a lot of confidence. I think I’ll run 800m for the world but it would be hard to say which is better for me at the moment.”
Holly Bleasdale was another British women’s winner, leaping 4.71m in the pole vault. She was not entirely satisfied, admitting: “It wasn’t a great day today; I felt a bit rusty and things were a little bit stiff but if I can jump 4.71m on a bad day then I know the 4.80s and 4.90s will come.”
The biggest showdown of the day, in the women’s 60m, was won by the Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahouré who beat two-times Olympic Games 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by a vest’s width. Ahouré just got the nod with Britain’s Asha Philip third.