Dibaba Smashes 5000m WR in Oslo, Bislett Games Report by Bob Ramsak

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Here is the eye witness report from Bob Ramsak, our roving track & field man about the world.....

TRACK PROFILE Report #766
07-June-2008

DIBABA SMASHES 5000m WR IN OSLO – BISLETT GAMES REPORT

By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

OSLO – Tirunesh Dibaba made her first outing of the summer a memorable one after breaking the world record in the 5000m at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in the Norwegian capital on Friday night.

For the second straight year, the Oslo meet played host to a new women’s standard in the event. This time around, it was Dibaba smashing the record that her compatriot Meseret Defar smashed last year.

This is a very joyous day for me today,” said Dibaba after her stunning 14:11.15 performance which eclipsed Defar’s performance by more than five-and-a-half seconds. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and this is a very special day for me.”

[For more on Dibaba’s record, please see my story for the IAAF at http://www.iaaf.org/GLE08/news/newsid=45213.html or see TPR # 765.]

Three seconds outside record pace when reaching the 3000m point in 8:38.38, the two-time world 10,000m champion forged onwards, finding her rhythm, and by the end of the fourth kilometer, was a full second ahead of record schedule. Dibaba said she new she had the record in hand with two laps to go, which she covered in 2:10.

She arrived in Oslo with a 14:30.40 career best set at this meeting two years ago, but had run faster indoors, most recently in 2007 with her 14:27.42 world record indoors. But like Defar last year, the margin left her nearly speechless. “I’m surprised that I broke it by that much,” she said. “Yes, very surprised. And I’m very happy.”

Kenyan Lucy Wangui was a distant second in 14:33.49, with Dibaba’s older sister, Ejegayehu third in 14:36.78.

- Kaki’s 08 debut a rousing success, Jelimo again dominates

The men’s 800, a face-off between rising young guns Abubaker Kaki and David Rudisha, was hoping to steal some thunder from the women’s event, where the season’s revelation, Pamela Jelimo was again playing a leading role. And the men’s contest did, with Kaki, the world indoor champion, taking a phenomenal and powering vicoty in 1:42.69, a world junior record for the 18-year-ld Sudanese.

Bringing to mind his gun-to-tape victory at the world indoor championships, Kaki immediately tucked in behind the pacemaker who took the field through 400m in just over 50 seconds and 600m in 1:17. And Kaki didn’t relent. For a fleeting moment it appeared that Rudisha, himself just 19, would challenge at the 600m point, but Kaki just sped around the final bend and powered towards the homestretch and across the line, nearly toppling the 1:42.4 meet record set by Sebastian Coe in 1979.

Rudisha, who in the end wasn’t a threat to Kaki, still crossed the line with an impressive 1:43.72, with South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi third (1:44.04).

Kaki’s heroics aside, Jelimo hardly disappointed in yet another sensational outing. The 18-year-old cruised to a 1:55.41 win, shy of the 1:54.99 she ran in Berlin last Sunday, but nonetheless winning by more than three seconds with a performance that only 10 women have ever bettered, to remain in the chase for the $1 million jackpot hunt.

Slovak Lucia Klocova was second this time in 1:58.89 and Jamaican Kenia Sinclair third in 1:59.99; the first seven all dipped under two minutes.

- Sub-44 for Wariner

Jeremy Wariner dispelled any doubts that last weekend’s dramatic loss to Lashawn Merritt may have knocked him off his game. Powering away from Chris Brown down the homestretch, the world and Olympic champion cruised to a world-leading 43.98. Significantly, it was the earliest in the season Wariner has ever produced a sub-44.

“I ran pretty much the same way I ran in Berlin, but here my finish was better,” Wariner said. “I was pleased that I had my kick this time and felt great running down the homestretch.”

Next up for Wariner is his first appearance in the rarely-contested 300m in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Thursday.

Bahamian Brown was second in 44.40, with Nery Brenes of Costa Rica a distat third (45.31).

- 26th straight victory for Vlasic

On Thursday, world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic joked that she had some business to take care of Oslo. The Croatian’s last loss came at this meeting one year ago, but there was little to indicated that that particular loss was weighing heavily on her mind here. Vlasic upped her own world lead with a first attempt clearance at 2.04m, her 26th straight victory, and produced a near-perfect scorecard. The only exception was one miss at 1.98m when she was bothered by the evening sun still shining brightly from directly behind the high jump pit.

She took three attempts at a would-be world record of 2.10, and though none were threateningly close, both she and her coach Bojan Marinovic said that technically, they were her best ever attempts at Stefka Kostadinova’s 21-year-old global standard.

Again, Germany’s Ariane Friedrich was second, topping out at 1.98m.

- Brits take men’s 1500 and mile

The men’s 1500m and mile produced a surprise sweep for Great Britain. Former Florida State star Tom Lancashire took a solid 3:35.33 win in the late afternoon’s 1500m, clocking 3:35.33, before Andrew Baddeley concluded the evening with a surprise –and quick—win in the meet’s signature event, the Dream Mile.

Berlin 1500m winner Augustine Choge charged to front entering the final turn, positioning himself nicely for the homestretch kick. But Baddeley, a 2007 world championships finalist had other ideas. Confidently striding past the Kenyan, Baddeley finished unchallenged to take the win in 3:49.38, ahead of Kenyan Haron Keitany (3:49.70) and Ethiopian Deresse Mekkonen (3:49.72).

- Sprints & hurdles

Spaniard Josephine Onyia continued her fine early summer, taking the 100m hurdles win virtually gun-to-tap in 12.59 to stay alive in the AF Golden League Jackpot chase. American Lolo Jones was second (12.66) with Swede Susanna Kallur third (12.71).

American Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 world champion, kept his jackpot ambitions alive as well with a convincing victory in the 400m hurdles, clocking 48.15. Jamaican Danny McFarlane was a distant second (48.58).

Derrick Atkins, the world championships silver medallist, was content with his wind-aided 9.98 win in the 100m. “It’s good to get my rhythm going,” said Atkins, who comfortably outdistanced American Michael Rodgers (10.04). “Right now it’s about my body waking up.”

American teenager Bianca Knight produced a solid evening, first finishing second to Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks in the 100m, 11.24 to 11.25, then coming back to win the 200m handily in 22.56, well ahead of Russian Yuliya Guschina (22.85). In the 100, enigmatic Olympic champion Yulia Nestarenko was third clocking 11.26.

- Pitkamaki out, Al-Sabee remains in Jackpot hunt

Satisfying the near-capacity Bislett stadium crowd was a dramatic javelin competition, won by Norway’s Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen, with an 87.73m throw in the final round. Finn’s Tero Jarvenpaa (86.49m) and Tero Pitkamaki (85.92m), the world champion. For the latter, it signaled a departure from the jackpot chase.

But elsewhere on the infield, Hussein Al-Sabee remained in the hunt, winning the long jump for the second weekend in a row, this time with an 8.19m leap, edging Italy’s Andrew Howe (8.16m) and South African Godfrey Mokoena (8.15m).

- Steeplechase world lead for Galkina

The meet opened with a loaded field in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, which turned into an exhibition by world record holder Gulnara Galkina. Running at the front and very much alone after the pacesetter concluded her duties, the Russian nabed a 9:14.77 win the year’s fastest. Her compatriot Yekaterina Volkova was second in 9:18.24, followed by Donna McFarlane, whose 9:18.35 was an Australian record. Pole Wioletta Frankiewicz, who ran second to Galkina for much of the proceedings, faded to fifth over the last lap (9:25.20).

After a brief break, the six-meet series resumes at th Golden Gala in Rome on Friday, July 11.

[Ed note: TPR’s on-site coverage continues from Ostrava’s Golden Spike, beginning on Wednesday.]

ENDS

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