Three World Records in Stockholm-Genzebe Dibaba smashed the mile record by almost four seconds, by Jonas Hedman for RunBlogRun


Genzebe DibabaT2W_5930_1194.JPGDibaba runs 4:13:31! photo by Hasse Sjögren/Deca Text&Bild

Genzebe Dibaba delivered, with her fine new indoor Mile WR. Breaking Doina Melinte's 4:17.14 from 1990, Dibaba ran 4:13.31, the second fastest mile indoors or out.

On Friday, February 19, Dibaba will be running 3000 meters at a race in Spain.


Three World records in Stockholm - Genzebe Dibaba smashed the mile record with almost four seconds

It was an amazing evening in the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm where Globen Galan took place on Wednesday with no less than three World records! Genzebe Dibaba 4:13.31 at the mile, Ayanleh Souleiman 2:14.20 at 1000m and Abdalelah Haroun 59.83 at 500m (world best). Except the running skill the trio have two things in common - they share the same coach and the same manager!

The outstanding performance of the night was Dibabas world record at the english mile (1609 m) when she smashed the 26-year-old record of 4:17.14 by set by Romania's Doina Melinte by almost four seconds clocking 4:13.31.

The 25-year-old Ethiopian followed the rabbit Joanna Jozwik through 800 m in 2:05.69 and then continued the fast steady pace with laps of 32.1, 32.0, 31.6 and 33.6 for the last 209 metres.

Dibaba passed 1500 m in 3:56.46 (official electronic timing, the unofficial rolling time on the infield showed 3:56.27) which is the second fastest ever and only 1.5 second above her own world indoor record.

It was the third year in a row that Dibaba set a world indoor record in the Ericsson Globe Arena and it has been different distances on all three occasions - 8:16.60 at 3000m in 2014, 14:18.86 at 5000m in 2015 and now the mile.

"I know this track very well and the rabbit did a great job. I am really happy with the record but I think I can go even faster. I really love Stockholm!" says Dibaba who was only 0.8 seconds from the overall (outdoor) world record of 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova 20 years ago. Dibaba was 0.3 faster than Masterkova through 1500 m but lost 1.1 seconds during the last 109 meters.

Ayanleh Souleiman smashed the 1000m record
The day before the meet Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti made no secret about his plans for the 1000m race: "I am in good shape and will go for the world record". The 16 year old mark of 2:14.96 by Wilson Kipketer has been under threat several times but no one has been able to stay strong during the fifth and final lap. But that was exactly what Souleiman did.

The 23-year-old world indoor champion at 1500m got a smooth race behind rabbit Bram Som who took him through 600m in 1:19, then Souleiman passed 800 m on his own in 1:46.97. He then closed the race with a strong 27.2 last lap crossing the finish line in 2:14.21 which was changed to 2:14.20 - 0.8 faster than the previous record.

"I really want to say thank you to the pace maker who did a great job up to 600m! Then when I saw the time at 800m, 1:46.97, I knew the record was mine," says Ayanleh Souleiman who jumped up in the arms of his coach Jama Aden's arms and gave him a big hug!

Haroun broke 60 seconds

The seldom ran distance 500m had a world best of 60.06 by Brycen Spratling, USA, from 2015 when the meet started and the purpose of putting the event on the program was to get the first man under 60 seconds. And that man was 19-year-old Abdalelah Haroun from Qatar who had his big breakthrough at this meet a year ago when he came from nowhere and won the B race in an Asian indoor record of 45.39 - almost a full second faster than the winner of the A race, Pavel Maslák. During the summer Haroun bettered his 400m PB to 44.27 and now he was ready for another good performance. He was in the lead after two curves when the runners left their respectively lanes and hold on to win with 0.9 in 59.83 - world's first ever sub-60 time.

Jama Aden was a really happy man since he is the coach of all the three world record runners! Genzebe, Ayanleh and Abdalelah also have another thing in common - they share the same manager in the Swede Ulf Saletti who also is the meeting director of Globen Galan.

The first world indoor record set in the Ericsson Globe Arena was in 1996 and the two this year was number eleven and twelfth. Add to that sex world junior records.

Two more world leading marks and a world youth record

Except the three world records it was a world leading mark at men's 800 and 3000m. At 800m Musaeb Balla made a seven meter lead at the bell with Adam Kszczot second. But the Polish closed the gap on the last lap and won with 0.3 in 1:45.63, his fourth victory in less than three weeks.

The 3000m race started with 2:31.8 at 1000m and 5:09.2 at 2000m and came to an end with a sprint finish between Abdelaati Iguider and 18-year old Yomif Kejelcha with the first one as a winner with 0.07 in 7:39.04.

39-year-old Kim Collins won the 60m dash in 6.56 ahead of Mike Rodgers who was 0.02 behind. Swedish long jumper Andreas Otterling, bronze medallist at last years European indoor championship, set a PB of 8.12 which gave him the victory. Home star Michel Tornéus, who has won this meet four times, started his season with 7.87 and a series which included four invalid jumps.

The men's shot put was held in a separate building just outside the main arena. Canadian Tim Nedow had a great evening setting two PBs and won with a final effort of 21.33 which make him number three on the season list, only 23 cm behind world leader Kurt Roberts.
The women's long jump became a battle between Ksenija Balta and Lorraine Ugen which Balta won with five centimeters in a season best of 6.76.

Last Saturday 16-year-old Swede Lisa Gunnarsson targeted the U18 world best of 4.47 set by clubmate Angelica Bengtsson in 2010. This evening Gunnarsson cleared 4.49 on her first attempt and now holds the world best on her own. This was also the first time she beat her six year older role model as Bengtsson failed three times at 4.49. The winner of the meet was Nikoléta Kyriakopoúlou in a PB of 4.81.

It was a great evening in the Ericsson Globe Arena, but it was one problem. Where were the spectators? The meet is organized by two of the biggest clubs in Sweden, Hässelby and Spårvägen, since the inaugural year of 1990. This was the 27th annual of the meet and never before has it been as few as the approximately 5000 that showed up this time. The arena capacity is 10500 when it's athletics and now a lot of chairs were empty.

The meet lost its title sponsor, building trade company XL, last year which sponsored the gala for five years. This year it will be a big economic loss but hopefully the organiser will find a new title sponsor which most probably is a necessity if the meet should survive.

Globen Galan 2016 was a wonderful meet and it's sad that less and less people want to pay for watching great athletics live.

Jonas Hedman


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