Meseret Defar Smashes 5,000 m WR in Stockholm, by Bob Ramsak, Track Profile, Note by Larry Eder


Eleven days ago in Stuttgart, Meseret Defar gave the 3,000 meter world record a scare, tonight, with a closing 30.3 over the last lap, Defar broke the world record for 5,000 meters indoors by three seconds in Stockholm! Photo above, from the Beijing 5,000 meter final, courtesy of



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2009 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

After a near-miss at a world record in the 3000m 11 days ago in Stuttgart, Meseret Defar said that she would “Try for a good time in Stockholm”. The 25-year-old Ethiopian delivered tonight in Stockholm, where she clocked 14:24.37 to smash the world record in the 5000m at the DN Galan meet.

Closing with a 30.3 second last lap, Defar knocked more than three seconds from the previous mark of 14:27.42 set by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in Boston in 2007. The performance marked a stellar return to the Swedish capital for Defar who in her last appearance there was just a second shy of taking down Dibaba’s outdoor mark over the distance. It was her first indoor 5000m race for Defar since 2004, the year she captured the Olympic 5000m title.

Mesert Defar ran 8:26.99 eleven days ago for 3,000 meters (picture above from that race), and tonight, in Stockholm, dashed 30.3 for the last 200 meter lap to take three seconds off the world record for 5,000 meters, running 14:24.37! Photo courtesy of Bob Ramsak.

Elsewhere, Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech cruised to a world-leading 7:32.80 in the men’s 3000m, defeating fellow-steeplechaser Bouabdallah Tahri (7:40.00) of France.

Recently-minted Russian champion Olga Kucherenko added four centimetres to her world lead in the long jump, defeating a solid field with a 6.84m [ 22-5 ¼ ] leap.

Steve Hooker, the Olympic pole vault champion, ended his indoor campaign with his fifth victory in as many competition this winter. The Australian won the competition with a 5.86m [19-2 ¾ ] clearance, before topping out at 6.00m [19-8 ¼ ]. Russian champion Pavel Gerasimov cleared an indoor personal best of 5.81m [19- ¾ ] to finish second.

In another marquee event, world indoor 800m champion Abubaker Kaki won the 1000m in 2:17.56, well off of his 2:16.23 world leader from Stuttgart (07-Feb), but well clear of runner-up Mehdi Baala (2:18.20) of France.

Italy’s Elisa Cusma Piccione continued to display her solid pre-European Championships form with another victory in the 800, clocking 2:00.63, beating Briton Marilyn Okoro (2:01.81). In a tactical men’s race, Yuriy Borzakovskiy outkicked Ismail Ahmad Ismail 1:48.13 to 1:48.20. Olympic champion Wilfred Bungei was a distant fifth (1:50.11).

American Jesse Williams continued his solid indoor season with a victory in the high jump. The 2008 Olympian cleared had a perfect scorecard through 2.30m [7-6 ½ ] to win on the count back over Russians Aleksandr Shustov and Yaroslav Rybakov.

Other notable wins included Cuban Ibrahim Camejo’s victory in the long jump (8.05m/) and American Dexter Faulk’s 7.56 win in the 60m hurdles. Faulk lowered his career best to 7.50 with his victory in Karlsruhe, Germany, last Sunday.


Special thanks to Bob Ramsak,

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