Meseret Defar beats Tirunesh Dibaba, Usain Bolt runs 9.90 at Weltklasse Zurich 2013, from Alfons Juck, EME News, note by Larry Eder

The Weltklasse lived up to its reputation as one of the finest meets of the year in 2013 once again. With Usain Bolt having to fight for his 100 meter win, Nicky Symmonds running a from the front 800 meters, and winning, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce winning the 200 meters, and the event of the night, the women's 5,000 meters, living up to its hype.

The women's five thousand meters pitted Tirunesh Dibaba, world record holder at 5,000 meters, and a women who has won all eleven 10,000 meter races in her career, versus Meseret Defar, World Champion in 2005, 2007, and 2013, plus Olympic champion over 5,000 meters in 2012. 

To say that they are competitors, is, well, an understatement. The BBC noted, last night, that Dibaba and Defar will not fly on the same planes, will not train with each other, and infrequently race against each other. Zurich Weltklasse is one of few meets that has the financial capacity to bring those two together, which is why the 5,000 meters was such a treat for athletic fans. 

The race became quicker and quicker as the race went on. With two laps to go, it was down to Meseret Defar, Tirunesh Dibaba and Mercy Cherono. The penultimate lap was run in 67 seconds, and as the final lap started, Mercy Cherono was off the back. 

Tirunesh Dibaba lead, with Meseret Defar on her shoulder, relaxed, poised to react. Dibaba took her long, swift stride and began to accelerate with three hundred meters to go. Defar waited. Dibaba increased the pace at 200 meters, the look of fury on her face as she put her speed down on the track. Defar waited. As Dibaba and Defar entered the final straight, Defar came up on the side of Dibaba, and there was a moment when one wanted to know who would react. Defar went by, putting 1.4 seconds on Tirunesh Dibaba before the finish line. 

Meseret Defar finished the 5,000 meters in 14:32.83, winning by 1.99 seconds in the last 80 meters over Tirunesh Dibaba. Their record now has Meseret Defar at 14 victories over 11 victories for Dibaba. The battle goes on...

Meseret Defar defeats Tirunesh Dibaba, August 30, 2013, 
photo by



ZURICH (SUI, Aug 29): The Weltklasse Zurich final of IAAF Diamond League saw before the full Letzigrund (25 000) superb athletics. Defar beat Dibaba in a very special 5k duel, four men (Bolt, Merritt, Oliver, Bondarenko) and four women (Fraser-Pryce, Sum, Defar, Hejnova) won from the World Champions. The other four men (Kiprop, Kemboi, Menkov, Harting) and two women (Reese, Obergfoll) lost. One meet record and one DL record were registered.



Event by event






100 m: Bolt wins in 9.90 (-0.3) after bad start, surprise 2nd Ashmeade 9.94 and third Gatlin 9.96 gets the Diamond. Sub 10 also for fourth Vicaut 9.98. Dix clocked the best ever for 9th position 10.07.


400 m: Merritt topped James 44.13 to 44.32. Great finish for third Maslak 44.91 (for 3rd time in his career) over World medalist Santos 44.93.


800 m (non-DL): Symmonds has the best shape with 1:43.56 (3rd fastest of his career) over Lewandowski lifetime best 1:43.79. This was the only race without World champion (Aman due to visa problem).


1500 m: Best from Moscow medalists was Kiprop (6th), win for Silas Kiplagat 3:30.97 over Souleiman (Diamond) 3:31.64. To note Norwegian record for 7th Ingebrigtsen 3:33.95.


Steeple: Outsiders dominated. Yego 8:08.03 and Birech 8:08.72 over favorites. Third C. Kipruto 8:10.76 gets the Diamond. World champ Kemboi 10th.


110mH: Oliver remains unbeaten since London DL, 13.12 (-0.5) as Shubenkov touched the last hurdle (4th 13.27) on his way to attack him. 2nd Wilson 13.24 and 3rd Richardson 13.26. History fastest beaten: 6th Merritt, 7th Robles.


HJ: Bondarenko (24 years on Friday) delivered two nice clearances at 228 and 233 and as sure winner tried once at world record 246 but touched the bar already with his hand and finished the evening. Baniotis and Barshim also 233 in first, but both needed three attempts at 231.


LJ: Surprise win for Visser 832 (-0.8) PB (5th mark 2013) over team-mate Mokoena 811 (-1.7). World champ Menkov only one valid jump 794 (+0.3) as 6th.


DT: Kanter unexpected winner 67.02 best of the year for him. Harting was second 66.83 and Hadadi third 66.07. Malachowski lost the Diamond with only 63.70 as 7th.






100 m (non-DL): Another lifetime best for Carrie Russell the Jamaican relay world champion with 10.98 (+0.5). US Anderson close second 11.02.


200 m: Shelly-Ann clearly in 22.40 (-0.4) over Ahoure 22.66 and gets the Diamond.


800 m: Sum confirmed her Moscow triumph with 1:58.82 over Olympic winner Savinova 1:58.93 and gets the Diamond.


5000 m: In the duel of the evening Meseret Defar beat from behind Tirunesh Dibaba by 1.59 s (14:32.83 to 14:34.82) thanks to 58.48 last lap. Their head to head is 15:11 now for Defar at this distance. To note PB for 1500 m World champ 2011 Jenny Simpson 14:56.26 as 7th.


400mH: Zuzana Hejnova remains unbeaten in 2013. She won also her last race of the season in 53.32 and completed as the only one the clean sweep of winning all Diamond meetings in her event. The only other athlete who can do the same is Sandra Perkovic when she wins in Brussels the discus.


PV: Spiegelburg as the only one cleared 479 and won also the Diamond. She tried at 486 with Silva but no success. Murer was better at 472 as Silva passed 479. Suhr after one jump at opening 462 retired.


LJ: Proctor winning mark 688 (-0.3) was worth a Diamond. Moscow medalists followed with Okagbare 676 (-0.8) and Spanovic 673 (-0.3). Gold medalist Reese only 7th (637).


JT: Abakumova in top shape dominated with 68.94. Diamond winner and World champ Obergfoll second 63.36.


4x100 m (non-DL): The Zurich Trophy for first time for women. USA (Pierre, Anderson, Townsend, Ch. Williams) clocked 41.67 meet record and DL record. Jamaica (Russell, Stewart, Morrison, Fraser-Pryce) tried but was second in 41.78 ahead of Ukraine 42.71. Switzerland as 5th 43.21 equaled national mark.




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