Genzebe Dibaba went into the World Champs with the goal of completed a 5000 meter and 1,500 meter double, and she did. One she took the gold, and in one, she took the bronze. Genzebe Dibaba came out of the Champs as one tired runner.
In this interview, Genzebe Dibaba discusses with Sabrina Yohannes her desire to double in Portland, Oregon in the World Indoors!
Genzebe Dibaba Wants To Double At 2016 World Indoors
By Sabrina Yohannes
World 1500m title-holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia was still feeling the effects of her world championships double when she secured the Diamond League trophy in the 3000m/5000m category in Zurich last week.
“After Beijing, I was fatigued and so I came second,” said Dibaba in an interview with RunBlogRun.
She ran 8:26.54 in the September 3 Zurich Weltklasse 3000m, to the winner and new world 5000m champion Almaz Ayana’s 8:22.34, but Dibaba had amassed enough points in the IAAF Diamond League to take the series trophy.
“My foot was sore as I ran five races in 10 days,” said Dibaba, who competed in three rounds of the 1500 and two of the 5000 in Beijing from August 22 to 30. She lost the longer final to her compatriot Ayana on the last day of the championships, before being also beaten to the silver by teammate Senbere Teferi.
Dibaba had begun the 2015 outdoor season planning to only contest the 5000m there and changed her mind after running two fast 1500m races in July, including a new 3:50.07 world record.
Despite the toll the ambitious double took on her, she has no regrets about having chosen to tackle both events in Beijing.
“I’m pleased with my decision, because I won the first gold ever for my country in the 1500m,” she said. “I also have a 5000m bronze.”
Ethiopian athletes, including Dibaba herself, have earned a few 1500m titles indoors, but the only world medal over the distance outdoors was a silver earned by Deresse Mekonnen in the men’s race at the 2009 Berlin world championships, until Dibaba made history in Beijing.
“It’s my first time doubling and I knew it would be a learning experience,” said Dibaba.
What she has learned from it has not intimidated her from attempting it again next year. However, Rio 2016 won’t be the venue.
“At the Olympics, I doubt the schedule would allow this, because the 5000m [heat] and 1500m [final] take place on the same day,” she said.
The Rio timetable has the first round of the 5000m starting at 9:30am on August 16 and the 1500m final being held at 10:30pm that night.
“I’d like to double at the world indoor championships,” said the reigning 3000m champion Dibaba.
She won the 1500m title at the 2012 world indoors and contested the 3000m at Sopot 2014, but said at the time that she had wanted to double there and had been discouraged by having to run heats in both events.
After scoring two medals in a demanding double attempt in Beijing, Dibaba is drawn to the idea of making a similar bid at Portland 2016.
“I want to run the 1500m and the 3000m,” she said.
As in 2014, the Portland indoor worlds include heats in the two events taking place on the first day of the championships. The 1500m heats are slated to start at 1:35pm on March 18, 2016, and the 3000m heats less than five hours later at 6:20pm, but being elimination rounds, they should pose less of a challenge for the defending 3000m champion than running a heat and a final on the same day.
The Portland 1500m final is on the next day, on the evening of March 19, and the 3000m final is on the closing afternoon of the championships the following day, March 20.
All track events take place on those three days, Friday to Sunday, at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center. One field event, the pole vault final for both men and women, is scheduled for the evening of Thursday March 17 at a different location, the Moda Center.
Dibaba’s illustrious compatriot, the two-time Olympic champion and breaker of many world records Haile Gebrselassie, won double gold over the same two distances at the 1999 Maebashi world indoor championships, but the two events did not overlap on the timetable. The 3000m was a straight final held March 5, and the 1500m heats took place the next day with the final a day later on March 7.
Dibaba would be taking on an ambitious challenge again in March 2016, but for the woman who attacked and achieved world records or bests over 1500m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m indoors in the last two seasons, that would be par for the course.