Queen of track

Ethiopian run­ner Dibaba claims 10km hat-trick with masterclass win.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By REUTERS in Rochester, New York

Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba pro­duced an ef­fort­less masterclass in mid­dle- dis­tance run­ning to win a third world 10,000m ti­tle at the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships on Sun­day.

Dibaba clocked 30 min, 43.37 sec, with Gla­dys Cherono of Kenya tak­ing sil­ver (30:45.17) and Ethiopia’s Be­lay­nesh Oljira claim­ing bronze (30:46.98).

Dibaba can rightly be lauded as queen of the 10km event, hav­ing also won two Olympic golds over the dis­tance.

The 27-year-old missed the Daegu worlds in 2011 be­cause of in­jury but has never lost in her 10 out­ings over 25 laps of the track.

The self-pro­claimed “baby­faced de­stroyer”, a nick­name she pro­fesses to adore, comes in the mould of male com­pa­tri­ots Haile Ge­brse­lassie and Ke­nenisa Bekele.

Four world golds (5,000m in 2003 and 2005, 10,000m in 2005 and 2007), three Olympic golds (the dou­ble in 2008 and 10,000m gold in 2012) as well as two 5,000m Olympic bronzes ( 2004 and 2012) is tes­ti­mony to her dom­i­nance.

She also has four golds and two sil­vers from the world cross- coun­try cham­pi­onships.

“I wasn’t anx­ious and I didn’t feel any pres­sure,” said the cool Dibaba, down­play­ing the fact she would not be go­ing for the dou­ble.

“I have com­peted in the world cham­pi­onships many times and this is my fifth gold medal.

“I’m not dis­ap­pointed I’m not go­ing for the dou­ble be­cause we have many young tal­ented run­ners in our fed­er­a­tion and they need their chance, too.”

The race it­self played di­rectly into Dibaba’s hands, Amer­i­can Sha­lane Flana­gan tak­ing up the early run­ning, fol­lowed by Ja­pan’s Hit­omi Ni­iya, with Oljira and Dibaba close on their tails.

The Kenyan trio did not fea­ture the 2011 world cham­pion Vi­vian Cheruiyot, who is on ma­ter­nity leave from the sport, but Emily Che­bet, Cherono and Sally Chep­yego were a pow­er­ful three­some on the track all the same.

Af­ter five laps, a 10-strong pack had de­vel­oped with the field strung out, light­ning flashes and peels of thun­der rip­ping over the Luzh­niki Sta­dium.

Flana­gan, the 2008 Olympic bronze medal­ist, took them through the 3km mark in 9:20.85 as the rain be­gan to fall be­fore Ni­iya hit out on her own.

She was soon reeled in by the pack, the 32-year-old Flana­gan fall­ing off the pace and Dibaba sit­ting on the Ja­panese run­ner’s shoul­der through the halfway marker.

Al­though the pace was any­thing but elec­tri­fy­ing, the pack was now cut to Ni­iya lead­ing Dibaba and Oljira, the Kenyan trio and Bahrain’s Ethiopi­anborn Shi­taye Eshete.

Chep­yego and Eshete were next to fall off the Ja­panese’s pace­set­ting, while Dibaba was look­ing com­pletely un­trou­bled.

The rain eased off as the storm worked its way around the sta­dium and with two laps to go Ni­iya still had the lead.

At 600m, Dibaba and Oljira briefly com­mu­ni­cated and on the bell, the for­mer bolted.

She was chased down the back stretch by Cherono, the 2012 African cham­pion over both 5000m and 10,000m mak­ing her de­but at a global cham­pi­onship at the age of 30, but to no avail as the Ethiopian held out for a very com­fort­able win.


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