Dibaba breaks 23-year-old world record in 1,500 meters

Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:49pm EDT
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By John Mehaffey

MONACO (Reuters) - Ethiopia's world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba broke the 22-year-old world women's 1,500 meters record on a sultry night at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday with a time of three minutes 50.07 seconds.

The younger sister of three-times Olympic gold medalist and world 5,000 meters record holder Tirunesh Dibaba, ran the final lap on her own after the pacemaker dropped out.

Chinese Qu Yunxia's set the previous mark of 3:50.46 in Beijing on Sept. 11, 1993.

Dibaba, 24, told a news conference she had been confident she could run a fast time in Monaco after setting an African record of 3:54.11 in Barcelona this season.

She said she had been concentrating on her speed this year and training with male partners but was to still to decide whether she would run the 1,500 or 5,000 at next month's Beijing world championships after Friday's race.

"Most of the girls can't stay with me in training," she said. "It just has to be guys."

Five personal bests were set in the race and another eight in the men's 1,500 where Kenyan world champion Asbel Kiprop produced a stunning display of front running to win in three minutes 26.69 seconds. Only world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat have ever run faster.

Algeria's Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi was second in a personal best of 3:28.75, more than two seconds slower than Kiprop.   Continued...

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia celebrates her new world record in the 1500 meters women event at the IAAF Diamond League Herculis meeting at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet