Dibaba and Kiprop coast, holder Reese out of long jump

Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:21am EDT
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By Gene Cherry

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba eased through to the finals of the women's 5,000 meters on Thursday to stay on course for a world athletics championships double, while American Brittney Reese saw her six-year long jump reign end.

The 24-year-old Dibaba, who won the 1,500m gold on Tuesday in dominant fashion, was untroubled in the opening heat of the 5,000 as she won in a time of 15 minutes 20.82 seconds on another hot and sunny morning at the Bird's Nest stadium.

Dibaba crossed the line just ahead of Kenyan Mercy Cherono (15:20.94), while compatriot Almaz Ayana, who won bronze two years ago in Moscow, put down a marker for Sunday's final by recording the fastest time of the day, 15:09.40, in the quicker second heat.

"As everyone knows, Mercy Cherono and Almaz Ayana are challengers. We've been running together many times," Dibaba told reporters.

"Winning the 1500m gold medal gave me confidence, but you never know what is going to happen in the final."

Dibaba showed her pace in the 1500m final by taking the lead with two laps to go and blowing clear with ease. She said a world record was possible in Sunday's 5,000 final.

"If I keep my good performance I can run faster than the current world record," she said.

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya also showed his class in the heats for the men's 1500m, coasting through to Friday's semi-finals in a time of 3:38.97 after winning the second heat.   Continued...

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia (L) crosses the finish line as she wins the women's 5,000 meters heats ahead of Mercy Cherono of Kenya (C) during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson