Genzebe breaks 1500m record amid six World-leading performances

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Monaco, July 18 (IANS) Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba shattered a 22-year-old record in the women’s 1500 metres here, as the Monaco Diamond League witnessed six World-leading performances at the Stade Louis II.

Genzebe, two-time world indoor champion respectively in 2012 over 1500m and in 2014 over 3000m, on Friday clocked three minutes and 50.07 seconds to improve her own world-leading result of this year by more than four seconds, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

The previous mark of 3:50.46 minutes was set by China’s Qu Yunxia in Beijing in 1993.

“Pacemaker did finally a great job,” Genzebe, who also holds the world indoor records of 1500, 3000 and 5000 metres, said after Friday’s race. “I’m the first from Ethiopia getting 1500 metres world record. That’s amazing.

“I think Tirunesh will be happy. All Ethiopia will be happy,” said the younger sister of three-time Olympic champion and reigning 10,000 metres world title holder Tirunesh Dibaba.

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan finished a distance second on 3:56.05 minutes, while Shannon Rowbury of the US came in 3:56.29 minutes for the third place.

Outstanding result was also claimed in men’s 1500 metres as two-time defending world champion Asbel Kiprop ran a fifth fastest time of all time in 3:26.69 minutes.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist thus became the third fastest man in the distance with the world-leading time so far this year, also a new meeting record at Herculis 2015.

His time is just 0.69 seconds off the sitting world record set 16 years ago by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in Rome.

“At the bell, I saw 2:31-2:32, so knew it could be a very fast time,” said the 26-year-old. “At the end I’m very satisfied, but can admit I wanted a bit faster.”

“But as I said, it is great and confirms my shape before Beijing (world championships),” he added.

Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria finished second with a personal best of 3:28.75 minutes, Morroccan Abdelaati Iguider, Olympic bronze medallist and world indoor champion, was the third in his own personal best of 3:28.79 minutes.

Earlier in men’s 800 metres, Bosnian Amel Tuka set this year’s world-leading time of 1:42.51 minute to beat Nijel Amos of Botswana and Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman.

“I don’t know what happened. You need to ask my coach why such a big improvement,” said Tuka, whose previous personal best was 1:46.12 minute set last August in Zurich.

Moving from Bosnia to Italy, the Bosnian has been training with Gianni Ghidini in Verona for 20 months.

“Today I felt very good. I said to myself ‘let’s try in last 100m’ but was not thinking I could win the race,” said Tuka, whose time is the fourth best European ever.

The other four events having wrapped up with world-leading performances are the men’s 3000 metres and shot put, as well as the women’s 400 metres and 3000 metres steeplechase.

In-form Justin Gatlin continued with his roaring performance as the 33-year-old came out a clear winner by 0.19 seconds, completing his 100 metres in 9.78 seconds ahead of fellow American Tyson Gay (9.97 seconds) and European record holder Jimmy Vicaut of France (10.03 seconds).

“I rate this race as good as the other ones this year,” said the fastest man so far in 100 metres who proved himself a firm favourite for the Beijing World Championships to be held between August 22-30 with a 27-win streak.

In the field of Friday’s meeting, world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France finally came up to a victory after straight defeats in Paris and Lausanne, claiming the pole vault title on 5.92 metres.

Konstanti Filippidis of Greece and Sam Kendricks of the US followed up with both conquering the height 5.82 metres.

Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won the women’s discus throw on 66.80 metres and already secured the Diamond Race win with four more stops coming.

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