Ethiopian smashes world indoor mark by almost six seconds at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix
The Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix ended on a high as Genzebe Dibaba continued her record-breaking ways to set a world indoor best over two miles.
The Ethiopian, fresh from setting indoor world records at 1500m and 3000m recently, clocked 9:00.48 to take almost six seconds off the mark set by her compatriot Meseret Defar. She was also just off the 8:58.58 best Defar has run outdoors.
The record breaking continued elsewhere too, as shortly after Dibaba’s world best, Renaud Lavillenie cleared 6.16m in Donetsk to break Sergey Bubka’s 21-year-old world indoor pole vault world record.
“I’m very delighted because to break three world records was what I’d planned and I’m very happy that has happened now,” said Dibaba.
“In the middle of the race I felt a bit weak and tired, but with the help of the crowd and all the buzzing I was able to gain momentum and get the record.”
Her fellow Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew was second, clocking 9:21.59, as Steph Twell led home the Brits with her 9:42.41 for third.
Ahoure and Dasaolu dazzle in sprints
James Dasaolu was victorious once again, clocking 6.50 in the 60m final to finish clear of Jamaica’s world indoor silver medallist Nesta Carter with 6.53 and former world 100m champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis with 6.55.
But Dasaolu’s success seemed to come at a price as he clutched his leg before crossing the line and was taken from the track in a wheelchair with suspected thigh strain, with less than three weeks to go until the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. He is to undergo further assessment on Monday.
Former world indoor champion Dwain Chambers, who is among the Brits battling for the second Sopot spot, was fourth with 6.56, while Richard Kilty, who claimed UK Indoor bronze in Sheffield, was fifth with 6.57.
European indoor champion Jimmy Vicaut, and then Dasaolu, had earlier set the tone, the Frenchman clocking a world-leading 6.48 PB in the first heat before Dasaolu went even quicker with a world-leading 6.47, also a personal best.
The women’s race ended with victory for world No.1 this season Murielle Ahoure, who clocked 7.10 – the same time given to world 100m and 200m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for second. Asha Philip, who missed the UK record by just one hundredth of a second with 7.09 to take the UK title last weekend, clocked 7.12 for third.
Triple London 2012 Paralympic champion Margarita Goncharova of Russia won the women’s T37/38 60m in 8.53 as Britain’s world T38 100m champion Sophie Hahn, who claimed gold in Lyon in a world record time at the age of 16, was second in 8.59.
In the men’s T44 60m, USA’s T44 100m world record-holder Richard Browne dominated to cross the line in 7.18 ahead of his compatriot Paul Peterson in a 7.43 PB.
After qualifying as quickest in the men’s 60m hurdles, Andy Pozzi hit the first barrier in the final and lost a bit of momentum, with France’s world indoor bronze medallist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde coming through for victory in 7.55 ahead of Sergey Shubenkov and Garfield Darien.
Pozzi is sure to be encouraged by his 7.57 to win his heat though, a mark that is just 0.01 off his personal best as he continues his comeback from injury. Pozzi jointly won the UK Indoor title with William Sharman last weekend on his return to competitive action in a year. There was no space for world 110m hurdles champion David Oliver in the final, as he clocked 7.73 in his heat.
In the women’s 60m hurdles, world No.1 Nadine Hildebrand of Germany narrowly edged world bronze medallist Tiffany Porter to take victory in 8.04 ahead of Porter’s 8.07 season’s best. Rosina Hodde of Netherlands was third in 8.12.
Fresh from claiming his fourth UK Indoor 400m title the week before, Nigel Levine clocked an indoor personal best of 45.71 to cross the line some three metres ahead of Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic.
Luke Lennon-Ford, who actually finished first in Sheffield last weekend but was disqualified, was third with 46.16, also a PB.
The women’s event saw victory for Regina George, the Nigerian sprinter clocking 51.78 to finish ahead of Jamaican Kaliese Spencer and European indoor silver medallist over the distance Eilidh Child, who will have been keen to prove her form to British selectors for Sopot following her fourth in Sheffield. Sopot-bound Margaret Adeoye ran 52.72 for fourth.
In the national 400m races, Shana Cox held on to her strong lead to win the women’s event in 52.93 from Kelly Massey, while Richard Buck ran a UK leading 46.01 for victory ahead of Michael Bingham.
Aman and Muir break national records
World champion Mohammed Aman, preparing for the defence of his world indoor title, clocked 1:44.52 to win the men’s 800m in an African record which puts him at third on the world indoor all-time list.
Further back in fourth was Andrew Osagie who ran 1:45.22 to go to second on the UK indoor all-time list behind Seb Coe.
Jenny Meadows admitted running the women’s 800m had been tough as she continues her comeback but said she has the bigger picture in mind.
Following her fourth place finish at the UK Indoor Championships last weekend, the former world indoor bronze medallist was fifth in a race won by Angelika Cichocka in 2:01.60. Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine was second, while Sanne Verstegen of the Netherlands was third ahead of UK Indoor silver medallist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke.
“You’ve just got to swallow your pride sometimes – last weekend was the first time since 2009 that a British athlete has beaten me and there was girls today that have never beaten me,” said Meadows. “But I’ve got to think about the bigger picture and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”
There was further success for Laura Muir who, fresh from finishing ahead of Meadows to take the UK Indoor 800m title last weekend, ran a Scottish indoor record 4:05.32 for 1500m victory ahead of Sifan Hassan with 4:05.34.
Her time puts her behind only Kelly Holmes on the UK indoor all-time list and will give her something more to think about when it comes to which event she may wish to focus on at major events this year.
In the men’s event, Nixon Chepseba held on to his lead to claim victory in 3:37.19 ahead of Tesfaye Homiyu and Marcin Lewandowski. Charlie Grice led home the Brits with a 3:39.94 PB.
World No.1 this season Hagos Gebrhiwet injected some pace at the bell in the men’s 3000m to storm over the line in 7:35.73.
With a 26.17 last 200m, he led home an Ethiopian top three, Dejen Gebremeskel clocking 7:35.53 to finish ahead of Yenew Alamirew with 7:37.10.
Further back, Lee Emanuel was the quickest of the Brits. Having hung on to the back of the leading group, the field began to string out with the daylight between the recently-crowned UK Indoor 1500m champion and the leading six growing and the space ahead of Jonny Mellor and Tom Farrell closing up. But he held his place, with all three setting indoor PBs, Emanuel with 7:45.12 to take six seconds from his previous lifetime best and go to sixth on the UK all-time list.
Bleasdale proves consistency as Rutherford returns to competition
She couldn’t quite manage what would have been a world-leading 4.77m, but Holly Bleasdale did enough to comfortably take victory in the women’s pole vault with a first time clearance of 4.71m and was pleased with her consistency having gone over 4.70m three times this year.
Bleasdale, who is already on her way to Poland having claimed her fourth British title in Sheffield last week, entered the competition at 4.46m and cleared that on her first attempt. She needed two tries at 4.61m before clearing her winning height on the first time of asking.
Slovenian vaulter Tina Šutej was second with a best clearance of 4.61m while Germany’s Lisa Ryzih was joint third with Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva of Cuba, both athletes clearing 4.46m.
World champion Aleksandr Menkov won the men’s long jump with a best of 8.14m in the third round. Jinzhe Li was second with 8.12m while Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford, making his only indoor appearance of 2014, was third with a best of 8.00m, which equals his best-ever leap indoors.
One leap was all it took for Sostene Moguenara of Germany to take victory in the women’s long jump. With a first-round mark of 6.49m she finished ahead of Dutch athlete Dafne Schippers with a 6.43m PB and American 6.96m jumper Funmi Jimoh with 6.41m.
Erik Kynard of the US got the crowds cheering as he claimed high jump victory with a best clearance of 2.34m. Marco Fassinotti cleared 2.30m for second, to finish ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz with a season’s best of 2.27m.
The Club:Connect medley relays kicked off the afternoon’s action, with Birchfield Harriers winning the women’s race in 2:21.62 from Wolverhampton & Bilston and winning the men’s race in from. The winning teams each gaining a £200 grant for their club.
» See next week’s AW for in-depth coverage of the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix