Having survived a turbulent 2017 season, Gezebe Dibaba bounced back into global reckoning by snatching her third consecutive World Indoor title in the women’s 3000m, which was the final event on Day 1 of the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
It was a stacked line-up that had the likes of Dibaba, reigning 5000m World Champion Hellen Obiri, Portland 2016 GOLD medallist in the 1500m Sifan Hassan, and Great Britain’s Laura Muir in action.
Dibaba, who is the World Record (WR) holder in the event, ran a tactical race, taking things easy in the first lap but changing gears halfway into the race as she moved from 14th position to 2nd, just behind Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen, before taking charge of the race, storming to victory in 8:45.05.
It was a great battle for Silver and Bronze between Hassan and Muir, with Hassan pipping Muir to Silver in a Season’s Best (SB) of 8:45.68, while Muir settled for Bronze in 8:45.78. Obiri finished 4th with a time of 8:49.66.
Meanwhile, it was double victory for the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) duo of Danil Lysenko and Mariya Lasitskene who dominated the men and women’s High Jump respectively.
It wasn’t to be Mutaz Barsim’s night as 20-year old Lysenko matched every attempt of the reigning World Champion and even seemed to be in better form than the Qatari attempt, clearing 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m, and 2.33m on first attempts, same as Barshim.
However, Lysenko set himself apart by clearing 2.36m on his third attempt, while Barshim failed all three attempts on the same height, much to the disappointment of the World Leader who has an SB of 2.38m.
So delighted and contented was Lysenko with his victory that he made no attempt to move the bar higher, calling it a night after successfully sailing past 2.36m. Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko pipped USA’s Erik Kynard to Bronze, as the American who only cleared 2.29m on his 3rd attempt, failed all three attempts at 2.33m.
It was a disappointing outing for one of the tournament hopefuls, Great Britain’s Robbie Grabarz who was unable to put up a great performance in front of his home crowd in Birmingham. The 30-year old finished a distant 9th, only clearing the opening height of 2.20m on his third attempt.
Meanwhile London 2017 GOLD medallist Lasistkene extended her unbeaten run as she put up an impeccable display, comfortably clearing 1.84, 1.89m, 1.93m and 1.96m on her first attempt, and then became the only woman on the field to scale the height of 2.01m to take the victory. She then attempted an ambitious height of 2.07m in an attempt to erase the Championship Record (CR) of 2.05m owned by Stefka Kostadinova.
However, the CR survived Lasistkene’s onslaught, and is safe for at least the next two years.