Meseret Defar Emphatically Defeats Tirunesh Dibaba; Jenny Simpson Breaks 15:00 – 2013 Weltklasse Zürich Women’s 5000

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by LetsRun.com
August 29, 2013

In the first clash of the year between the two Ethiopian giants of women’s distance running at the Weltklasse Zürich meet tonight, the final 100 meters belonged firmly to the 2012 Olympic and 2013 World 5000 champion Meseret Defar. Defar emphatically kicked away from Tirunesh Dibaba to win the women’s 5000 as well as the Diamond League crown in 14:32.83 after a 58 low last 400 (58.48 leader to leader but Defar was in second at the bell).

Dibaba was second in 14:34.82 as those two were leaps and bounds better than everyone else over the final 600. 2013 5000 silver medallist Mercy Cherono was third in 14:40.33 – the only other woman in the race within 10 seconds of Defar.

There were four American racers in the field and they produced contrasting results. 2013 World Championship silver medallist at 1500 Jenny Simpson had a big smile on her face after the race was over as she ran a personal best of 14:56.26, making her the 13th American in history under 15:00.00. American record holder Molly Huddle ran a seasonal best of 14:58.15, but coming in said she might be in PR shape (14:44.76) and she ran much more aggressively than Simpson early in the race. Chelsea Reilly, the 2013 US indoor 3000 champ, lowered her pb from 15:13.24 to 15:10.14.

Former Oregon Duck Jordan Hasay was the only American in the field who didn’t end up with a personal or seasonal best. Hasay really struggled and actually was lapped by Defar and Dibaba when they had 300 meters to run and ended up dropping out.

Quick takes, results, and photos appear below.

*Video highlights of race here

Quick Take (QT) #1: Last year when Defar beat Dibaba for the Olympic 5000 crown, it was viewed as a huge upset. After tonight’s emphatic win, Defar clearly has the upper hand, certainly at the 5000 distance. Tim Hutchings’ commentary on the international feed at the end of this one was right on the money:

“Defar kicks away. It’s gonna be an emphatic victory for the world champion over 5000. Over her distance. This is her territory.”

We’re not so sure Defar might not also have the upper hand at 10,000 right now as Defar’s 30:08.06 earlier this year where she led for 20 laps was incredibly impressive. Defar is in great form right now and we’d love to see her make a World Record attempt.

QT #2: It’s worth noting that the race commentators said Tirunesh Dibaba spent the night at the Rome airport but said Dibaba didn’t think that would impact her today. With as strong as Defar was over the final 100, we don’t think any amount of sleep would have changed the outcome here.

Tirunesh Dibaba actually had some help in this race and still couldn’t win. Her younger sister Genzebe tried to help her out as Genzebe led after the final rabbit dropped off. Genzebe kept the pace going until 600 remained and then stepped off the track. After that, Defar tracked Tirunesh from 600m to 100m and then just blew her away the final 100m. (It’s surprising Genzeba wouldn’t got the last 600m to try and pick up a few extra thousand dollars of prize money)

A polite hug

A polite hug

QT #3: The Defar-Dibaba rivalry has been heated over the years. After the race, it’s worth noting that they both acted very professionally. They did a high-five and then hugged as shown by the picture to the right.

QT #4: The American Huddle-Simpson dual fizzled. Simpson ended up fastest at the end of the race but she actually fell off the leaders (around the half-way mark) first when they were on roughly 15:00 pace. Huddle stayed with the lead pack a bit further. Simpson flashed a smile afterwards and a PR is always a PR. We were holding out the hope that the return to coach Mark Wetmore might have made her a 14:40 or better 5k runner. You have to walk before we run, so expecting a 20 second drop was unreasonable in retrospect.

Our concern coming into this one was that the pace would be too hot for the Americans but this one was ideal for the Americans until the final few laps.

QT #5: Coming in, Hasay was totally overmatched based on PRs but this was worse than could have been expected. When she was lapped with 700 meters remaining, the clock read 13:48. So if you give her, 75 seconds on the way home, she’d have run 16:01.

This one got a lot of interest on the LRC message boards: 
*Zurich women’s 5000m thread: Jenny, Huddle, Hasay on now.
*Jenny MF Simpson 14:56
*DEFAR last lap 58 sec –> 14’06” potential !!!
*Why the heck is Jordan Hasay still racing?
Pre Race: Zurich 5,000m – Defar or Dibaba, who wins?

RANKATHLETENATIONRESULTDIAMOND POINTSDIAMOND RANKING
1
ETH
14:32.83
18
1
img
2
ETH
14:34.82
12
2
3
KEN
14:40.33
SB
6
3
4
KEN
14:46.89
5
KEN
14:47.12
6
KEN
14:52.54
3
5
7
USA
14:56.26
PB
8
ETH
14:56.34
9
KEN
14:56.49
10
USA
14:58.15
SB
1
7
11
KEN
14:58.26
SB
12
USA
15:10.14
PB
13
GBR
15:37.74
UGA
DNF
USA
DNF
2
6
ETH
DNF
5
4
USA
DNF
Intermediate times:
1000m: Achola, Janet (UGA) 2:56.58
2000m: Achola, Janet (UGA) 5:57.91
3000m: Anderson, Gabriele (USA) 8:54.86
4000m: Dibaba, Genzebe (ETH) 11:52.15
Just past halfway

Just past halfway

4 laps to go

4 laps to go

A Tough Day for Jordan Hasay as She Got Lapped

A Tough Day for Jordan Hasay as She Got Lapped

Defar's about to pounce

Defar’s about to pounce

Defar is your winner

Defar is your winner

Defar celebrates

Defar celebrates

Cordial after the race

Cordial after the race

A polite hug

A polite hug

 


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