Hellen Obiri Runs 8:20.68 To Stun Genzebe Dibaba As EIGHT Women Run 8:30.00 Or Better

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by LetsRun.com
May 9, 2014

There’s definitely a reason why they run the race.

Indoors, no one could stop Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba as she set world records at 1,500, 3,000 and 2 miles before winning the world indoor 3,000 title.

Today, Dibaba ran a very respectable 8:26.21, but that was only good for 6th, as five women went by her on the final lap, led by Hellen Obiri’s 8:20.68, in arguably the greatest women’s 3,000m ever run.

The Race
Coming in, many just assumed Dibaba would win going away.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The rabbit only made it 1400 meters and once she departed Dibaba had the lead as she went through 1600 in 4:29. Dibaba would keep the pace honest as her first two laps in the lead were 68.18 and 67.69. Two laps remained and SEVEN women were still in contention despite the 8:30 pace. After a 67.79, six were still together entering the bell. When would Dibaba explode?

Answer: Never.

On the back-stretch, two-time world junior champ at 3000, Mercy Cherono, who just turned 23 on Wednesday, passed Dibaba as did fellow Kenyan Hellen Obiri, the runner-up to Dibaba at 2014 World Indoors. Once Obiri went by it was clear Dibaba had no response. Soon everyone in contention would go by and she’d end up a disappointing sixth in 8:26.21.

With Dibaba out of the picture, Cherono and Obiri fought hard for the victory but Obiri emerged with the victory late and crossed the finish line full of joy in 8:20.68, after a stellar last lap that was close to 61 flat (leader to leader it was 61.58 but she wasn’t in the lead at the bell). Obiri and rabbit Lydia Wafula embraced after this one was over and both seemed stunned. Was it the winning time? Or the fact Dibaba lost? Wafula lifted Obiri up in the air as both celebrated.

Behind Obiri more magic was happening as eight women would finish at 8:30.00 or better. The women’s 3000m isn’t run at most meets, but no one had broken 8:30 outdoors since 2010 and now 8 women were doing it in one race. What a race and what a victory for Obiri.

3000 Results                                          
                                                            Pts
    1 Obiri , Hellen Onsando           KEN    8:20.68          4        
    2 Cherono , Mercy                  KEN    8:21.14          2        
    3 Kipyegon , Faith Chepngetich     KEN    8:23.55          1        
    4 Kibiwot , Viola Jelagat          KEN    8:24.41                   
    5 Ayana , Almaz                    ETH    8:24.58                   
    6 Dibaba , Genzebe                 ETH    8:26.21                   
    7 Jelagat , Irene                  KEN    8:28.51                   
    8 Belete , Mimi                    BRN    8:30.00                   
    9 Teferi , Senbere                 ETH    8:41.54                   
   10 Haroye , Alemetu                 ETH    8:45.93                   
   11 Tirop , Agnes Jebet              KEN    8:47.26                   
   12 Jamal , Maryam Yusuf             BRN    8:47.74                   
   13 Yeshaneh , Ababel                ETH    8:49.45
   14 Rengeruk , Lilian Kasait         KEN    8:53.41
   15 Nawowuna , Alice Aprot           KEN    8:53.55
   16 Daba , Tejitu                    BRN    8:59.60
   17 Cheptai , Irene Chepet           KEN    9:11.30
      Varga , Judit                    ITA        DNF                   
      Wafula , Lydia Nasimiyu          KEN        DNF

Quick Thought #1: The Fastest 3000m Ever by a Non-Chinese: Dibaba clearly wasn’t the same woman who was on fire indoors today. Watching the replay, one could see she was laboring while leading after the rabbit had departed. That being said, give all of the credit in the world to Obiri. 8:20.68 is the 7th fastest 3000 ever run outdoors (8th fastest ever indoor or out including Dibaba’s 8:16.60 world indoor record) and the fastest mark ever run outdoors by a non-Chinese runner. Obiri is now #5 all-time in history outdoors at 3000.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Nearly everyone believes the Chinese records were drug induced. This was possibly the fastest clean 3000m ever run in outdoors. We can’t say it should be the world record because if the world record wasn’t 8:06.11 we’re sure more women would go after the 3000m world record and would have run under 8:20 by now.

Obiri ran 8:20 and finished it off with a 61. That’s VERY good. The top 5 fastest women in history outdoors at 3000 according to all-athletics.com.

        1      8:06.11    Wang Junxia                    CHN     09.01.73    1      Beijing                  13.09.1993
        2      8:12.18    Qu Yunxia                      CHN     25.12.72    2      Beijing                  13.09.199
        3      8:16.50    Zhang Linli                    CHN     06.03.73    3      Beijing                  13.09.1993
        4      8:19.78    Ma Liyan                       CHN     03.11.68    3h2    Beijing                  12.09.1993
        5      8:20.68    Helen Obiri                    KEN     13.12.89    1      Ad-Dawhah                09.05.2014

 

Quick Thought #2: More Praise for Obiri: It’s not crazy to think that Obiri today might have been able to beat Dibaba indoors when she ran her 8:16.60 world record. Yes 8:16 is faster than 8:20 and yes Dibaba was all alone in her world record run, but in that race Dibaba closed in 64.90 according to messageboard poster “somesplits”. Obiri closed in 61 flat today.

Quick Thought #3: Women’s Running at a New Level?: The race involved great running by everyone in the top 8. Seven women broke 8:30 for the first time in a race in history (eighth was 8:30.00). The previous best was 5 and they were all Chinese. For comparison’s sake, the fastest 3000 ever run by an American who didn’t end up as a drug cheat is 8:31.38 by Shannon Rowbury (Mary Slaney ran 8:25.83).

Quick Thought #4: Fans in America, this one is worth watching.

The entire meet was tremendous and there is even a message board thread that talks about the crowd mobbing Obiri after the 3k. (If you want to watch the meet and other Diamond League meets live or on demand now there is a way to do that in the USA).

Quick Thought #5: Screen shots below for our international visitors. Click on photo to get an enlarged photo.

Discuss: Holy Sh**: Obiri 8:20

Dibaba leads after the rabbits stop

Dibaba leads after the rabbits stop

The bell lap

The bell lap

Dibaba gets passed

Dibaba gets passed

The battle for the line

The battle for the line

Obiri wins

Obiri wins

Obiri is happy

Obiri is happy

Hellen Obiri celebrates

Hellen Obiri celebrates

A dejcted Genzebe Dibaba

A dejected Genzebe Dibaba

The battle for victory

The battle for victory

The battle for victory

The battle for victory

Hellen Obiri and Mercy Cherono

Hellen Obiri and Mercy Cherono

Hellen Obiri and Mercy Cherono

Hellen Obiri and Mercy Cherono

The Kenyan fans go wild

The Kenyan fans go wild

And nearly hurt Obiri

And nearly hurt Obiri