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Double Olympic Champ Tirunesh Dibaba Back In Training - Optimistic About Chances in Berlin

LRC Editor's Note: While covering the 2009 IAAF world cross country championships in Amman, Jordan, LetsRun.com was introduced Ethiopian journalist Teferi Debebe, who works for the Ethiopian radio and TV agency.  Much like a motivated athlete from a third-world country, Debebe, a letsrun.com fan, inquired if he could produce articles for LetsRun.com. Given that we are in the midst of an global economic slowdown and revenue is hard to come by, LRC was at first skeptical. But a few bucks goes a long way in Ethiopia and we figured we could find a way for him to produce some original content on the side that would give the distance aficianados of LetsRun.com an inside look into the world of Ethiopian distance running.

Debebe went to the Addis Ababa stadium on Thursday, July 9th where he saw many members of the Ethiopian national team working out including double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba, world 5k record holder Meseret Defar as well as 5 time Olympic or world silver medalist Sileshi Sihine. His first report on Dibaba appears below.

by Teferi Debebe

Addis Ababa, July 9, 2009 - Defending world 10,000m champion and double Olympic medalist Tirunesh Dibaba, who was forced to pull out of last Friday's expected clash at Oslo's Bislett Games with Meseret Defar and Meselech Melkamu due to injury, was back on the track training today with the Ethiopian national team at the stadium in Addis Ababa on Thursday morning.

While not wanting to reveal the exact specifics of the workout, I can report that Dibaba did some endurance training with laps in the 67 to 70 second range with her last lap being faster.

After the workout under cloudy skies, Dibaba answered a few questions about the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

I am preparing for both the 10,000 and 5000 meters in Berlin," said Dibaba. "I had missed many months with injury, but now I feel ok."

"Last week, I had to miss Oslo because I felt some pain in my foot and I have not been in good shape regarding speed," said Dibaba. We dont know what will happen (in Berlin), but I am doing speed training fine now and I feeling good about (my next race),

I have not decided where I will run next, (but) I will have 5000m race soon. I won't run a 10,000 before Berlin. Hopefully, I will do something good (in Berlin) like I did in Osaka," added Dibaba who won the 2007 world champs in Osaka in her first and only 10k of 2007.

Dibaba's 5,000 meter rival Meseret Defar, who was the winner in Oslo, also worked out on Thursday but the two did not work out at the same time. Dibaba's husband, 5-time silver medallist SIleshi Sihine worked out after Dibaba as well.

Photos From Training Session Appear Below.

Sileshi Sihine, Abreham Cherkos, Abebe Dinkesa and  Abera Kuma

Ethiopian coach Girima Feyo going over splits with 
Tirunesh Dibaba.

Tirunesh Dibaba with her younger brother and training partner, Dereje Dibaba.

Tirunesh Dibaba

Meseret Defar

LetsRun.com Note: In the future, we hope to provide you other quick updates from Ethiopia. We may try to get Sihine to talk about his 10k preparations or Defar to talk about how upset she is that she has so far been left off the 10k team


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