2012 adidas Grand Prix 5000 Recap: Tirunesh Dibaba Tightens The Screws in Breathtaking Fashion

Double Olympic Champ Runs Her Final 4 Laps in 4:22 To Reassert Herself As World #1

By LetsRun.com with Tim Loh in New York City
June 9, 2012

More Coverage: *LRC 800s: David Rudisha Mesmerizes The Crowd as Fantu Magiso Wins Again *LRC 5000: Tirunesh Dibaba Tightens The Screws in Breathtaking Fashion *LRC 1500: Bernard Lagat Returns To His Winning Ways *LRC HS Miles: Junior Bernie Montoya Runs 4:01.32 To Capture Deepest Boys Mile in HS History As Three Girls Break 4:40

In a matchup of the #1 and #2 performers all-time at 5000, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba showed why she's the double Olympic champion used a 4:23 last 1600 - yes 4:23 (but actually probably 4:22)- and 61.54 final lap to bury countrywoman Meseret Defar by 6+ seconds on the last lap to get the win in New York as Ethiopians swept of the first five spots.

Coming off her 10,000 victory at Pre last weekend, it's as if Dibaba didn't miss basically all of last year.

The Race - Slow Start, Fast Finish
For much of the first 3,000 meters, Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton led by up to nearly 100 meters, but the Ethiopians weren't worried as they knew once they started moving, they would mow down Britton and that's exactly what happened.

Far behind Britton, a pack of 11 (including Americans Alissa McKaig and Jen Rhines, and Canadian Tarah Korir) came through 2,000 meters in 6:17 (13 seconds back).

McKaig, Rhines and Korir all soon dropped off the pack (Rhines eventually dropped out), and Britton was quickly reeled in at the 10:25 mark.

With just less than three laps to go, Dibaba took the lead as she went through 4,000 meters in 12:11. Then things really ratcheted up.

With 800 to go, four were still in the lead pack as Gelete Burka and Werknesh Kidane were still in striking distance. But shortly after 800, the pace started to increase even more and soon it was a two person race as Dibaba threw down a 64.54 penultimate lap to edge ahead of Defar and create a safe distance from everyone else. Shortly after the bell, Dibaba dropped the hammer with about 350 to go and her 61.54 last lap gave her a dominating victory.

And it was a dominating victory for good reason. As was stated above, her final 1600 was in the 4:23 range. Take a look at the leader's last 4 laps.

Leader's 4 last laps
4 out - 70.27
3 out - 66.92
2 out - 64.54
Last lap - 61.54
4:23.27

And since Dibaba wasn't in the lead with 1,600 to go, it means she ran 4:22 and change most likely. Subtract 17.5 as that 1st lap was at 70 pace and it means she ran her last 1,500 in 4:05. We hope someone in the world besides us appreciates that fact.

Afterwards, it seemed as Dibaba herself at least appreciated her performance.

Through a translator, Dibaba said that this race was “very important to her,” and that she had felt very good.

McKaig, the sole American finisher at 15:47.68, said she regretted her decision midrace to let the pack pull away from her, which left her in no-man’s land.

“I didn’t anticipate the girls in the front staying with us as long as they did,” she said. “When they took off, it was kind of one of those things, I should have gone with them. But I didn’t. I just never really got rolling.”

McKaig, who will double the 5,000 and 10,000 at the upcoming US trials, said she came into the race kind of wide-eyed about the competition.

“I should have just risked it,” she said. “In order to have that experience, I need to just try. So next time, I’ll just try.”

Quick Take #1: We know it's a bad idea to compare men's and women's running but here goes. Dibaba's 14:50 was some 39 seconds off the world record and she closed with an Olympic 'A' in the 1,500.

If a guy did that, he'd run 13:36 and close in 3:34-5.

Quick Take #2: We're glad we're not the only one appreciating Dibaba's incredible close. We agree totally with messageboard poster "eb55" who started a thread entitled: Tirunesh Dibaba goes 66- 64- 61 HOLY COW = Vivan cheriyot is toast

He or she has a good point as double world champ Vivian Cheruiyot has been barely beating Defar all season long but today Dibaba killed Defar.

Quick Take #3: Some of the LetsRun.com staff was watching the race on TV and they were outraged that the announcer on the NBC telecast kept saying that the men's 100 was the last event at the meet. In reality, it was just the last event on the telecast as the women's 5000 and men's 200 came after it. He should issue an apology to two of the greatest female distance runners in history.

More: MB: *Tirunesh Dibaba goes 66- 64- 61 HOLY COW = Vivan cheriyot is toast *WTF: TIRUNESH DIBABA 14:50- 5000m did she really run the last 1000m in 2:39.71?

Rank Athlete Nation Result Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
ETH
14:50.80
4
3
 
2
ETH
14:57.02
6
2
 
3
ETH
15:02.74
1
4
 
4
ETH
15:04.65
 
 
 
5
ETH
15:22.03
 
 
 
6
IRL
15:33.04
 
 
 
7
ETH
15:43.66
 
 
 
8
ETH
15:46.89
PB
 
 
 
9
USA
15:47.68
 
 
 
10
CAN
16:01.94
 
 
 
 
JAM
DNF
 
 
 
 
USA
DNF
 
 
 
 
USA
DNF
 
 
 
 
ETH
DNF
 
 
 
Intermediate times:
1000m - Hinds, Korene (JAM) - 3:04.44
2000m -Britton, Fionnuala (IRL) - 6:04.27
3000m - Britton, Fionnuala (IRL) -9:11.61
4000m - Dibaba, Tirunesh (ETH) -12:11.09

More Coverage: *LRC 800s: David Rudisha Mesmerizes The Crowd as Fantu Magiso Wins Again *LRC 5000: Tirunesh Dibaba Tightens The Screws in Breathtaking Fashion *LRC 1500: Bernard Lagat Returns To His Winning Ways *LRC HS Miles: Junior Bernie Montoya Runs 4:01.32 To Capture Deepest Boys Mile in HS History As Three Girls Break 4:40

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