Genzebe Dibaba Tops Off A Perfect Season With Women’s 3000 Gold, Hellen Obiri Silver, Maryam Jamal Bronze

March 9, 2014

Sopot, Poland – An extremely slow early pace meant a fast finish, but the results were still what you expected as  in the end world record holder Genzebe Dibaba won the women’s 3000m final in 8:55.02 after pulling away from champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya (8:57.72) with 500 meters remaining.  Two-time world outdoor 1500 champ Maryam Jamal got the bronze (8:59.16). Dibaba ran 8:55 after an opening l1600 of 5:08.62 thanks to a last 800 of 2:05.7 (64.4 ht, 61.3 ht). Shannon Rowbury and Gabriele Grunewald of the US were non factors in 8th and 10th.

Dibaba’s win ended an amazing indoor season whih was highlighted by three world records at 1500, 3000 and 2-miles in the span of 15 days. Tonight’s World title at the Ergo Arena was the perfect way for her to end an undefeated indoor season. Until this race, in 2014, Dibaba had won by dominating fast races. Today she dominated a slow race (the first 800 was 2:46).

Results and quick takes below.

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Results Womens 3000W
Details 1 652 Genzebe DIBABA ETH 8:55.04
Details 2 730 Hellen Onsando OBIRI KEN 8:57.72
Details 3 623 Maryam Yusuf JAMAL BRN 8:59.16
Details 4 728 Irene JELAGAT KENKEN 9:02.67
Details 5 744 Sifan HASSAN NEDNED 9:03.22
Details 6 832 Betlhem DESALEGN UAE 9:04.06
Details 7 772 Renata PLIS POLPOL 9:07.05
Details 8 871 Shannon ROWBURY USAUSA 9:07.82
Details 9 708 Margherita MAGNANI ITA 9:10.13
Details 10 856 Gabrielle GRUNEWALD USA 9:11.76
Details 11 650 Hiwot AYALEW ETHETH 9:12.51
Details 12 833 Alia Saeed MOHAMMED UAE 9:21.23SPLIT TIMES
1000M 3:24.50 Hiwot AYALEW ETHIOPIA ETH
2000M 6:16.10 Genzebe DIBABA ETHIOPIA ETH
Genzebe Dibaba Wins It Genzebe Dibaba Wins It

Quick Take #1: Dibaba Was the Class of the Field

Dibaba was in a class of her own in this race. The dominance shown wasn’t quite in the same class as Abeba Aregawi’s last night in the women’s 1500, as the other made her work for it. They tried to go with her and made her work for it. She didn’t really break everyone until about 500 remained and wasn’t totally clear until 400 remained. But 300 out, she was 2-3 seconds clear.

For a long time Genzebe has been in the shadow of her older sister Tirunesh, but this 2014 indoor season she has definitely made a name of her own as she won her second world indoor title.

QT #2: Dibaba Ends Indoor Season Perfect… Like Mary Cain

Very few athletes can say they are undefeated in 2014, but Mary Cain (out with injury) can and Dibaba both had perfect seasons. The reason we mentioned Cain was this message board poster pointed out Dibaba closed the last 1000m in 2:38.94 which was faster than Cain’s first American record attempt at 1000m this year (2:39.25, Cain ran 2:35.80 later indoors). Just shows how fast Dibaba is.

QT#3: Hellen Obiri Gets Another Medal

Obiri added to her World 1500 bronze medal from 2013 and 3000 gold from the 2012 World Indoors. She and Caleb Ndiku’s gold in the 3000 were the only medals for Kenya at the 2014 World Indoors.

Obiri was right on Dibaba’s heels here until the final 500 when she lost contact. She then fell back to third or fourth but hammered the last 200 and actually was gaining on the world record holder in the last 200 and likely had the fastest final 200 of anyone in the field.

We asked Obiri about her fast close. She said she realized she wasn’t going to win so she decided to “drop back and relax” before hammering the last 200. She’s well aware that her last 200 was sensational and said as a result that she knows she needs to “work on my endurance” moving forward.

As for the goals for 2014, the focus is going to be the 1500 not 5000.

QT#4: Dreaming of a Dibaba Double Attempt – Disappointed She’s Seemingly Going To Avoid Aregawi in 2014

We would have liked to see Dibaba try to double at these championships in the 1500 and 3000. Beating Abeba Aregawi straight up in the 1500 would not have been easy, but if Dibaba could have pulled off the double she would have raised her profile to another level. The fans were the big losers with Dibaba and Aregawi dominating their respective races, but not squaring off versus one another. At LRC, we always are harping about “What about the sport?” Track will never be popular as long as the stars of the sport can dodge each other throughout the year. Usually it is only at the global championships they have to race each other, but that wasn’t the case here or with Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar last year at Worlds.

And unfortunately, it sounds as if Aregawi and Dibaba will avoid each other outdoors in 2014 for the most part as Dibaba told us after the race she’d focus on the 3000 and 5000.

“My outdoor (focus) is going to be on the 3000 and 5000, but I will be looking to run one fast 1500,” said Genzebe.

QT#5: Will Dibaba Continue to Excel Outdoors?

Will this year finally be the year Dibaba keeps it going into the outdoor season? In 2012 she ran 4:00.13 indoors, crossed the finish line first in all her races (she was DQd once), and won the 1500 world title in Istanbul, Turkey by a dominating 2.00 seconds. She opened up outdoors with a 3:57.77 in Shanghai, but by the time London rolled around she didn’t make the Olympic final. Last year she again was great indoors running 4:00.83 and 8:26.95, but come the Moscow World Championships she was done and only 8th in the final. This year she’s been so good indoors and elevated herself to a completely different level. Has she learned from past mistakes about burning it too hot too early in the season? If there was a year it doesn’t really matter to burn it too hot indoors, it’d be this one since there is no global championships outdoors in 2014.

QT #6: Did you know there is another Dibaba sister?

Dibaba’s older sister Tirunesh is one of the greatest female track runners ever with 8 outdoor/Olympic gold medals.

Since Genzebe spoke highly of coach Jama Aden and credited him with much of her succcess, we asked her at the post-race race press conference if she might get her sister to be coached by him. Genzebe said she might – but with a twist – as we were talking about big sis Tirunesh.

“I’d like my younger sister who is coming up to work with him,” said Genzebe.

If you know the name and age of her younger sister, please email us.

Interviews with the Americans

Shannon Rowbury Post Race Interview:

Video interview Gabe Grunewald:

Genzebe Dibaba World 3000m Champion Genzebe Dibaba World 3000m Champion


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