Hellen Obiri Runs 8:20.68 To Stun Genzebe Dibaba As EIGHT Women Run 8:30.00 Or Better
May 09, 2014
Was this the greatest women’s 3,000m race ever run?
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.
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?
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