Djibouti: Kenyans Fail to Sparkle as Djibouti’s Souleiman and Ethiopia’s Dibaba Break Records

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DJIBOUTI (HAN) February 19, 2016 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. Kenya’s athletes posted mixed performance in the Globen Galan Indoor Grand Prix meeting in Stockholm on Wednesday. Nicholas Kiplagat was the only Kenyan winner on the night, winning the 800m ‘B’ race in 1:46.93.

He beat compatriot and 2006 world junior outdoor silver medallist, Jackson Kivuva (1:47.63) to second place as Egypt’s Hamada Mohamed (1:47.82) completed the podium.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi came home third in the men’s 1000m race that saw Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman set a new world record in the event.

Souleiman, who is the world indoor 1,500m champion, claimed his first world record as he ran 2:14.20 to break the 1000m mark of 2:14.96, which has been held by Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer since 2000. Thijmen Kupers of Netherlands come home second in a personal best of 2:17.02 ahead of Manangoi, who was timed at 2:17.09. The exuberant 23-year-old Djiboutian said he already knew the record was his for the taking after he reached 800m in 1:46.97.

Praising the pacemaker Bram Som, who led him through to 600m in 1:19, Souleiman said: “He did a good job. That was the pace I wanted. After that, I knew I had to work—but I knew I was ready.

Genzebe Dibaba produced a stupendous breakthrough in the mile, clocking 4:13.31 to smash the 26-year-old record of 4:17.14 set by Romania’s Doina Melinte. She finished less than a second away from the outdoor world record of 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova in 1996.

Dibaba’s effort was always likely to be a race against the clock following the late withdrawal of Sweden’s world indoor 1,500m champion Abeba Aregawi due to back problem.

The 25-year-old Ethiopian was paced through to 800m in 2:05.69 by Poland’s Joanna Jozwik, who leads this year’s list with 2:00.12 before setting out on the long lonely route home which is becoming an increasingly familiar one to her.

En-route to the record, she missed her own world indoor 1,500m mark of 3:55.71 by less than a second, clocking 3:56.46. But as she crossed the line in 4:13.31, a smile lit her face. “The pacing was perfect for me,” she said. “I know this track well, and it is very good for me. The only thing that was difficult was the conditions in the arena—it felt very cold.”

As if to make her point, she then relapsed into a fit of coughing. “I am very happy with this record. I think I will be able to run even faster this season,” added Dibaba, who will race over 3,000m in the Spanish city of Sabadell today. Thus, in a single night, the world record total of the Globen Galan meeting moved from 16 to 19.

World junior champion Gudad Tsegay was a distant second in 4:24.98, the third-fastest time ever by a junior. World indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye made it a 1-2-3 for Ethiopia, finishing third in 4:27.75.

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