Genzebe Dibaba breaks 1500m world record

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba lived up to the pre-race hype by breaking the women’s 1500m world record at the Monaco Diamond League meeting.

Dibaba stormed round the track to clock 3:50.07 – nearly four tenths faster than the previous best mark.

“I think Tirunesh (elder sister and three-time Olympic champion) will be happy, all of Ethiopia will be happy,” Dibaba said.

“I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and am still able to improve, maybe under 3:50.”

Qu Yunxi’s effort of 3:50.46 from 1993 was considered nigh on unbeatable in many athletics circles, but talk of Dibaba eclipsing it has bubbled ever since she set three indoor world bests last year.

Dibaba’s eyes constantly darted to the big screen as she ran the last lap alone, the field trailing in her wake, as a desperate charge for the finish line was rewarded with a record.

Next on the agenda for Dibaba will be clinching double gold at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing over 1500m and 5000m, although she also has a slither of attention fixed on her sister’s world record over the longer distance.

She concluded: “And let’s try for 5000m world record after Beijing.”

In the men’s 1500m, Asbel Kiprop destroyed the field to take victory in a lightning 3:26.69. Britain’s Mo Farah was second entering the home straight, but eventually finished fourth in 3:28.93 – still an impressive outing from the double Olympic champion. Farah admitted afterwards that he may only run the 10,000m in Beijing, with the 32-year-old yet to decide whether to also run the 5000m.

Justin Gatlin took victory over 100m in 9.78 seconds to send out an ominous warning to Usain Bolt ahead of the worlds. Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, finished ahead of Tyson Gay, who has himself served one drugs ban. The IAAF World Championships run from August 22-30.