After Kurt Roberts and Meseret Defar excelled in Boston’s second stop of IAAF World Indoor Tour, it was time for Globen Galan at Stockholm on February 17. Three days earlier at Boston, Roberts produced a world-leading 21.57m shot put mark and Meseret Defar came close to breaking her own 11-year-old meeting record in women’s 3000m. However, in the third leg of the World Indoor Tour on February 17, three athletes brought Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena alive with blazing performances. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba created a new one-mile world record by clocking 4:13.31 that eclipsed the 26-year old 4:17.14 timing of Romania’s Doina Melinte. Dibaba’s Stockholm performance had a uniqueness as she took off several seconds off Melinte’s mark. In men’s 1000m, Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman also created a new 1000m world record by finishing in 2:14.20. In another impressive result, Qatar’s 18-year-old Abdalelah Haroun ran 500m in the world’s best time of 59.83. Stockholm was, therefore, privy to three world marks being added in a single night.
Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba fully justified her status as IAAF’s world athlete of 2015 by smashing a world record at the third stop of the 4-event IAAF World Indoor Tour at Stockholm. On February 17, Dibaba broke Romanian Doina Melinte’s 1990 world indoor record by nearly 4 seconds as she crossed the finish line in 4:13.31. Not only that, Dibaba came tantalizingly close to also breaking the outdoor world record of 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia in 1996. The Ethiopian shot off like a rocket and reached the big milestone with the next two Ethiopian athletes far behind. Dibaba was more than 11 seconds ahead of second placed Gudaf Tsegay(4:24.98) while third-placed Axumawit Embaye clocked 4:27.75.
Djibouti’s world indoor 1500m champion Ayanleh Souleiman broke a 16-year old 1000m world record by clocking 2:14.20. This record continued to be held by Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer since 2000, when he had covered the distance in 2:14.96. But the 23-year-old Souleiman blazed away to glory on Wednesday to create a new milestone. On second place was Dutchman Thijmen Kupers in 2:17.02 while Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi finished third in 2:17.09.
The third world mark at Stockholm was provided by 18-year old Qatari Abdalelah Haroun, who ran 500m in the world’s best time of 59.83. The earlier 500m world record was set last year by USA’s Brycen Spratling in 1:00.06. Behind Haroun was Botswana’s Onkabetse Nkobolo, who took 1:00.71 while USA’s Calvin Smith was third in 1:01.67. In another solid performance this indoor season, 39-year old veteran Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis won 60m sprint despite a stumbling start. Analysts felt Collins could have added the fourth world mark at Globen Galan if his start had been faultless. But Collins still clocked 6.56 ahead of USA’s Mike Rodgers’ 6.58, while another American Joe Morris was third in 6.59.
In men’s 800m, Poland’s Adam Kszczot cleared the field in 1:45.63 minutes. Qatar’s Musaeb Balla was second in 1:45.93 and Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Mohamed Aman finished third in 1:47.39. Men’s 3000m was won by Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider in the year’s fastest time of 7:39.04. Ethiopia’s rising star Yomif Kejelcha was second in 7:39.11. The 18-year-old Kejelcha kept shadowing Iguider and overtook him on last stretch but the Moroccan gathered momentum before the finish to kill Kejelcha’s challenge. Another Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew finished third in 7:42.46. Karlshure Shot Put winner Tim Nedow of Canada won with his final effort of 21.33 but fell 24 centimeters short of Kurt Roberts, who created a world lead by hurling the sphere to 21.57m at Boston three days ago. Poland’s Michael Haratyk was second at Stockholm with 20.46 while Argentina’s German Lauro finished third with 20.07.
In women’s pole vault, local heroine and Sweden’s female athlete of 2015, Angelica Bengtsson couldn’t clear 4.49m despite a promising start. The event was won by Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou of Greece by with 4.81m while Brazil’s 34-year old Fabiana Murer took the second place with 4.71. Switzerland’s Nicole Buchler was third in 4.59. Sweden had a consolation fourth place with the 16-year-old Swede Lisa Gunnarsson leaping through 4.49m. Estonia’s Ksenija Balta won the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.76. It wasn’t an expected result in a field that included the likes of Brit Shara Proctor and Serbian Ivana Spanovic, who won silver and bronze respectively at Beijing’s 2015 world athletic championships. While Proctor managed the third spot with 6.57, the second place was taken by her compatriot Lorraine Ugen, who leapt 6.71m.
Andreas Otterling was the only one to bring cheers for the home fan. The Swede won men’s long jump with his personal best of 8.12m. China’s world bronze medalist Wang Jianan was second in 8.02m while Poland’s Tomasz Jaszczuk finished third with 7.93m. Women’s 400m was won by Lisanne de Witte of the Netherlands, who clocked 53.21 ahead of Czech Zuzana Hejnova’s time of 53.51. European champion Sweden’s Moa Hjelmer was third in 55.01. USA’s Jeneba Tarmoh won women’s 200m sprint by clocking 23.38. Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago was second in 23.39 while Sweden’s 2013 world youth champion Irene Ekelund came third in 24.05. Experienced Spaniard and double European champion Ruth Beitia took the top spot in women’s high jump by clearing 1.95. Even at age 36, Beitia can cause jitters to athletes much younger to her. Sweden’s Sofie Skoog was second ahead of Ukraine’s Oksana Okuneva with both women clearing 1.92m.
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