BOSTON (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba set a new world indoor record for the women’s 5,000 metres when she crossed the line in 14 minutes, 27.42 seconds at the Boston Indoor Games on Saturday.
Dibaba started the race cagily by hanging back in third position through the first few laps, but she then began to stamp her authority on the field and lapped several other runners before powering to the finish.
The 21-year-old’s new mark improved on her previous world’s best time of 14 minutes, 32.93 seconds, set in Boston two years ago.
“I did not think that I’d break it by this much,” she told reporters at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
Diaba said she knew the record was within reach at the start of the penultimate lap, by which point she was well clear of her competitors and being spurred on by a cheering contingent of flag-waving Ethiopian fans.
Asked what allowed her to set the new mark, she said: “I believe it was God-given talent.”
The meeting also witnessed three new Australian national indoor records with Sarah Jamieson leading the way in the women’s mile, edging out compatriot Erica Sigmont in a time of 4:28.03.
“It’s actually her (Sigmont’s) national record that I broke today, so it was very kind of her to pace me,” Jamieson said.
In the men’s 3,000 metres, Craig Mottram followed Jamieson’s example and overhauled Ireland’s Alastair Cragg to clock 7:39.24, the 26-year-old pumping his fist in triumph as he entered the finishing straight.
“That was probably one of my best runs ever,” Mottram said. “I wanted to come here and put on a show.”
Pole vaulter Steven Hooker completed the hat-trick of Australian records when he cleared 5.81m to win the event.
Other winners on the day were American Alan Webb, who clocked 3:55.18 to take the men’s mile, and Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar, who overcame a heavy cold to claim the women’s 3,000 metres in 8:30.31.