OREGON, March 21 – Even through the early laps of the women’s 3000m final, there was an overwhelming sense of inevitability about the result.
Once again, it all went to script for Genzebe Dibaba, as it has so many times in recent years.
The Ethiopian cruised to victory and her third world indoor title, unchallenged, in 8:47.43 ahead of teammate Meseret Defar (8:54.26) and Shannon Rowbury (8:55.55).
Kenya’s USA based Betsy Saina finished seventh in 9:01.86 while compatriot Nancy Chepkwemoi was placed 10th in 9:07.63.
In the early laps, led by Belarus’s Sviatlana Kudzelich, the pace was pedestrian with the group of 13 passing 1000m together in 3:15.73 and just a lap later, the move that everyone was waiting for finally happened.
Dibaba swept to the front of the field and lifted the pace several notches, and the only one to give immediate chase was Britain’s Steph Twell.
Chasing Dibaba, though, is always a risky strategy, and Twell was soon reeled in by Defar and Rowbury.
Maureen Koster of the Netherlands was also in medal contention, along with Abbey D’Agostino of the US.
Checking the big screen several times as she extended her advantage throughout the final laps, Dibaba came home a worthy champion.
“It was easy for me because the field was not that strong. My family and my whole country are happy,” the world 1500m record holder said.
Dibaba will return to Oregon in late May for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, and has more record plans in her sights for the summer.
“I’m starting my season in Eugene with a 5000m. “I’ll try the world record again, but it’s not easy,”she said.
Back in second, four-time former champion Meseret Defar was pleased to add a silver medal to her collection from this event.
“I’m so unbelievably happy. “I just had a baby girl not that long ago. This is so special for me,” Meseret affirmed.
Bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury, who trains locally, was pleased to win a medal in front of a partisan home crowd.
“It’s been so nice. “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I’m happy I was able to take advantage of it as much as possible.”
Koster held on well to take fourth in 8:56.44 ahead of D’Agostino (8:58.40) and Steph Twell (9:00.38).