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Dibaba breaks African mile record in Rovereto

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Genzebe Dibaba on her way to winning the mile in Rovereto (Organisers / Valeria Biasioni) © Copyright.

Genzebe Dibaba on her way to winning the mile in Rovereto (Organisers / Valeria Biasioni) © Copyright.

GERMANY, Sep 7 – Genzebe Dibaba grabbed the headlines at the Palio della Quercia meeting in Rovereto after recording the second-fastest outdoor time ever over the mile with 4:14.30 on Tuesday.

Dibaba, who set the world indoor record last February in Stockolm with 4:13.31, followed pacemakers until 750m before running alone for the final two laps.

After the pacemakers led the field through 400m in 1:00.95, the pace slowed considerably on the second lap as Dibaba went through 800m in 2:07.24.

The 1500m world record-holder picked up the pace, though, and went through 1000m in 2:39.3 and 1200m in 3:10.6.

She passed the 1500m checkpoint in a season’s best of 3:57.31, breaking the meeting record in the process, and crossed the finish line in an African record of 4:14.30, just 1.74 shy of Svetlana Masterkova’s world record set 20 years ago.

Dibaba beat world indoor champion Sifan Hassan, who finished more than 11 seconds behind in 4:25.50.

USA’s Alexa Efraimson finished third in 4:27.29 ahead of Italian Federica Del Buono, who made a successful return from two years of injury problems by breaking Fabia Trabaldo’s Italian under-23 record with 4:28.13 after going through 1500m in 4:08.94.

“Everything was perfect apart from the wind and the second pacemaker but I ran the second-fastest time in history and I am very happy,” said the Olympic silver medallist, who earlier this year set a world indoor mile record of 4:13.31. “My season is over. After a period of rest, I will prepare for a couple of indoor races.”

Olympic 100m finalist and 4x100m silver medallist Christania Williams won the women’s 100m in 11.02, breaking the long-standing meeting record held by Irina Privalova since 1993.

World indoor champion Barbara Pierre finished second in 11.30 ahead of Desiree Henry and Olesya Povh, who clocked the same time of 11.31.

“I am happy with the time and I expect to run a much faster time in Brussels on Friday,” said Williams. “I had a wonderful season but next year will be much better. Training with Elaine Thompson is motivating me.”

Jamaica scored a 100m double as Julian Forte won the men’s event, clocking a wind-assisted 9.97 (2.3m/s) to beat 40-year-old Kim Collins by 0.04. The illegal following wind denied both Forte and the meeting of their first legal sub-10-second performance.

Amel Tuka clocked his fastest time of the season to win the men’s 800m in 1:44.80, 0.38 ahead of Algeria’s Yasine Hathat.

“I set my fastest time of the year in a venue where I enjoy competing,” said the world bronze medallist.

“I ran a fast 600m race here last April and I train in Bussolengo, not far from here. I will try to run faster in my last race on Friday in Brussels.After a period of rest I will start preparing for the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade.”

One of the highlights of the meeting was the women’s 400m which featured four Olympic finalists: bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, sixth-place finisher Stephenie-Ann McPherson, seventh-place finisher Olga Zemlyak of Ukraine and eighth-place finisher Libania Grenot, the two-time European champion.

Grenot kept the pace with McPherson until 300 metres when the Jamaican pulled away in the final straight to win in 50.76.

Jackson finished second in 51.10 ahead of Zemlyak (52.03). Grenot faded in the final 100 metres, finishing sixth in 53.08.

Italian triple jump veteran Fabrizio Donato returned to his best form when he leapt to 16.93m on his third attempt, breaking the world masters M40 record.

The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist was beaten by France’s Harold Correa, who jumped 16.98m in the fifth round.

“This performance motivates me to continue next year,” said Donato. “I still enjoy competing and I feel that I could jump further this evening.”

Luguelin Santos from Dominican Republic, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, clinched the win in the men’s 400m in 45.21 ahead of Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald (45.62).

Estonia’s Martin Kupper, who finished fourth at last month’s Olympic Games, won the discus with 64.62m in the sixth round, overtaking Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus who was leading with 64.29m.

Another Estonian win came from Olympic finalist Rasmus Magi, who overtook Algeria’s Abdelmalik Lahoulou in the final straight to win the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.04.

Lahoulou finished runner-up in 49.40 ahead of 2009 world U18 bronze medallist José Reynaldo Bencosme de Leon (49.91).

Olympic semi-finalist Hanna Titimets won the women’s 400m hurdles in 56.44 ahead of former Italian 100m hurdles champion Marzia Caravelli.

Ethiopia’s 16-year-old world U20 champion Selemon Barega launched his kick in the final 200 metres to take the win in the men’s 5000m in 13:24.07 ahead of Kenyan Hillary Maiyo (13:25.16) and Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew (13:25.42).

Mexico’s Edgar Rivera won the men’s high jump with 2.25m on countback over Bulgaria’s Tikhomir Ivanov, Pavel Seliverstu of Belarus and 2007 world champion Donald Thomas from The Bahamas, who all cleared the same height.

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