08 JAN 2009 General News

Defar and Kaki up for World Indoor record assaults in Stuttgart

Meseret Defar en router to her 8:23.72 World record in Stuttgart in 2007 (Bongarts)Meseret Defar en router to her 8:23.72 World record in Stuttgart in 2007 (Bongarts) © Copyright

After their respective Beijing disappointments, Ethiopia's World Indoor 3000m champion Meseret Defar and Sudan's World Indoor 800m champion Abubaker Kaki will attempt to put their careers back on track when attempting World Indoor records at the 2008 Sparkassen Cup meeting in Stuttgart, Germany on 7 February 2009.

The Stuttgart fixture is one of a series of ten IAAF Indoor Permit Meetings in 2009.

After a 2008 which was full of ups and downs, when she successfully retained her World indoor crown in Valencia, but then only finished third when defending her Olympic 5000m title in Beijing, Defar will now attack her own World Indoor 3000m mark in Stuttgart.
 
The World 5000m champion has very fond memories of the indoor track in Stuttgart. Two years ago, she ran one of the races of her life when breaking 3000m record by well nearly four seconds (8:23.72). Last year, she made another this time unsuccessful record attempt at the same meeting, but still clocked the fastest world indoor 3000m time of 2008.

While Defar might feel bronze did not do her talents justice in Beijing, Sudanese teenager Kaki did not even get to the final of the men's 800m in the Chinese capital.
 
Despite his disappointment at the Bird's Nest Stadium, Kaki produced some stellar achievements in 2008 where he became his country's first ever World champion in any sport when winning 800m gold in Valencia, broke the World junior record in Oslo in 1:42.69, the fastest time in the world last year, and also struck 800m gold at the World Junior Championships in Poland.

In Stuttgart, Kaki will attempt the World 1000m record nearly a year since he improved the world junior best in Stockholm (21 Feb 2008) to 2:15.77, just 0.81 slower than Wilson Kipketer's World record.

Elshadai Negash for the IAAF