16 FEB 1998 General News

Gebrselassie sets new 2000m mark; womens's pole vault record falls twice in a day

Gebrselassie sets new 2000m mark; womens's pole vault record falls twice in a day
Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie has done it again! The diminutive athlete powered through to knock just under two seconds off Eamonn Coghlan's 11-year old indoor record of 4:54.07 on Sunday, crossing the line in 4:52.86 in front of a crowd exceeding 5000 spectators and including several hundred Ethiopians who had made the trip specially from other parts of Britain to cheer on their country's favourite athlete. The next stop for Gebreselassie will be in Stockholm on Thursday, 19 february, where he will be attempting to gain back the 3000m indoor record snatched from him by arch rival Daniel Komen earlier this month, whiulst Komen himself will be attacking Gebrselassie's 5000m indoor record, with a view to adding it to the 5000m outdoors mark he set in Brussels last August.
There is no doubt that "The Emperor" was the star attraction at the Birmingham Bupa International indoor meeting - drawing even greater applause than the current star of American sprinting, 100m world champion Maurice Greene, who was heralded as another possible record breaker in Birmingham, as he attempted to lower still further the 60m mark of 6.39 he set in Madrid earlier this month. Greene had flown in by Concorde on Saturday after competing in the 91st edition of the famed Millrose Games in New York's Madison Square Gardens, where both he and training partner Jon Drummond wiped out the previous competition record, but failed to get down to the world record mark. Once again, Greene missed the mark, but still clocked an impressive 6.47, a hundredth behind his mark in the Millrose Games.
Another short lived record this weekend was the women's pole vault mark. Daniela Bartova (CZE) established a new mark of 4.43 early Saturday afternoon in a meeting in Prague, only to have the record leapfrogged by Iceland's Vala Flosadóttir later the same day as Flosadóttir cleared 4.44 during an international meet in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The previous leading mark of 4.42 had also been set by the 20-year old Icelander, who is the defending European champion, in Bielefeld, Germany just one week earlier.