For the benefit of those who missed it in yesterday’s 5000m, Meseret Defar once again displayed her ferocious kick, this time en route to a commanding 8:47.26 win in the 3000m.
The 21-year-old Olympic champion at 5000m didn’t need to expend nearly the energy she exerted in yesterday’s win after breaking from the pack with a half lap remaining.
“The race wasn’t hard,” said Defar, who was second to compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in Helsinki. “The time was a little slow but I’m very happy that I won both races here.”
With two laps to go, the entire field was still a tightly wound pack, and didn’t really began to unravel until the bell, when up to seven women remained in contention.
In the end, it was Geleta Burika Bati (8:48.65), another Ethiopian, who was closest, finishing nearly a second ahead of Tanzanian Zakia Mrisho (8:49.63).
“I tried to push in the last 100 metres,” Burika said, “but I just couldn’t.”
Isabella Ochichi, the Olympic silver medallist, was the top Kenyan but just fourth overall in 8:49.79.