03 APR 2010 General News Carlsbad, USA

World champions Defar and Chebet to face off in Carlsbad

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia wins the 3000m final (Getty Images)Meseret Defar of Ethiopia wins the 3000m final (Getty Images) © Copyright
Recently crowned World champions Meseret Defar of Ethiopia and Kenyan Emily Chebet will go head-to-head at the Carlsbad 5000 road race on 11 April.

Defar, who won a fourth consecutive 3000m title at the World Indoor Championships in Doha last month, will be gunning for a fourth victory in Carlsbad, annually one of the fastest 5Km road races in the world, which is this year celebrating its 25th edition.

In 2006, Defar set the unofficial World best over the distance at Carlsbad when she ran 14:46 *.

But Defar, who first came to Carlsbad in 2003, taking fifth place, will have to overcome the challenge of the 24-year-old Chebet, who won the women’s senior title at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, two weeks after Defar’s world indoor title. 
 
And not to be forgotten is the defending Carlsbad 5000 champion Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia, who looks to join Defar (2006, 2007), Briton Liz McColgan (1988, 1991), and Deena Kastor (2000, 2002) of the U.S. as a two-time Carlsbad 5000 champion.
 
“Coming off her world indoor 3000 metre title Meseret Defar has the speed to make a run at her world (best), but in Emily Chebet she will have the perfect foil to test her strength over the distance,” said Toni Reavis, a 20-year broadcaster of the race. “It promises to be an intriguing match-up of reigning world champions.”
 
“It will be the finishing speed of Defar against the power and strength of Chebet,” Reavis added. “The classic Ethiopian-Kenyan rivalry will be in full flower for sure.”
 
2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the world-renowned road race that has been the site of 16 unofficial World bests * since its inception in 1986.  Between Kastor’s 14:54 record in 2002 and Defar’s 14:46 in 2006, the women’s mark was either tied or broken five straight years at Carlsbad.

Dan Cruz (organisers) for the IAAF

Note: The IAAF does not recognize World records for 5km road racing