07 MAR 2014 Report Sopot, Poland

Report: women's 3000m first round – Sopot 2014

Genzebe Dibaba in the women's 3000m heat at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images)Genzebe Dibaba in the women's 3000m heat at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images) © Copyright

Genzebe Dibaba – the star of the 2014 indoor season thus far, with her two world records* over 1500m and 3000m – took a sensible, no risk policy in the opening race.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian kept out of potential trouble in the opening few laps, settling into second-to-last position as Kenya’s Irene Jelegat and UAE’s Alia Saeed Mohammed led through 1000m in 3:07.52 and 2000m in 6:10.22.

With about one kilometre to go, Dibaba moved up on the outside on to the shoulder of Mohammed and then, with three laps remaining, she pulled clear, finishing a comfortable winner in 8:57.86.

Sifan Hassan ran a smart race too. The 21-year-old Dutchwoman, and former Ethiopian refugee who won the European Cross Country Championships under-23 title in December, eased through into the runner-up spot, clocking 8:58.50. 

The Netherlands could possibly lose Elly van Hulst’s 25-year-old championship record, which has stood at 8:33.82 since 1989, in Sunday’s final but Dutch athletics has clearly found a successor to the tall, long-striding van Hulst, a two-time world indoor champion.

Defending champion Hellen Obiri progressed as runner-up in the second heat, the Kenyan clocking 8:53.31 in the slipstream of two-time 1500m world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain, who prevailed in 8:53.07.

Simon Turnbull for the IAAF

*subject to the usual ratification procedures