World 1500m record holder Genzebe Dibaba will take on a strong German middle distance trio at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe, the opening stop of the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour, on 3 February.
Dibaba, 26, smashed the world indoor 1500m record by more than three seconds at this meeting in 2014, clocking 3:55.17. No one other than the Ethiopian has come within two seconds of the mark since.
That record came in the lead-in to the first of Dibaba's two world indoor 3000m title-winning runs. This year's appearance follows a 2017 season which started on an up-note indoors --Dibaba clocked a 5:23.75 world indoor 2000m record in Sabadell and was the world indoor leader at 1500m-- but ended prematurely due to illness at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.
In Karlsruhe, Dibaba will face a solid German contingent, led by rising star Konstanze Klosterhalfen. The 20-year-old made a big breakthrough in 2017, improving her lifetime bests outdoors to 3:58.92 and 8:29.89 over 1500m and 3000m, and racing to silver at the European Indoor Championships last winter.
Gesa Felicitas Krause, the 2015 World Championships bronze medallist in the steeplechase and reigning European champion, is also entered in the race. The 25-year-old clocked her 4:08.91 lifetime indoor best at this meeting two years ago.
The field will also include another 20-year-old German, Alina Reh, who claimed the 3000m/5000m double at the 2015 European Junior Championships. Last month, Reh took the U23 title at the European Cross Country Championships, with Klosterhalfen taking silver.
The women's 1500m is among the scoring disciplines for the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour in which athletes collect points towards the overall title in each event. The individual overall winner of each discipline upon conclusion of the tour will receive US$20,000 prize money and automatically qualify for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 by wild card.
Bob Ramsak and organisers for the IAAF
2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour
3 Feb – Karlsruhe
6 Feb – Düsseldorf
8 Feb – Madrid
10 Feb – Boston
15 Feb – Torun
25 Feb – Glasgow