It was a bad day in office for Kenyan athletes at the Stockholm Indoor Meeting on Wednesday night as Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba and Souleiman Ayanleh from Djibouti set new world records.
Ayanleh, the world indoor champion over 1500m, claimed his first world record in Stockholm as he ran 2:14.20 to break the 1,000m mark which has stood since 2000 when Kenyan born Dane Wilson Kipketer, ran 2:14.96.
Kenya’s World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi came third in the race behind Kupers Thijmen from the Netherlands in 2:17.09.
The exuberant 23-year-old Djiboutian said afterwards that he already knew the record was his for the taking after he reached 800m in 1:46.97.
Ayanleh was bobbing and weaving as the significance of his achievement sank in, before he received the donation of a gift box and a large bouquet of yellow and red tulips.
Thijmen passed Manangoi , who was fresh from winning in Duesseldorf, Germany two weeks ago, just before the line for his personal best.
Praising the pacemaker Bram Som, who led him through to 600m in 1:19, Ayanleh said: “He did a good job.
That was the pace I wanted. After that I knew I had to work – but I knew I was ready.
After I passed 800m in 1:46, I knew I would have the record. This is my first world record, and I am very happy. I want to thank my coach, Jama Aden, for working so hard with me,” said Ayanleh.
Two weeks after claiming a double at Duesseldorf and Karlsruhe indoor meets in Germany, 2012 World Indoor 3,000m silver medallist Augustine Choge was beaten to third in the 3,000m race in a time of 7:39.23 as the reigning World Indoor 3,000m Caleb Mwangangi settled for fourth in 7:39.82.
Moroccan Iguider Abdallati and Yomif Kejelcha from Ethiopian stormed to a 1-2 finish in world leading times of 7:38.04 and 7:39.11 respectively.
Dibaba produced a stupendous breakthrough in the mile, clocking 4:13.31 to smash the 26-year-old record of 4:17.14 set by Romania’s Doina Melinte and finish less than a second away from the outdoor world record of 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova in 1996.
Dibaba’s effort was always likely to be a race against the clock following the late withdrawal of Sweden’s world indoor 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi because of a back problem.
The 25-year-old Ethiopian was paced through to 800m in 2:05.69 by Poland’s Joanna Jozwik, who leads this year’s list with 2:00.12, before setting out on the long lonely route home which is becoming an increasingly familiar one to her.
En route, she missed her own world indoor 1500m record of 3:55.71 by less than a second, clocking 3:56.46. But as she crossed the line in 4:13.31, a smile lit her face.
“The pacing was perfect for me,” she said. “I know this track well, and it is very good for me. The only thing that was difficult was the conditions in the arena – it felt very cold.”
As if to make her point, she then relapsed into a fit of coughing.
“I am very happy with this record. And I think I will be able to run even faster this season,” added Dibaba, who will race over 3,000m in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Friday.