Defar, who had won gold at every edition of the biennial championships since 2004, said in an interview in Boston last month: "With my third title, I equaled Gabriela Szabo's record. With the fourth title, I became the first woman to do it. This would be my fifth, and I will pray that God will help me."
Istanbul 2012 is on course to become the biggest gathering in terms of participating National IAAF Member Federations in the history of these championships, exceeding the previous record set four years ago in Valencia.
With 172 IAAF National Member Federations having entered athletes to compete at the Atakov Arena next week, Istanbul 2012 should surpass Valencia 2008 where 147 countries, also a participating record at the time, contested the event.
A total of 1,299 athletes and officials are also expected to attend what will be the IAAF’s most important event of the 2012 World Athletics Series.
More than 349 male athletes, 334 female athletes and 616 officials have indeed been entered following the 27th February deadline for Final Entries.
The World Indoor Championships, which were first contested under the guise of the World Indoor Games in Paris in 1985 when 69 nations took part, attracted 142 nations for their last edition in Doha 2010.
|Eko 2012: Uko and Imhoaperamhe take sprint titles at Nigeria National Sports Festival||(8)|
|London 2012: Olympics venues christened to mark 200th-day countdown||(6)|
|Athletics Nigeria task Coaches on athletes monitoring||(6)|
|Kenyan Obiri upsets Ethiopia Defar's golden cart in Istanbul||(6)|
|Kenya retains African team crown in Cape Town - Africa Cross-Country Championships wrap||(5)|