Paced through the first few laps at the Ericsson Globe Arena by world 800m leader Joanna Jozwik, Genzebe Dibaba was alone in front from 800m onwards.
She passed 1000m in about 2:37.5, which was slightly adrift of the pre-race desired pace, but well on course to break the world indoor record of 4:17.14 set 26 years ago by Romania’s Doina Melinte.Dibaba’s speed barely faded in the second half and she passed 1500m in 3:56.27, the second-fastest indoor clocking ever for the distance, and held on for another 109 metres to cross the finish line in 4:13.31.
World junior champion Gudad Tsegay was a distant second in 4:24.98, the third-fastest time ever by a junior. World indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye made it a 1-2-3 for Ethiopia, finishing third in 4:27.75.
Dibaba’s performance is the second-fastest ever under any conditions, just 0.75 shy of the outdoor world record.
It was the fifth world record of her career, following her world indoor records at 1500m, 3000m and 5000m, and her outdoor world record at 1500m. She also owns the world indoor best over two miles.
“The pacing was perfect for me,” said Dibaba. “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.”
“I am very happy with this record. And I think I will be able to run even faster this season,” she added.
Earlier in the evening, her training partners, Djibouti‘s Ayanleh Souleiman, set a world indoor 1000m record of 2:14.20 while 18-year-old Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar set a world indoor best of 59.83 over 500m.Souleiman passed 800m in 1:46.97 after the field had been paced by Bram Som through the first few laps, going through 400m in 52.08 and 600m in 1:19.44.
The world indoor 1500m champion then dug deep and covered the last lap in 27.23, crossing the finish line in 2:14.20.
His winning mark bettered the previous record of 2:14.96 set by Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer in 2000.
All three world record performers (including Haroun’s 500m world best) are part of coach Jama Aden’s training group.