Dibaba targeting sister's 5000 world record at Bislett Games
OSLO, Norway (AP) Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba will be the focus of attention at the Bislett Games on Thursday as she attempts to take the 5,000 meters world record from her older sister Tirunesh.
Tirunesh, a three-time Olympic champion over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, set the record of 14:11.15 at Bislett Stadium in 2008 and Genzebe is confident she can better it at the IAAF Diamond League meet.
''My shape is very good,'' said the younger Dibaba, who set the indoor 5,000 world record in Stockholm in February. ''I've been getting ready for this race for a while and I am ready to break the record.''
If the 24-year-old manages it, she will be the Bislett Games' 70th world record breaker.
The men's high jump also promises to be an exciting affair with the in-form Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim challenged by Russia's Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov, Ukraine's world champion Bohdan Bondarenko, the United States' Erik Kynard and Canada's Derek Drouin.
Barshim, who became the second-highest jumper of all time by clearing 2.43 meters last year, has already won his opening two Diamond League meets this year with jumps of 2.38 in Shanghai and 2.41 in Eugene.
The record of 2.45 is held by Cuba's Javier Sotomayor, who will be watching from the stands on Thursday. While Barshim said his hero's presence would make it extra special, he's in no hurry to beat the record.
''You can't just come and jump a world record all of a sudden. It's a process. If it happens, it happens. If not I'll send him the video later,'' the 23-year-old joked.
Barshim, Bondarenko and Ukhov were all in relaxed mood Wednesday, with Ukhov joking that he usually jumps 2.40 or 2.50 meters in training but is too exhausted to replicate that when it matters.
Sotomayor doesn't expect his record to remain unbroken for too much longer.
''Sooner or later it's going to happen. It could be tomorrow, but it will happen someday. No record is forever,'' said the Cuban, who admitted, ''I'd be lying if I said I wanted them to break it.''
The Dream Mile is synonymous with the Bislett Games since Britain's Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram set world records on the Oslo track in the 1970s and 1980s.
Former Olympic and world champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, a three-time winner of the race, leads the field of challengers and will be pushed by Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti, Silas Kiplagat of Kenya and home favorite Henrik Ingebrigtsen.
Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor of the United States will compete in the men's long jump, where he will face Britain's Olympic champion Greg Rutherford.
Another American, Carmelita Jeter, is running the women's 100, where she will come up against Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure, who trains in the U.S. but spends the warmer months in Oslo.
''I'll be moving over in July,'' Ahoure said.
There is no men's 100 event.
American Jasmin Stowers is hoping for better luck in the women's hurdles. After winning at the opening Diamond League meet of the year, a fall and disqualification for a false start dashed her hopes at Rome and Birmingham, respectively.