Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tirunesh Dibaba carries the Ethiopian flag at the 2012 IAAF World Championships
Image: Erik van Leeuwen.

Tirunesh Dibaba won her first World Championship title in six years, coming first in the 10,000 meter race at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia last night. Dibaba finished with a time of 30 minutes and 43.37 seconds, giving her the third World Championship victory of her career.

Dibaba’s victory last night ended a six-year drought for the athlete on the World Championships stage, having been unable to win a World Championship title since 2007. In that period of time, Dibaba had more luck in the Olympics, winning the 10,000 meter final in 2008 and successfully defending her title in 2012.

Dibaba waited until the final two laps of the race to take the lead, sprinting the final 500 meters in 59.98 seconds. She easily left her fellow competitors behind, with silver-medalist Gladys Cherono of Kenya trailing by almost two seconds. Belaynesh Olijra of Ethiopia, one of Dibaba’s training partners, took the bronze medal, crossing the finish line in a time of 30 minutes and 46.98 seconds.

Dibaba spoke about wanting to return the Ethiopian women’s track team to glory, when talking to reporters after her race. The team had not won gold at a 10,000 meter final at the IAAF World Championships for two years.

"Because of that, both as a team and individually, we trained very hard," she told reporters.