Eugene, USA – A torrential downpour might have affected some of the events on the first night of the 2012 Prefontaine Classic – Samsung Diamond League meeting but in the aftermath the temperature cooled and spectators were treated to a pair of terrific 10,000m races (1 June).
Ethiopian superstar Tirunesh Dibaba won a thrilling women’s 10,000m after taking over the pace at 5000 (15:05.79) and pushing through the second half of the race. But it was a close finish. Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat went in front the final kilometre and helped turn the race into a three person affair.
Dibaba won in 30:24.39 a world leading time with Kiplagat second in 30:24.85 and 21 year old Beleynesh Oljira, also of Ethiopia, claiming third in a personal best of 30:26.70.
“The race was very good,” Dibaba said shyly, “It was not hard. I had a little bit of a pain in my stomach during the race. I am very happy to go to the Olympics now.”
Not able to achieve the sub-30 time she was aiming for, Dibaba subsequently asked, and has been granted, the opportunity to race on Saturday (2) in the Prefontaine Classic 3000m against Sally Kipyego, the hometown favourite who appeared to have no competition in the race after the withdrawal of Lineth Masai due to flu. Dibaba has an outdoor 3000m PB of 8:33.37