Genzebe Dibaba, controversially selected only for the 5,000 metres at next month’s International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Beijing four days after breaking the 22-year-old world record in the 1500m, will double up in China - and her coach, Jama Aden, believes she is capable of becoming the first woman under 3min 50sec for the latter distance.
The 24-year-old Ethiopian, who broke Qu Yunxia’s 22-year-old record in clocking 3:50.07 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 17, announced afterwards: “One thing is clear – I will double at the World Championships.”
The Ethiopian Athletic Federation (EAF) shocked many observers, however, by restricting her to the longer event when it made its initial announcement over the team shortly afterwards.
They also ruled that she had to return to train in Ethiopia ahead of the World Championships rather than taking up her advertised place in the 3,000m at the Stockholm International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League meeting.
Dibaba, who is staying near here with her European training group, was understood to have been in tears over the decision of her Federation to prevent her running, although she abided by it, even if she did not return to her home country.
Now, though, agreement has been reached between the EAF and Dibaba’s representatives over the forthcoming Championships, and she will be able to run in both events, with the 1500m concluding before the start of the 5,000m in the Chinese capital.
“We agreed with the federation a few days ago that Genzebe could double up,” Aden told insidethegames.
“The schedule allows her to do it in Beijing.”
Aden, who will have seven of his athletes in Beijing, including Dibaba and Djibouti's world indoor 1500m champion Ayanleh Souleiman, added that he believes Dibaba can improve still further on her historic mark.
“She can go faster,” he said.
“Her second lap in Monaco was around 64 seconds [63.6].
"She can do 62 there another time, which would give her 3:49, 3:48…”
In the meantime Dibaba and Souleiman, who won the 1500m here by 10 metres in 3:33.33, will join Aden at a training base in Spain before flying out to Beijing.
July 2015: Dibaba breaks Qu Junxia’s 22-year-old world 1500m record in IAAF Monaco Diamond League
April 2015: Djokovic and Dibaba scoop top prizes at Laureus Sports Awards
August 2014: World Championship gold medallist claims women's 1500m running now rivals strength in depth of men's high jumping