Genzebe’s attempt to break her sister Tirunesh Dibaba’s nine-year-old 5,000 World Record of 14 minutes 11.15 seconds was unsuccessful as she clocked 14:25.22.

By Chris Hansen (The Register-Guard) |

On a warm, windless night at Hayward Field, with two pace-setters ready to guide her along and 7,800 fans eager to see history made, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba stepped confidently to the starting line.

Before she reached the mid-way point of her world-record attempt in the women’s 5,000 meters, Genzebe already knew she wouldn’t come close.

The Prefontaine Classic track and field meet began with Joan Benoit Samuelson Night on Friday, and Genzebe’s attempt to break her sister Tirunesh Dibaba’s nine-year-old record of 14 minutes 11.15 seconds was the main event.

Genzebe still went unchallenged in the win, crossing the finish line in 14:25.22, but was off world-record pace early on and couldn’t recover.

Kenya’s Lilian Kasait Rengeruk was second in 14:36.80, and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who is a member of Nike Oregon Project in Portland, was third in 14:41.24.

They were the only three to break 15:00.

“I’m happy that I won but I’m not happy about the time,” Genzebe said through an interpreter. “The pace was real slow and I’m not happy with how we started. …

“I was determined I would do it today because I had taken my time to train for this and taken my time for this particular race.”

Genzebe, who already has the world record in the 1,500, was paced by Kenya’s Mary Kuria and Sweden’s Meref Bahta. Mary Kuria steppe off after 1,000 meters and Meref Bahta dropped out with 6 1/2 laps to go.

According to meet announcer Paul Swangard, the pacers were instructed to run a 14:10 pace and through 800 meters, they were on track. But after Kuria stepped off the track, Bahta struggled to keep the pace moving and eventually Genzebe Dibaba was right on her heels.

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