Beijing - Ethiopian track sensation Genzebe Dibaba kept her bid for a world
double well on track on Thursday with Usain Bolt later also going for a second
Dibaba coasted into the final of the 5 000m in her attempt to emulate elder
sister and the event's world record holder Tirunesh by adding to her
comprehensive victory in the 1 500m.
"Winning the 1 500m gold medal gave me confidence but you never know
what's going to happen in the final," said Dibaba, whose own world record
in the 1 500m in Lausanne last month was the fourth she currently holds.
"If I continue my good performances, I can run faster than the current
world record in the 5 000m (set by Tirunesh in Oslo in 2008)."
The mediocre performance by the US team, by their own high standards, was
maintained in hot, clear conditions when three-time defending champion Brittney
Reese failed to qualify for the final of the women's long jump.
"I had surgery on my left hip after Moscow in 2013," Reese said.
"The pain in the hip goes away and comes back. The doctors told me it
takes two years.
"Two days ago the hip started to hurt again, so I got massages.
"I was not able to go the distance today, but my goal is not to chase
medals - I already have five or six of them."
But one jumper who did qualify was Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who
effectively handed the heptathlon title on a plate to teammate Jessica
Ennis-Hill after a meltdown in that event's long jump on Sunday when she failed
to register a jump.
"My three fouls in the heptathlon long jump - well that happened, there
is nothing I can do about it anymore," said the 22-year-old, who leapt
6.79m to reach the final.
"I have to get over that. After the heptathlon I only rested. The long
jump qualification this morning was great. The first jump was a safety jump and
then the second was much better, I got the board right and I qualified."
Three-time Asian champion Ehsan Haddadi of Iran, silver medallist in the
London Games, also had a disastrous morning, failing to qualify for the men's
discus final, finishing well down the field.
Bolt will lock horns once again with arch-rival Justin Gatlin in the evening
session in his bid to win a fourth consecutive world 200m title.
Bolt, also reigning double Olympic sprint champion and world record holder
over 200m, drew first blood with Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, when
he pipped the American by just one-hundredth of a second in Sunday's 100m.
Victory for Bolt would be his 11th out of the last 12 individual Olympic and
world sprint titles since shooting to fame at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Other finals on Thursday include the women's hammer throw and 400m, while
the men's triple jump will also be contested.
The latter promises to be a humdinger, with Christian Taylor of the United
States going up against Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo.
Pichardo and Taylor have produced a season of jumping which has once more
seen the 18-metre barrier breached on a regular basis.
On five occasions, in three separate competitions - the Doha and Lausanne
IAAF Diamond League meetings and Havana's Barrientos Memorial - the pair have
exceeded 18 metres.
Taylor maintains a 3-2 edge in a rivalry that may see them threaten Jonathan
Edwards of Britain's 20-year-old world record of 18.29m.
Only two other jumpers - American Kenny Harrison and the injured 2013
champion Teddy Tamgho of France - have ever gone beyond 18 metres.