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Articles tagged #Genzebe Dibaba
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Tara Welling Shares Her Experiences as a Member of the Nike Oregon Project coached by Alberto Salazar

Two weeks ago, high performance coach/elite meet director Jonathan Marcus reached out to LetsRun.com to share his experiences with Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project. During the process of fact-checking that story, we contacted Tara Welling, who ran for the Oregon Project from 2012-14 (and later Marcus), who said she preferred to tell her story in her own words.

Throughout college, I dealt with an eating disorder, but it never spiraled out of control until the summer/fall of 2012, my first year with the Oregon Project. I was 23 years old and going through a tough personal time with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She lived alone and I felt a sense of guilt that I should not be leaving the country to follow my running dreams with the Oregon Project. I joined the group in Europe as they prepared for the Olympic Games. I was the only female and didn’t feel like I had anyone I could really open up with and talk to.

Tension was high and I wanted to be a great runner, but also wanted to be home with my family during this difficult time. When I joined the Oregon Project, I was 5-foot-4 and weighed around 100 lbs. During our time in Font Romeu and London, I dropped to around 88 lbs, stemming from my levels of stress and depression.

Alberto never weighed me during this time, but my weight loss was very apparent. I later learned that a teammate brought it up to Alberto during our time in Font Romeu. It wasn’t until after the Olympics that Alberto first talked to me about it. He said that he would get me all the help I needed.

Alberto set weight goals for me: first 95 lbs, then 98 lbs, and I would be allowed to race the USATF 5k and 10k road champs that fall if I hit those numbers. Alberto was very concerned about my weight and took me to the store to get high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that would fuel me for my runs and help me gain healthy weight. I was told that when we got back to the States, he would help me get connected with a nutritionist, therapist, and doctors to keep me on track and help me get healthy, and I did eventually meet with a nutritionist and a therapist.

What hasn’t been made public yet is that my visit to Dr. [Jeffrey] Brown, in September 2012, was related to this process of helping me get healthy, including numerous tests that were done. Initially, this was something very difficult for me to share with USADA [during their investigation of Salazar and Dr. Brown] as it required reopening wounds which are still challenging for me to talk about. Until the USADA investigation, these details are something I hadn’t talked to anyone else about, outside of my parents and Alberto.

I ended up racing the 5k & 10k champs that fall and eventually found a steady weight. A little while later I was up to ~105 lbs and had been following my lifting program per our strength coach Dave McHenry and Alberto. I was then told my arms were getting too muscular and I needed to lose a few pounds. I stopped lifting heavier weights on my upper body and was limited to only bodyweight exercises so I didn’t have to “carry extra weight.” 

Alberto constantly said I should look like Kara Goucher and Genzebe Dibaba. He also said I should be 100 lbs with a low body fat percentage, but muscular. It was confusing and I found it mentally difficult when I had to lose weight and look like other runners when I was not them. It was a constant comparison battle. I was often weighed with the underwater scale and had body measurements done via skinfold measurement. I was never weighed publicly or in front of teammates, but Alberto was always present.

In summary, I felt like weight was certainly a focus and embedded into the training process. I did witness Alberto weighing other athletes and criticizing their weight (both men and women). For me, it wasn’t always “less is better” in terms of weight. I had a target weight that Alberto felt was “healthy” but also ideal for performance and he wanted to do everything to help ensure I was at that (which was 100 pounds in his mind).

I do wish things would have been different. I wish I sought more advice apart from the doctors and therapists that Alberto had available. At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a choice and I had to prove to him that I was getting healthy and gaining weight. I didn’t feel like I had much of a say and it was a “do-as-you’re-told” type of culture. But at the time, I felt that Alberto had my best interests as an athlete in mind, and I had no reason not to trust him.

I left the Oregon Project in the winter of 2014. By that point, I was solely working with [NOP assistant] Pete Julian as I felt he better understood how I responded to training. I was told that if I wanted to remain with the Oregon Project, I had to win the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in December 2014 and prove that I could compete at a high level. I placed second that year in Bethlehem, Pa., and I was not re-signed.

After leaving the Oregon Project, I later found the fun in training again and somewhat let go of an ideal race weight. I lowered my PRs in the 1500, 3k, 5k, 10k, and won two national road titles (15k and half marathon) before competing at the Olympic Trials in the 5k and 10k in 2016. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% recovered from my eating disorder and tendencies, but I’ve found ways to manage it much better.

(11/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tara Weiling
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Ethiopia´s Almaz Ayana hopes to be successful in Doha on September 28

The ability to overcome challenges appears to be part of Almaz Ayana’s DNA.

By working hard to climb to the summit of global distance running, despite hailing from a modest rural background, to triumphing in the 10,000m on her season’s debut at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, no challenge appears beyond the capability of the world and Olympic 10,000m champion.

Yet the latest task to return to full fitness after undergoing surgery on both knees is, arguably, Ayana’s greatest obstacle to date as she builds up for what she hope will be a successful defence of her world 10,000m title in Doha on 28 September.

Born the seventh youngest of nine siblings in western Ethiopia, Ayana first engaged in running when registering for a school race at about the age of 13 or 14.

Having no clue as to how she would perform, she recalled finishing “second or third” over 1500m but faced a significant obstacle to her progress.

“When I started racing there was a girl at my school who always finished number one,” explains the quietly-spoken and unfailingly polite Ayana. “I was afraid of that girl but somebody told me that I have to beat her. I listened to that person, beat that girl and later joined a project (a training group for beginners) in my local area.”

Encouraged by how hard work could reap rewards, she moved to Addis Ababa and joined the Defence Force Club. A coach there advised her to try the steeplechase and she quickly advanced to the international level. In 2010 she placed fifth in the steeplechase at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Moncton, Canada and later that year shattered the world U20 record with a stunning 9:22.51 for third in Brussels.

African and Continental Cup 5000m victories followed in 2014 but it was the 2015 campaign when Ayana emerged as a world-class star. In Shanghai she ran a blistering 14:14.32 performance to climb to third on the world all-times list – behind Dibaba and Defar – with the kind of fearless front-running performance which has become her signature.

Then at the World Championships in Beijing later that year, a blistering final 3000m of 8:19 enabled Ayana to quell the considerable threat of compatriot Genzebe Dibaba to bank 5000m gold inside the crucible of the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

In 2016 the Ethiopian then entered another realm by obliterating the 23-year-old world 10,000m record by more than 14 seconds with a jaw-dropping time of 29:17.45 to claim the Olympic title in Rio.

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by iaaf
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Sifan Hassan breaks women world record for the mile clocking 4:12.33 in Monaco

Sifan Hassan, who arrived on the Stade Louis II track tonight July 12 as the third fastest miler of all time, departed the Herculis EBS Diamond League meeting as the fastest, having produced a marvel of a final lap to finish in 4:12.33, thus breaking the 23-year-old mark of 4:12.56 held by Russia’s 1996 Olympic 800 and 1500m champion Svetlana Masterkova.

Hassan had said on the day before the race that she intended to run “three or four seconds” faster than her best of 4:14.71, set in London in 2017.

As things turned out, she failed in that ambition; not that she looked too put out about it after the race as she lay on her back with a radiant smile on her face.

After the field had been paced through 800m in 2:08.20, Hassan moved into the lead with 600 metres remaining, with Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay the only runner in touch at that stage.

Hassan, who had broken the 5km road race world record in the Principality in February, simply cut loose over the final lap and was suitably rewarded for her enterprise by the digital clock.

In her wake the effort of chasing told on Tsegay, who faded to fourth in a season’s best of 4:18.31 as Britain’s Laura Weightman came through to finish second in a personal best of 4:17.60 and Gabriela Debues-Stafford of Canada took third place with a national record of 4:17.87.

“I knew I could run fast but the first 800 was a bit slow, so after that I wasn’t thinking it would be a world record,” Hassan, the European 5000m champion, said. “When I crossed the line I was so surprised.

“After you run a last 400 like that, and set a world record, it gives me so much confidence over 5000m. I want to double over 1500 and 5000m in Doha and the way I finished the last 400 there, it’s amazing!”

Hassan said she had been lifted by the crowd in the closing stages of the race. “That made me extra happy,” she said. “It was a beautiful last lap with the crowd supporting me.”

Her next race, she said, would be a 5000m. “I don’t know where yet. The one world record I would love would be the 5000m.” 

Before the start of the women’s mile, re-named the Brave Like Gabe Mile, a short film clip was shown featuring the US runner Gabe Grunewald who fought cancer for so long before succumbing earlier this year, and the crowd showed their respect and appreciation.

Two other Monaco world record breakers - Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who set the current 1500m world record of 3:50.07 on this track four years ago, and Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech, who set a new world 3000m steeplechase mark here last year – had been due to race but had pulled out.

Whether their presence would have also have produced a world record race remains an open and, now, irrelevant question.

(07/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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South African Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800m ever run on American soil at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford clocking 1:55.7

Caster Semenya was almost four seconds ahead of Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, who crossed the line in season’s best times of 1:58.36 and 1:58.65. This was Caster’s 31st straight victory over this distance clocking 1:55.7 and the fastest time ever on US soil.  

Semenya continues to race well despite the controversy surrounding the IAAF’s efforts to prevent her from racing without taking medication to lower her naturally-high testosterone, something she has consistently said she will not do.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled that she must be allowed to race while it is considering her appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone rule, upheld in a May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In other results, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000m in a new European record of 8:18.49, in a race that also featured Konstanze Klosterhalfen (who finished second with a new PB of 8:20.07), Genzebe Dibaba (fourth, with a new PB of 8:21.29) and World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri(who finished sixth).

Also on Sunday, Canada’s Mo Ahmed set a new personal best of 8:15.76 in the 2-mile event, good enough for fourth place. Justyn Knight finished ninth, in 8:19.75. The race was won by World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a world-leading time of 8:07.54. Ahmed broke his own Canadian 5,000m record at the Oslo Diamond League last month.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Sifan Hassan runs 8:18.49 for the win at the Women’s 3000 Prefontaine Classic

Fans at Stanford didn’t get to see the fastest women’s 3000m ever, but they may have seen the greatest clean women’s 3000m race ever as Sifan Hassan of Netherlands ran 8:18.49 for the win, Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany ran 8:20.07 for second, and Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia 8:20.27 for third, the three fastest non-Chinese outdoor times ever.

Shannon Osika rabbitted the field the first 1000 (2:45.75) and then Mary Kuria took over through 2000 (5:36.15). Kuria picked up the pace as she went down the backstretch to hit 2000, and once she stepped off the track Gidey kept the pace going.

Gidey went from running 67- and 68-second laps to 65.03 with two laps to go as only Genzebe Dibaba was within a second of her. A 65.88 penultimate lap gave Gidey a 1.14-second lead at the bell over Hassan, who had passed Dibaba just before the bell as Dibaba was fading.

However, Gidey was slowing too. She stumbled around the first turn and took a step on the inside of the rail before regaining her balance.

Hassan would pass her on the backstretch and continue on to the dominant victory. Klosterhalfen would pass Dibaba on the final turn and Gidey right before the finish for 2nd as Klostehalfen’s last lap was 64.40 to 66.31 for Gidey.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Impressive International field will be racing at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford

World 5000m and cross-country champion Hellen Obiri will be making her sixth appearance at the Prefontaine Classic. She set meeting records at 1500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5000m in 2016.

The Kenyan, who won the 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in 2018, is undefeated this year and won the 3000m at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha earlier this month in a world-leading 8:25.60.

Multiple world record-holder and five-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba has won all three of her past Pre Classic appearances and her 14:19.76 victory in 2015 is the fastest 5000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1500m Diamond League trophy in 2015 and followed it with world indoor gold over the same distance in 2016. The Dutch athlete is one of the most versatile runners in history, boasting an 800m PB of 1:56.81 and a half marathon PB of 1:05:15. She also holds the European 5000m record and the world 5km record.

Olympic 10,000m champion and world record-holder Almaz Ayana will be competing in the US for the first time. The Ethiopian won the 2015 world 5000m title, 2016 5000m Diamond Trophy and 2017 world 10,000m title, but missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Obiri, Dibaba, Ayana and Hassan are among the seven fastest women of all time at 5000m, but this will be the first time they have all raced one another at any distance.

The addition of world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya adds further interest. Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Senbere Teferi, ranked eighth and ninth respectively on the world 5000m all-time list, are also in the field. Gidey is a two-time world U20 cross-country champion, while Teferi earned world silver medals at 5000m and cross country in 2015.

The field also includes two-time Ethiopian champion Fantu Worku, versatile Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkurui, world U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman, six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer and USA’s Rachel Schneider.

(05/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Caster Semenya is going to run the 3000m at the Pre Classic, a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels

South African's Caster Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 3,000m at the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.  This is a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels, however it is not really her distance at least not at this point.

Semenya, who has won two Olympic gold medals over 800m, has made it very clear that she will not take medication to lower her testosterone levels to comply with the new IAAF rules.

This race will be her first since the new rules went into effect.

Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400m to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

Barring an appeal, Semenya can no longer compete in her specialist event after she lost her appeal against the new rules, stating that the regulations were necessary to ensure fair competition.

Semenya will be part of a world class field at the Prefontaine Classic that includes world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba.

“It was a request from Caster Semenya’s agent asking if she could run a 3,000,” meet director Tom Jordan told Reuters. “Of course we said yes.”

Semenya became South African national champion over 5,000m in April, but her time is way off the leading runners in the world over that distance.

Semenya has a personal best of 9:36 for 3,000m, the slowest in the field.  Dibaba is the quickest in the field with a best of 8:16. 

The South African’s last race over 800 meters was in the Diamond League in Doha on May 3, when she cruised to victory in 1:54.98, nearly three seconds ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.

“I’m a crazy athlete, 800 meters is my calling, I believe in it, and that’s what I want to do,” she said after winning in Doha.

“I will switch races when I want to — no man can tell me what to do. I’m here for a purpose, if I want to switch events I switch them, but if someone wants me to switch them, that’s their own problem, not mine."

The Prefontaine Classic is being staged in Stanford, California this year while a new stadium is built in Eugene, Oregon for the 2021 world championships.

(05/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Kenyan Hellen Obiri is aiming for success over 5000m and 10,000m at IAAF World Championships Doha

Hellen Obiri has revealed she will target IAAF World Championships success over both 5000m and 10,000m in Doha this summer as part of her plan to bow out from track competition on a high.

The Kenyan won gold over the shorter distance in London two years ago and is focused on retaining her title in the Qatari capital. She admits, however, that a full-time switch to road running is in the offing after next year’s Tokyo Olympics and, with that in mind, also wants to tackle the 25-lap event for the first time.

“My main target is to retain my title and then most probably I will focus on the double – 5000m and 10,000m,” the 29-year-old said.

“I’ve not done the 10,000m on the track so I’m going to do it at the Kenyan trials (for the world championships). It’s very hard to even make the Kenyan team but of course I want to make it and then from there you can see me doubling in Doha.”

“What made up my mind is that I’m almost done with the track," she says,  "so I think I need to do final, final things. I have never done 10,000m on the track so I wanted to do it before I go to the roads, maybe from next year after the Olympics.

“I will do 10km and the half-marathon on the road from there and then maybe (move up to the marathon) in the coming years.”

Obiri will race over 10km on the roads this weekend as one of the star attractions at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, where she will be looking to carry on what, thus far, has been a winning habit in 2019.

There was her impressive and memorable victory at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus back in March, which followed gold at the Kenyan Championships, while a marker was put down on her first track outing this year thanks to a fine 3000m win over a quality field which included 1500m world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba at the recent Diamond League meeting in Doha in a time of 8:25.60.

(05/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Laura Muir breaks the British indoor mile record that has stood for 31 years

Scot Laura Muir smashed Kirsty Wade's 31-year-old British record to win the women's indoor mile in Birmingham.

The 25-year-old finished in four minutes 18.75 seconds, breaking Wade's mark of 4:23.86.

Muir told BBC Sport: "I knew I was in great shape. It was about winning the race, but also about running fast.

"I'm so chuffed to get the record on home soil. I knew the spilt halfway and knew I was there and thereabouts. The crowd were fantastic."

Her time was the third fastest indoors in history, behind Ethiopian great Genzebe Dibaba (4:13.31) and Romania Doina Melinte (4:17.14).

Muir will be hoping to defend her 1500m and 3,000m European indoor titles in Glasgow in March.

(02/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Ranked as the best one-day indoor meeting in the world, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix returns to the Emirates Arena on February 15, 2020. The top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting the most successful...

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