Genzebe Dibaba of Ethopia celebrates winning the womens 1500m metres final ahead of Laura Muir of Great Britian and Sifan Hassan of Netherlands of the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham. 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for IAAF)
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba won a third consecutive women’s 3000m title as Laura Muir secured Britain their first medal on the opening night of the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
After the early stages were run at a very slow pace, the 27-year-old Dibaba, the 2014 and 2016 champion, powered to the front with five laps remaining and took control of the rest of the race to win in eight minutes 45.05 seconds.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands just held off a late surge from European champion Muir to take silver in 8:45.68. But Scot Muir was delighted with her bronze medal in 8:45.78 in a year when she is juggling her training with intensive final year studies for her veterinary degree in Glasgow.
“I was hurting on that last lap but I had to dig deep,“ the 24-year-old Muir said. “To get a European medal was brilliant but I’m very happy to get one on the world stage in a world-class 3000m and to come through that field.”
Danil Lysenko and Mariya Lasitske, both Authorised Neutral Athletes, grabbed the gold medals in historic men’s and women’s high jump competitions which took centre stage at the start of the championships.
For the first time at a major championships, the men’s and women’s events were held simultaneously.
Lysenko, a silver medallist behind Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim at the world outdoor championships in London last year, secured the gold after Barshim failed three times at 2.36m and Lysenko went clear at his last attempt at the height.
Barshim won silver with Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko winning his first ever medal in third with 2.29m.
Lasitskene, the outdoor world champion in 2015 and 2017, looked confident as she won the women’s event in 2.01m.
Britain’s Morgan Lake cleared the same height as silver medallist Vashti Cunningham of the United States and Italy’s bronze medallist Alessia Trost with 1.93m. But the Briton just missed out on the medals on countback after taking three attempts to clear her opening 1.84m.