Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Tirunesh Dibaba despite the glittering gold medal winning and world record breaking achievements she has already produced in her short career now plans challenging one of the best performances ever achieved in the history of track running.
"I am trying to become even better and I am looking towards breaking the world 10000 metres record," said Dibaba, adding as an afterthought: "and I want to win the (IAAF) World Athlete of the Year, title as well."

"These are my two burning ambitions," she replied when asked what will continue to motivate her in a distinguished career which already has surpassed the expectations many other great athletes would quite happily have settled for.

Her whirlwind displays ever since bursting onto the global scene in 2003 with her 5000m success at the World Championships in Paris have already elevated her to becoming a legend amongst her peers.

That victory achieved at the tender age of 17 years and 333 days made her the youngest ever world champion at an individual event and her subsequent 5000m and 10000m doubles at the 2005 World Championships and Beijing Olympics - the first woman to achieve the feats - is a testament of her awesome consistency.

Therefore despite the apparent 17-year invincibility of the 10000m time of 29:31.78 which Wang Junxia achieved at China's National Games in Beijing, few would argue the 24-year-old Ethiopian has the credentials to carry out what will however be a daunting task.

Dibaba is extremely confident that in the short term future her fastest mark of 29:54.66 which won her the Olympic gold medal two years ago in the Birds Nest stadium is ready to be rewritten and will see her add the 10000m to her 5000m
world track record.

She insisted: "I was thinking about this year but I have changed my shoe company (from Mizuno to Nike) and I really want to have a good feel on the new shoes.

"So maybe the challenge may not be this summer - but definitely next year."
Certainly her secondary target particularly if succeeding where many gifted runners have failed in erasing Wang Junxia's astonishing time set as a 20 year, would inevitably see her collect the IAAF's annual prestigious award which despite her credentials has somehow eluded her in the past.

But Dibaba whatever the outcome also plans sticking around in athletics for a long, long time and eventually move up to the marathon distance although there may be short breaks at some stages when producing a family.

The wife of two-time Olympic and World 10000m silver medallist, Sileshi Sihine said: "We haven't decided yet when we will start our family, but I would maybe like to have three children, of course boys and girls."

"In my heart I also believe that one day when I decide to run the marathon I will probably run a very good time - that's what I think."

Dibaba is highly confident just as her cousin the legendary Derartu Tulu has succeeded over the years in doing, that combining a full-time athletics career and being a busy mother can successfully go hand in glove with motivation being a key factor.

The winner of a record 21 IAAF World Cross Country medals including three senior titles insists the approach of Haile Gebrselassie is a key factor which will keep her competing at the highest level possibly even longer than the "Emperor" is planning.

"To have good results is what motivates me," she said. "When you have good results you're always motivated to run and as you can see like Haile, he is always motivated because of his results.

"That's what motivates me every year."
Dibaba has no intention of parting ways with competing over 5000m indeed on Saturday she will be in action over 12 1/2 laps on the sixth leg of the IAAF
Diamond League meeting at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

She said: "I still like the 5000m but for the present I want to concentrate on the 10000m and I'm going to run that distance at the African Championships (28 July - 1 August in Nairobi).

"Then I'm going to decide which Diamond League races I will run," added the 5000m winner with a speedy last lap of 57 seconds at the New York meet three weeks ago.

Dibaba also after coping with the disappointment of missing last summer's World Championships with a leg injury, hasn't ruled out chasing another double at the 2012 Olympic Games.

"It's up to God and if my condition is good when I run the London Olympics, I'll go for both of them," she said. "Yes, I'll try to defend my 5000 and 10000 gold medals.

"After I missed the world championships I recovered from my injury and ran the world 15km (road running) record which was a very good result and after that I ran indoors.

"I believe that I have recovered in a very good way."

Dibaba remains not surprisingly very proud of what she has achieved ever since Tulu encouraged her to follow in her footsteps and move from her home in Bekoji as a young teenager to pursue an athletics career.

"I have ran many good races many times, but two stick out," she revealed. "One is the World Championships in Paris and then the Beijing double gold.

"Yes she has been a big motivator for us," she added of Tulu's endeavours on her behalf. "As you know we are a family, we came to Addis Ababa because of her and when I started, she helped me with shoes and equipment.

"And she has given me a lot of advice - so many things Derartu has done for me."
Dibaba insisting retirement is not an option, said: "I haven't decided but it will not be for a long time."

But taking another leaf out of the book of the highly influential Gebrselassie who recently opened a luxury hotel in his homeland, she revealed: "I'm in the pipeline also to do big business. I just decided a short time ago and I'm thinking of having a big hotel too."