T. Dibaba breaks her own 5,000-meter indoor record

Updated: January 27, 2007, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Olympic bronze medalist Tirunesh Dibaba broke her own world record in the 5,000 meters at the Boston Indoor Games on Saturday to claim a $25,000 bonus and family bragging rights over big sister Ejegayehu.

The younger Dibaba, who was third in the 5,000 at the Athens Games, finished in 14 minutes, 27.42 seconds -- 5½ seconds less than she needed to set the world mark at the Reggie Lewis track two years ago. Ejegayehu Dibaba, who won silver in Athens in the 10,000, was second, 42 seconds behind.

"I'm happy to run with my sister because she helps me a lot," said Tirunesh Dibaba, who in 2005 was the first athlete ever to win the world championships at both 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. "Today, she was really under the weather, but she did her best."

Fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar, the reigning outdoor world record holder and Olympic champion at 5,000 meters, was also sick Saturday. But it didn't stop her from outkicking local favorite Shalane Flanagan to win the 3,000 in 8:30.31.

Flanagan, who was running for just the second time since undergoing foot surgery following the 2005 world championships, ran on Defar's heels before the Ethiopian started putting some distance between them in the last two laps. Flanagan finished in 8:33.25 to break the American record by almost 6 seconds.

"I knew I had the potential to break the American record. I'm very happy to see it fall," said Flanagan, who had surgery to remove an extra bone in her left foot and didn't run for 15 months before winning the Manchester (Conn.) Road Race in November. "I'll take that, for today. But who knows what I could have done."

Defar lay on the track floor after the race, while a race official covered her with windbreakers. After about 10 minutes, she rolled over to cough violently, while Flanagan spoke to reporters nearby.

"Defar is really sick," said Flanagan, a Massachusetts high school champion from Marblehead. "She really helped me today. I have to say, if it weren't for her I don't think I would have broken the record because I wouldn't have run so aggressively."

Alan Webb, who broke Jim Ryun's schoolboy record in 2001, won the mile in 3:55.18, taking the lead early and never relinquishing it.

"Everybody knew the pace was going to go fast. I mean, we talked about it beforehand," Webb said. "So I don't know how I surprised anybody by going out fast. By the time I got to 250 meters, I was alone already. So I was kind of like, 'all right."

American Shawn Crawford, the Olympic gold medalist in the 200 meters in Athens, won the 60 in 6.55 seconds despite being critical of his own performance.

"My legs were behind me the whole race," he said. "I guess if you train hard and you focus, you can do good with mistakes."

Dan Taylor topped an all-U.S. field in the shot put with a throw of 70 feet, 9\ inches, beating four-time world champion John Godina, 2006 world indoor champion Reese Hoffa and '04 world indoor champ Christian Cantwell.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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