Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba shattered the women’s world indoor mile record on Wednesday, clocking 4:13.31 to eclipse the time of 4:17.14 set 26 years ago by Romanian Doina Melinte.
It is the third time Dibaba, 25, has broken a world record in Stockholm, having previously set new marks for the 3,000 and 5,000 metres at the Ericsson Globe Arena in the Swedish capital.
Dibaba, who was born 364 days after the previous record was set by Melinte in 1990, established a punishing pace early on before breaking away from the field and powering through the eight laps.
She crossed the line more than 10 seconds clear of fellow Ethiopians Gudaf Tsegay and Axumawit Embaye, who finished second and third respectively.
“I’m delighted,” she told reporters following her third world record in three years at the Stockholm venue. “I came here to break a record this year again, and I have reached the goal I had when I came here.”
The 25-year-old was helped on her way by pacemaker Joanna Jozwik, but quickly passed the Pole with her sights firmly set on breaking a record.
“I had thought that I would run 4:13 or 4:12, and now it was 4:13, so I’m very happy with that,” Dibaba added.
“Every time I come to Sweden I feel very happy, and I have always wanted to break records when I come here.”
Earlier in the evening Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman set a new men’s world indoor record for the 1,000 metres, clocking 2:14.20 to beat the 2:14.96 mark set by Wilson Kipketer of Denmark in 2000.
“I’m very happy, but not surprised,” the 23-year-old told reporters. “Now I am going for gold in the 1,500 meters at the (indoor) world championships in Portland.”