BOSTON - Meseret Defar of Ethiopia crushed a world best, at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. The second stop of the 2008 Indoor Visa Championship Series. Beginning Tuesday morning, the meet will be available via Sportnet Webcast, linked from www.usatf.org.
Already the world record holder outdoors in the 2 mile and 5,000m and indoors in the 3,000, Defar on Saturday went from running dead on record pace to well ahead of it, winning the Reebok women's 2 miles in 9:10.50 seconds, obliterating the previously world mark of 9:23.38 run by Regina Jacobs at this meet in 2002. It was the second time in as many years that a record set by Jacobs has been broken at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, as Shalane Flanagan broke her 3,000m American record in 2007.
With pacesetting provided through 1400m by Marina Muncan, Defar came through 800m (2:18) and 1,000m (2:52.2) exactly on record pace, with Kim Smith of New Zealand in tow and American Jen Rhines just a few meters back. By 1 mile, Defar was almost 2 seconds up on record pace, passing it in 4:38.4, and by 2000m was three seconds up (5:46). The Olympic gold and World Championship medalist at 5,000m, Defar simply steamrolled the record from that point on. Smith also finished under the record, in 9:13.94, with Rhines third in 9:35.29.
In the Mike Long women's 3000m, 2007 IAAF world athlete of the year Tirunesh Dibaba made an early run at the world record before falling off pace. She still finished in a very brisk 8:33.37, with her sister, Ejegayehu Dibaba second in 8:36.59.