At the Bird's Nest, it's another Dibaba gold medal

At the Bird's Nest, it's another Dibaba gold medal

By Raf Casert, Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 25, 2015 at 9:40 a.m.


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BEIJING (AP) — At the Bird's Nest, it's another Dibaba gold.

Seven years after Tirunesh got a long-distance double at the Beijing Olympics, little sister Genzebe won her first gold medal at the same stadium at the world championships — bringing her halfway to her own double.

The Ethiopian sisters have the same languid, elegant stride which packs a ferocious acceleration in the final stages of any middle and long-distance race.

Genzebe proved that when she kicked for home halfway through the 1,500-meter final. No one could get on her shoulder again and she even had time to punch the air four times and cross the line with a windmill motion, meters ahead of silver medalist Faith Kipyegon of Kenya.

It all happened at the same Bird's Nest venue where Tirunesh Dibaba had her 5,000-10,000 double at the 2008 Olympics.

"I wanted to share this family experience," Genzebe said.

Tirunesh, now 30 and a mother of son Nathan, already has a standout record with three Olympic and five long-distance world titles to go along with five world cross-country titles, but the 24-year-old Genzebe is planning to close in fast.

The younger sibling has two world indoor titles and two world cross-country titles on top of Tuesday's gold. And just this year, she set the world record in the 1,500.

Not that Genzebe needs much sisterly help when her running is already so good, but when asked about the best advice she ever got from Tirunesh, the answer comes immediately.

"Once you decide to go, you never stop," Genzebe said. "My plan (was) to go at the 800."

The first part of Tuesday's race was slow and Genzebe feared she would get stuck in a bunch. So she kicked and immediately drew out the others in a long string, causing chaos in the pack that somehow cost 2011 champion Jenny Simpson her left shoe.

Next up for Genzebe is Sunday's 5,000 and a chance to make it double, just like her big sister.

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Raf Casert

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