Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Lamecha Girma goes after 2000m mark in Lievin

Addis Ababa, February 9, 2024 (FBC) – One year on from his stunning world indoor 3000m record at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais Trophée EDF, Lamecha Girma returns to the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Lievin to take on the rarely run 2000m on Saturday (10).

Last year in Lievin, Girma stopped the clock at 7:23.81 to break the long-standing world indoor 3000m record. Outdoors, he went on to break the world steeplechase record and the Ethiopian 1500m record (3:29.51) – so he’s clearly no slouch when it comes to shorter distances.

He opened his season with victory over that same distance at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Boston last weekend, setting a meeting record of 7:29.09. His 2000m split from that race (4:58.44) was almost identical to the one he recorded when setting the world indoor 3000m record (4:58.38).

But in Saturday’s standalone 2000m race, the mark he’ll be aiming at is Kenenisa Bekele’s world indoor best of 4:49.99. Rising Ethiopians Adisu Girma and Melese Nberet will join him on the start line, as well as World University Games 1500m champion Benoit Campion and Olympic 1500m finalist Charles Grethen.

Many of Girma’s esteemed compatriots will be in action across the other middle-distance events on Saturday.

Two-time world champion Gudaf Tsegay headlines a stunning 3000m field that also includes world indoor champion Lemlem Hailu, Hirut Meshesha, recent winner in Metz, 2021 world U20 5000m champion Mizan Alem, and steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech, who recently set a Kenyan indoor 1500m record.

The men’s 3000m field is just as loaded. Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega, who ran a world-leading 7:25.82 in Torun earlier this week, will take on world 5km champion Hagos Gebrhiwet, two-time world indoor 1500m champion Samuel Tefera, Getnet Wale, and Biniam Mehary, who set a world U20 indoor 1500m record in Torun.

The women’s 1500m brings together the top two finishes from Torun – Freweyni Hailu and Diribe Welteji, both of whom cracked 3:56 there – was well as the 800m winner from that meeting, Habitam Alemu, and rising Ethiopian Birke Haylom.

In the men’s event, world bronze medallist Narve Gilje Nordas of Norway gets his 2024 campaign under way against a field that includes Spain’s Adel Mechaal, Ethiopia’s Taddese Lemi, Kenya’s Vincent Keter and France’s Azzedine Habz.

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