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Defar, Dibaba set to double in Moscow WCs

30 July 2013, 18:18 John Kwoba

Adis Ababa - Ethiopia has named a strong 43-member team for the World Championships, which starts in Moscow from Aug. 10-18.

Top Ethiopian female long distance stars Olympic champions Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar are aiming for a double at the World Championships. The duo has been entered in both 10,000m and 5,000m distances.

This will not be the first time for athletes to double as Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya did the same in Daegu two years ago and emerged successful clinching gold in both 5,000m and 10,000m distances.

Dibaba, who won gold in 10,000m in London Olympics and Defar, winner 5,000m gold in London Olympics, are not the best of friends despite coming from the same country.

Their rivalry will be extended to the track in Moscow as both will run in the 5000m and 10,000m distances, a press statement from Ethiopian Athletics Federation said.

Last year in London, Dibaba run in the two specialities winning gold and fourth place in 10,000m and 5,000m. They two have not run together this year.

They have won all their races except Defar in Shanghai Diamond League over the 5,000m distance.

Defar (14:47.76) was beaten in Shanghai by compatriot Genzebe Dibaba (14:45.92) with Viola Kibiwot (14:48.29) and Mercy Cherono (14:49.84) coming in third and fourth.

Dibaba and Defar will team up with Almaz Ayana in the 5,000m race and will have Belaynesh Oljira to battle out with over the 10,000m.

Legendary Kenenisa Bekele is only a reserve for the 10,000m men race. Defending champion Ibrahim Jeylan is the man to watch out together with Dejen Gebremeskel, Abera Kuma and Imane Merga in the longest track competition.

In the 5,000m Ethiopia have selected Yenew Alamirew, Hagos Gebrhiwot and Muktar Edris.

In the 1,500m races Aman Wote, Mekonen Gebrmedhin and Abiyot Abinet will be carrying the country's hopes of a medal in the four-lap race while in the women side, the onus will fall on Genzebe Dibaba, Senbira Teferi and Gelete Burka.

In the steeplechase races three strong women Sofia Assefa, Hiwot Ayalew and Etenesh Diro have been selected to challenge Kenyans and Russians who have dominated the event.

Two men selected for the water and hurdle race are Roba Gari with Habtamu Jaleta. With no David Rudisha competing in Moscow, Ethiopia have a realistic chance of clinching old as World Indoor Champion Mohamed Aman leads the quest with Aman Wote. The women 800m distance has Fantu Magiso.

Marathon men selection includes Tsegaye Kebede, Lelise Desisa, Feyisa Lelisa, Tadese Tola and Tilahun Regasa.

The women team is composed of Tiki Gelana, Feyse Tadese, Meseret Hailu, Meselech Melkamu and Merima Mohamed.

Other reserve athletes named are Zebene Alemayehu for men 1,500m, Yigrem Demelash for men 5,000m, Buze Deriba for women 5,000m and Ababil Yeshanew for women 10,000m.

In Nairobi, the men's 1,500m World champion, Asbel Kiprop, has said he has no injury concerns and that Kenyans will implement team work approach to reach their potential at the World Championships.

Kiprop finished a disappointing 12th in the London Olympic final due to a hamstring injury. He showed no signs of injury, in his last competitive outing before the championships, at the Monaco Diamond League.

He demonstrated his incredible form by running aggressively to win in a time of 3:27.72, the fourth fastest of all time.

Meanwhile, Kenyan distance runner Irene Cheptai collapsed after just completing the 3,000m distance at the London Diamond League.

Cheptai was carried off the track unconscious as doctors administered her oxygen. Reports say that the 21-year-old gained consciousness at the hospital.

- Xinhua

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