Dibaba looks to continue distance-running dominance in Portland


A month after breaking the world indoor mile record, Genzebe Dibaba will aim to continue her distance-running dominance in the 3000 metres at the World Indoor Championships.

Dibaba smashed the mile record in Stockholm with a time of four minutes and 13.31 seconds. The Ethiopian holds world records in six disciplines including the 1500m.

Despite winning gold in the 1500m at the World Championships last year, Dibaba has opted to instead concentrate on defending the World Indoor 3000m crown she won two years ago in Sopot.

The absence of Dibaba in the 1500m opens the door for former compatriot Sifan Hassan who will be looking to add to the European Indoor title she claimed for Netherlands in dominant fashion in 2015.

Many of the athletes competing in Portland will be looking to build momentum ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro later this year.

And sprinter Dafne Schippers is one who can afford to dream of glory in Rio, having won gold in the 200m at last year's World Championships, where she also claimed silver in the 100m.

Schippers will be the favourite to prevail in the women's 60m, while Asafa Powell headlines the men's race as he looks to take advantage of a field minus 2014 winner Richard Kilty.

Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman will defend his title in the 800 metres, and pole vault indoor world record holder Renaud Lavillenie is eyeing his second World Indoor gold as he builds towards a defence of his Olympic title in Brazil.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton was second in the pentathlon in 2014 and was left to settle for silver in the heptathlon at the 2015 worlds as she missed out to Jessica Ennis-Hill having headed into the event as the world leader.

She will bid for gold in the pentathlon in Portland and the Canadian concedes she needs to learn how to adapt to pressure ahead of the Rio Games, saying: "I could not ignore that I was the world leader.

"I was physically ready to go, but the mental part was on how to handle that pressure. Moving forward, I can't ignore that I will be a contender in Rio. 

"I just need to know to how to deal with it, get the over the excitement or disappointment after one event and focus on the next one."