Ethiopian runner Genzebe Dibaba has set a new world record in the 1,500-meter run as she ran 3:50.08 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.
“I’m the first from Ethiopia to get the 1,500-meter world record. That is amazing,” Dibaba said after the race. “I think Tirunesh (Dibaba) will be happy. All Ethiopia will be happy.” Dibaba’s time surpasses a 22-year-old world record of 3:50.46 by Qu Yunxia of China set in Sept. 1993.
The 24-year-old Dibaba said she may attempt the 1,500-meter/5,000-meter double at next month’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing. No woman has ever medaled at both distances. She will have to run the 1,500-meter race three times (Aug. 22, heat; Aug. 23 semi-final; Aug. 25 final) over three days. The 5,000-meter run will have two rounds—a heat on Aug. 27 and a final on Aug. 30.
Dibaba now has her sights set on the 5,000-meter world record of 14:11.15, set by her sister, Tirunesh, in 2008. Genzebe Dibaba ran 14:15.41 at the Paris Diamond Legaue Meeting on July 4.
Second place finisher Sifan Hassan finished in 3:56.05. Two-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury ran 3:56.29 to set a new American record in the event. The previous record of 3:57.12 was set by Mary Slaney in 1983.
Dibaba’s World Record splits: 400-meters at 60.3; 800-meters at 2:04; 1,200-meters at 3:04 before crossing the finish line in 3:50.7.
BEIJING — On a visit that was supposed to be nonpolitical, first lady Michelle Obama delivered an unmistakable message to the Chinese on Saturday, saying in a speech here that freedom of speech, particularly on the Internet and in the news media, provided the foundation for a vibrant society.
On the second day of a weeklong trip to China with her two daughters and her mother, Mrs. Obama spoke to an audience of Americans and Chinese at Peking University, and in the middle of an appeal for more American students to study abroad, she also talked of the value for people of hearing “all sides of every argument.” “Time and again, we have seen that countries are stronger and more prosperous when the voices and opinions of all their citizens can be heard,” she said.
The United States, she said, respected the “uniqueness” of other cultures and societies. “But when it comes to expressing yourself freely,” she said, “and worshiping as you choose, and having open access to information — we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet.”
The forthright exposition of the American belief in freedom of speech came against a backdrop of broad censorship of the Internet by the Chinese government. The government polices the Internet to prevent the nation’s 500 million users from seeing antigovernment sentiment, and blocks a variety of foreign websites, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The authorities compel domestic Internet sites to censor themselves.