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Dibaba targets gold at Tokyo

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEEPIKA DAS
Published : Oct 20, 2018, 1:44 am IST
Updated : Oct 20, 2018, 1:44 am IST

Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba has bagged three Olympic gold medals in the long distance track events.

Marathon runners Daniel Kipchumba (left) and Tirunesh Dibaba in New Delhi on Friday, ahead of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
 Marathon runners Daniel Kipchumba (left) and Tirunesh Dibaba in New Delhi on Friday, ahead of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

New Delhi: Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba has bagged three Olympic gold medals in the long distance track events. But 33-year-old is craving for more and has set her sights on the marathon gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I started competing at marathons and half-marathons not very long ago, but I want to achieve more in road races. I want to win medals at the World Championship and the Olympics. My previous Olympic gold medals are on the track and my next aim is to win marathon gold in the Olympics. I will try my best to achieve that feat in the 2020 Tokyo,” Dibaba told this paper on Friday.

Since 2004, Dibaba has never returned empty handed from the Olympics. She bagged two golds in the 5,000m and one in the 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Games and defended her 10,000m title at the 2012 Games successfully. She also has three Olympics bronze as well.

Dibaba will look to extend his red-hot form at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday as she landed here after producing an outstanding time of 2:18:55 at the Berlin Marathon on September 16. She pointed out that Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosge would be her toughest competitor here.

“I have prepared well for Sunday but the race is not going to be easy won. There are so many talented athletes in the field but I will do my best to win. The athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia are very strong. It’s going to be very challenging,” the five time World Championship gold medallist said.

Asked about the secret of her success, the soft-spoken Dibaba said, “I do my training very well and whatever my coach instructs me I follow that blindly. I am very consistent and very competitive and that’s why I am successful.”

Dibaba, who is nick named “Baby Faced Destroyer”, is on her first trip to India and was not much affected by the weather conditions as the pollution level shooting up here in the air.

“The race is going to be early in the morning and I don’t think it is going to be any problem with the weather. The track is no doubt challenging.”

The temperatures at the early morning start time for the elite races are expected to be in the low 20 degree Celsius) and the organisers have made strident efforts to diminish the pollution levels of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race. “One of my plans was to run a 21K (half marathon) after Berlin and my manager told me about Delhi, and I thought it was a good idea,” said Dibaba.

Tags: tirunesh dibaba, daniel kipchumba