Dibaba pulls out

BERLIN - Ethiopian medal hopes were dealt a further blow yesterday when Olympic champion and world recorder-holder Tirunesh Dibaba pulled out of the women's 5000m at the world championships.

BERLIN - Ethiopian medal hopes were dealt a further blow yesterday when Olympic champion and world recorder-holder Tirunesh Dibaba pulled out of the women's 5000m at the world championships.

Cuba's Olympic champion and world record-holder Dayron Robles was also left uncertain for the 110m hurdles semifinals after battling through his heat with an injured left leg to eventually clock the slowest time of all qualifiers.

Dibaba, a two-time world champion over the 5000m (2003 and 2005) who is also the Olympic 10000m champion, had already pulled out of the longer race last weekend after suffering from an ankle injury all season.

Turkey's Ethiopian-born double Olympic silver medallist Elvan Abeylegesse, who pulled up in the 10000m race, also failed to start the 5000.

Dibaba's arch-rival and compatriot Meseret Defar, the reigning world champion, set the fastest qualifying time, winning her heat in 15min:15,45sec. - Sapa-AFP

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