Monaco, Feb 6 (IANS) Lemlem Hailu’s world under-20 indoor 1,500m record of 4:01.57 seconds, set last year, has been ratified, World Athletics announced on Saturday.
The Ethiopian middle-distance runner clocked her record-breaking time at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Lievin on February 19 last year, setting her fourth personal best within three weeks.
The race was won by her compatriot, world bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay, but Hailu put up a good fight.
They were paced through 800m just inside 2:06 secs. The final pacemaker stepped aside with 400m to go and, with 2:55 secs on the clock, Tsegay took the lead. Hailu, however, responded 15 seconds later and hit the front, still looking comfortable with the pace while Tsegay was starting to grimace.
But with just half a lap left, Tsegay kicked again and regained the lead, eventually crossing the line in 4:00.60 secs with Hailu following less than a second later in 4:01.57 secs.
Hailu’s time was an improvement on her own world under-20 indoor record of 4:01.79 secs that she had set in Torun on February 8 last year. She had set personal best in both of her races before that, too: 4:08.32 secs in Karlsruhe and 4:05.08 secs in Ostrava. Hailu, the 2017 world under-18 champion, now sits at 18th on the senior world indoor all-time list.