Johannesburg - Ethiopian Selemon Barega on Tuesday confirmed his participation, and his attempt at the 3000m world record, in the France Pas-de-Calais – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting – in Lievin, France, next month.
The event takes place on February 17.
Barega, who turns 22 on Thursday, will attempt to break the long-standing world record of 7:24.90 set by Kenyan Daniel Komen in February 1998.
Barega has already come close to the world record, at the same event in Lievin last year. In fact, Barega was second in 7:26.10 as he finished behind his countryman Getnet Wale who came agonisingly close to setting a new world mark with his 7:24.98.
As it turned out, Barega was only getting started with 2021 turning out to be the best year of his young career. Barega claimed indoor victories over 1500m in Tourn and Madrid, before his season culminated in his crowning as Olympic champion in the 10 000m in Tokyo, Japan.
Barega will also take part in the Copernicus Cup on February 22, when he will be joined by Wale and another Ethiopian Lamecha Girma.
Girma, incidentally, was third in the Lievin 3000m last year in a time of 7:27.98. Up to that point, only six men in history had run under 7:30 for 3000m indoors. As it turned out, even the fourth place finisher in Lievin went under 7:30 as Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi ran 7:29.24.
Adding even more to the stellar field in Lievin will be women’s 1500m indoor world record holder Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, as she competes in the mile.