Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lost in translation in a “united” nation

Randall Williams | Sports Editor



Colin Kaepernick’s name over the past year has remained a frequent subject of discussion when it comes to the NFL. His protest over the racial inequality and social injustice has heard plenty of praise but also a significant amount of disapproval as well.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback aimed to spread awareness of the topics by kneeling during the national anthem last season.

“Kaepernick [was] not trying to disrespect fallen soldiers that have fought to protect the country for what it is today,” Hampton University sophomore Preston Randolph said this week. “He only wants equality and fairness.”

A week after the media frenzy began, Kaepernick’s jersey sales skyrocketed to the top, making him at the time the No. 1-selling jersey in the NFL. Time passed, and talk of protesting the league until he stood began.

The ratings of NFL games dropped 8 percent in January, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Many owners across the league believed this was due to the protests started by the onetime Super Bowl quarterback.

Kaepernick was released in March, and he has yet to be signed. The word “blackball” was mentioned often. Celebrities such as rapper and producer J. Cole, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley are just a few notable names in a sea full of people who say NFL owners have ostracized Kaepernick. Others believe that since his former team has not been producing, there is no reason to sign him.

President Donald Trump in March gave his own explanation on why Kaepernick remained unsigned. Trump’s reasoning was that “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet.”

Six months later, the president’s attack was more personal than ever. Trump attended an Alabama rally in support of Luther Strange on Sept. 23 and said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of [an expletive] off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The comment was extremely unexpected. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was one of the first to respond the following day, saying, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” From there, an array of responses occurred from players and celebrities.

This was Saturday, though, and when Sunday came, the whole world waited to see how NFL teams would react as organizations. Division was the result. Teams kneeled together. Teams locked arms. Three teams stayed in the locker room. Some teams were split in between standing and taking a knee. Trump, however, did not back down, and instead sent another load of tweets reiterating his point that everyone should stand.

A day passed, and then the Dallas Cowboys were the center of attention. Jerry Jones, owner of “America’s Team,” was also a point of focus. This was due to his avid support of Trump over the past two years in his run as a politician, even donating $1 million. The team knelt and locked arms, all while being booed by the crowd.

People who did not agree with protests during the anthem began using the hashtag “I Stand” on social media and also discussed boycotting the NFL until the players stand. The NFL was already being boycotted by some American citizens for Kaepernick’s unemployment.

So two sides who oppose each other are now doing the same thing to try to cripple the nation’s most popular sport.

“I feel because of Trump’s comments towards the NFL [that] people are now missing the point of why the knee was taken in the first place,” Hampton student Kevin Monday said.

Has America become lost in Trump’s comments? Is the U.S. forgetting the purpose of the original protest? Although there are individual players such as Bennett, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and more who have remained kneeling for the original cause, there is a discrepancy.

Since teams in Week 3 took a knee following Trump’s comments, the impression was conveyed that they are kneeling out of humiliation by the president.

A humiliation that was met without a response would have been an embarrassment. To avoid this, the league responded accordingly.



Styling tips from Hampton University student hairstylists

Sierra Armstrong | Contributing Writer

When it comes to hair in college, things can get tricky. You aren’t sure if you should wear your real hair, get a weave, or rock braids. The thought of doing your own hair every day seems tiring, trying to find a new hairstylist in college is terrifying, and weaves and braids might break your bank account. So what do you do? Paris Stallworth and Deneara Worthy, student hairstylists, are here to solve some of your hair troubles with a few styling tips.

Paris Stallworth is a sophomore pre-law criminal justice major from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in braids, weaves, wigs, and natural hair. “With my mom being a professional stylist, I was born in the hair salon. My experience is what makes me special,” says Stallworth.

Deneara Worthy is a junior education major, biology minor from Durham, North Carolina. She specializes in sewing weaves, doing natural hair, and braiding. Worthy says, “What makes me special as a hairstylist is [that] I’m versatile and a fast learner. You can come to me with a style I have never done and I will pick up on it and do it for you.”

Protective styling is crucial in college. A protective style is any style where your hair is completely covered or tucked away to reduce daily damage of manipulating your hair. These styles include box braids, feed-in braids, weaves, and wigs.

When it comes to protective styling, Paris and Deneara recommend braids for college students. “When wearing braids your hair is fully protected. This allows it to grow and keeps it from breaking off,” says Stallworth. The best part about a protective style is being able to freely experiment with weaves and braids without damaging your own hair.

Now, what happens when you wake up and don’t have any clue of how to style your protective style or your natural hair? For weave-wearers, Deneara suggested trying a slick ponytail or bun because they are sleek and stylish, yet simple.

For natural hair, a quick puff is always an easy style; but if you want a different look, Paris says to give flexi rods a try. For box braids, Deneara’s go-to style is a half up bun, half down look.

Those days when your hair just will not cooperate and it turns into a complete bad hair day, what do you do? Paris recommends to stock up on head wraps. Head wraps can be worn in a low bun, high bun, or wrapped however you want while completely covering your bad hair day and creating a cute style.

Another tip from Paris is to try two braids. “Two braids are my go-to. You can pull them back, pull them into a bun, braid down the front and leave the back out. You can never go wrong with two braids,” says Stallworth.

Girls may not know where to start when it comes to buying hair products for these styles. Stores have thousands of hair products, but which ones are the best? For the weave-wearers, Deneara’s preferred list of products are edge control, a flat iron, a toothbrush for your edges, and a comb. Paris suggests the brand “Chi” for girls who put heat on their hair.

For natural hair, Deneara and Paris both love Mielle Organics. Worthy also says, “Cantu has a really good product line for natural hair. Eco-styler gel is also a necessity for natural hair.”

To contact Deneara Worthy, her hair Instagram is @worthy_looks, and her personal Instagram is @denearaeshon. If you want to reach Paris Stallworth, her hair Instagram is @lahandz and her personal Instagram is @parisjimmera.


Nu2u Fashion announces closure; leaves HU students wondering

Chelsea Harrison | Contributing Writer

Nu2u Fashion, the go-to convenience store for Hampton University students for more than five years will be closed by the end of March, according to co-owner Leilo Jones.

Students say they are heartbroken to lose their beloved “corner store” at The Harbour Shops with its trendy fashions and quick snacks, right next to The Hampton Harbours Apartments, and an easy walk from the main campus.

“Nu2u is like a Hampton heirloom. No replacement will ever be able to fill its shoes,” said Eric Dockery, a sophomore HU student who visits the store at least once every day.

Jones said the store would close after its lease was not renewed.

The Jones’ created a petition to highlight the large amount of support from HU students and Hampton residents. So far, it has accumulated over 700 signatures.

Store owners are encouraging all supporters to come sign it and help spread the word.   

The store is known for the informal warm counseling provided by founder Regina Jones, Leilo’s mother, she said.

“This is a “home away from home for all who comes through its doors,” Regina Jones said. “Everybody knows they can come in and talk to me about everything whether it’s school, work, relationships, anything.”

Jones opened Nu2u in 2011 as a small and affordable boutique.

“But once I began to hear about the things students said they needed, I started taking notes and slowly started to add those things to my store,” she said. “Now, almost everything in here, the students asked for.”

Jones offers everything from formal attire to honeybuns.

“What other place do you know that provides food, drinks, hair supplies, blouses, and a warm atmosphere? Nu2u is truly one of a kind,” said Serena Rudisel, an HU senior and frequent Nu2u customer.

Many students credit the quick shop for helping them get through their freshman year with ease, especially those without  a car like sophomore Janae January, who needed her “cram-session” snack..

“There were time when Mrs. Jones would leave the store open a little bit longer just so that I could grab a bite to eat,” January said.

The hashtag #RIPNu2u immediately spread through social media sites like Twitter and Instagram as students expressed deep sadness and disbelief at the store’s closing.

Andrew Williams, a senior pharmacy student tweeted, “I had a feeling Nu2u was [going to] close. Just didn’t think so soon. #RIPNu2u.”


The return of the Oakland Raiders

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr (4) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

William Ricks | Staff Writer

This NFL regular season has been full of surprises. Powerhouse teams struggling and teams you’d expect to be terrible are in the thick of the playoff hunt. Then there are the Cleveland Browns, who have fell short everyone’s low expectations and are winless at this part of the season. One of the surprising teams this season are the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are 9-2 and are 2nd in the AFC standings. They are riding the hot arm of Derek Carr and all the other young talent on their team to make themselves a legit Super Bowl contender at this point in the season.

The Raiders return was due, but nobody expected it in this fashion. At 9-2 they have clinched their first winning season since 2002. They are hoping to clinch their first playoff berth in over a decade. That is certainly a long time, but it seems like those times are behind them. With the help of the NFL Draft and free agency, Reggie McKenzie, Raiders general manager, has helped the Raiders have built title contender team.

With the young core of Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, and Amari Cooper the silver and black now are poised for sustained success. Derek Carr is having a sensational season, completing 66 percent of his passes, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Carr is a MVP candidate and rightfully so, leading his team to 5 fourth quarter comebacks this season.

Derek Carr was overlooked in his draft year but I’m sure many GMs are wishing they chose this young superstar QB. His teammates love his leadership and his guts, finishing his most recent win against the Panthers with a dislocate pinkie finger on his throwing hand.

The Raiders defense is the true definition of the bend but don’t break. Having their many flaws this season, when the defense needs a stop to clinch the game, they come through. Khalil Mack, who started off the season slow, has picked up the intensity and has wreaked havoc all over opposing offenses. Mack is a defensive player of the year candidate, showing that he is a force in this league for many years to come.

Bruce Irvin on the other side is doing his part keeping the opposing quarterbacks running for their lives. The defense isn’t a great defense by any means, but when the game is on the line, they get the job done.

What has also helped Oakland in the rise to success was a change in culture. The Oakland Raiders we all remember from in the day were hard-nosed, physical and almost a bully ball type of team. With Coach Jack Del Rio at the head he has revived that mold. He wanted to bring back that Raider football we all knew and loved, and that is just what they needed. With their offensive line that is one of the best in the league, the Raiders now are physical and will hit you in the mouth and it shows throughout their play.

The same from their defensive line That comes with a consequence, as the Raiders back in the day were penalized frequently, and just this year the Raiders set the NFL record for most accepted penalties in a game. Seeing the results from the revival of the physical culture I’m sure they’ll be ok with that.

What has always hurt the Raiders in the past is that they couldn’t finish games. With the wins they’ve had to fight for this year, you can safely say that that trend is over. Oakland is now a team that if the going gets tough they won’t crumble and give the game away. Coach Jack Del Rio said this was a main point of emphasis if they wanted to get to the next level. With them focusing on how to close out games the Raiders now can seal the deal in crunch time, propelling them to that next level.

It’s not about how you start it’s how you finish and Oakland is now finding ways to finish games. The Oakland Raiders seem to be back and better than ever. Time will tell as we will see how they end this season and how they perform in the playoff. Raiders fans can now come out of hiding and believe in the silver and black once again.

The Curious Case of Josh Gordon

(The Comeback)

(The Comeback)

Camron Miller | Contributor

It is almost the end of November and, as we approach the end of the 2016 NFL season, it is worth noting two important things: the Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game (0-11) and that may be due in part to the fact that they are still without Josh Gordon.

The troubled 25-year-old Cleveland Browns receiver was released from a rehabilitation facility on October 30 a month after beginning treatment for his various substance issues. The question, immediately upon his release, became: “What are the Cleveland Browns executives going to do with him, since they missed the trade deadline on November 1?”

For those teams still interested in Gordon as a player, he has an upside because his performance on the field is outstanding. Gordon’s numbers in 2013 were amazing. He posted 1,646 yards with 87 receptions and 9 touchdowns in a career year any receiver would be proud of.

Gordon has a history of drug problems, he received a two-game suspension in 2013 for a failed drug test, and was let go from the Baylor football team in 2011 after he tested positive for marijuana while in school. He plead guilty to a DUI charge in September of 2014, failing an alcohol test last January, he violated his no-alcohol restriction triggering the indefinite suspension. These problems have caused him to lose $1.4 million in the year he was suspended.

Gordon was conditionally reinstated in July with a four-game suspension to start the season for previously being suspended from the entire 2015 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policies. He would have been eligible to play against the Patriots Oct. 9 had he abided by his treatment program.

Instead, he checked himself into rehab on September 29 tweeting that he was: “Under some pressure & stress recently, had to take a time out for myself. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. Thank u @nfl @Browns.” -Flash Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII).

Rumors have floated around that Head Coach Hue Jackson and Browns executives have “moved on from Gordon.” The Browns planned for the future with the uncertainty of his return drafting four receivers and giving ex-quarterback Terrelle Pryor a full look at the position. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on September 29: “Hope is that Josh Gordon gets the help he needs. Hard to imagine him playing for the Browns again.” -@ Adam Schefter.

Gordon is not the only person at the center of the Browns’ woes, as the Johnny Manziel saga closed at the end of this past summer. Manziel was drafted in 2014 with the Browns first-round draft pick to be the quarterback the Browns needed to turn their franchise around.

Gordon and Manziel succumbed to the pressures of stardom and playing in a professional league, trying to live up to their college success. Hopefully, Gordon can turn things around before it’s too late, and he ends up like his friend “Johnny Football,” who is currently a free agent after being released by the Browns in March.

The Search for a new face



Timia Whitsey | Contributing Writer

It was an exciting and memorable afternoon for the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications on Thursday, September 24th. The WHOV-TV News crew went on the hunt to find the new faces of the channel, and several eager students rose to the challenge.

Over 40 Hamptonians auditioned to prove how qualified they are for the position of anchor. Auditions were highly competitive with each individual bringing their A-game and unique talent to the table.

Stress levels and nerves were through the roof as each person anxiously awaited their chance to be on the big screen.

The crowd of candidates was very diverse, however, the class of 2019, Quintessence 10, made up a majority of the population.

One freshman in particular, Miss Arianna Coles had plenty to say about her unforgettable WHOV-TV audition experience. “There were so many other students auditioning, the set was much larger than high school, and I was not expecting a crowd during my auditions. I was on the verge of breaking down and throwing the towel in”, Coles admitted.

However, after hearing a couple of encouraging words, Arianna pushed herself to give a great performance. “Because of the WHOV-TV [anchor] auditions, I am now more confident, and I will never let an opportunity pass me by because I am scared” she proudly stated.

While a position will not be available for everyone that auditioned, the tremendous turnout does symbolize the growth of the wonderful journalism and communications department here on campus.

The number of incoming Scripps Howard students is expected to increase each semester simply due to the fact that the program “emphasizes excellence and innovation while adhering to the core standards and ethical principles of the industry.”

The drive and desire for success within the Scripps building is not only inspirational, but also motivational. That positive presence felt throughout the entire audition process was powerful enough to uplift those that had fear in their hearts and re-assure others that the long nights spent studying the scripts had paid off.

Scripps majors and minors are very fortunate to have such experienced and knowledgeable professors in the program. These professors aim to educate and mold America’s next generation of PR’s, anchors, producers, writers, and other leaders in the media world.

Since there are so many passionate students ready to involve themselves in mass communication related activities, WHOV will be giving all those interested a chance to work behind the scenes on the news crew and with the WHOV 88.1 FM radio station.

These opportunities are not only enjoyable, but also an opportunity to make lifelong connections and build an outstanding resume. All in all, according to crewmember, Desmond Smalley, “the auditions went exceptionally well, and the team is excited for the upcoming school year.”

For future reference, all students are encouraged to attend the next audition regardless of major. In the meantime, Hamptonians should be on the lookout for new faces, voices, and ideas quickly coming their way.

All This Alvis: Jenner or Gender ?



Justin Alvis | Columnist

On the morning of June 1, 2015 Caitlyn Jenner came out of hiding. 

She, along with her tight abs and abnormally large breasts, graced the cover of Vanity Fair in a full spread about her new life as a woman.

Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is a courageous Olympic Gold Medalist setting a world record not beaten until 1980. Jenner became “an American hero” by winning an event long dominated by Soviet Union athletes during the Cold War.

She was the father of four beautiful kids, and the loving, caring, husband of Kris Jenner. Bruce was the people’s favorite on the E! reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” as the quiet and adorable father who always made time for his children and was supportive of everyone’s dreams and aspirations, including his wife’s. 

However, once Caitlyn announced her transition, her loyal friends became her worst enemy.

People took to their Twitter accounts to display their anger, shock, excitement, support and disappointment. Her Twitter account reached one million followers in just four hours and she was the talk of all of the blogs.

Now, keep in mind, Bruce went on air with Diane Sawyer weeks before to announce his transition; but no one actually thought he was serious.

The social media world became divided. There were the people who could not understand why someone would want to change genders. People called him selfish for starting a new life and seemingly abandoning his family.

Then there are the people who refuse to even acknowledge her transition, insinuating that Caitlyn is just a confused, gay man.

Gender and sexuality are two different things. Caitlyn is a woman who is still attracted to other women, therefore, society labels her a lesbian.

Caitlyn’s transition officially sparked the real conversation on gender issues in America.

Despite the overwhelming support from her family and friends, America decided to spew their hate on her happiness.

Caitlyn’s transition completely erased all of her accomplishments, amazing personality traits, and favorite hobbies. Her existence has been diluted to her gender, when that is such a small part of her existence.

According to the American Psychological Association, In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added gender identity dysphoria to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). a diagnosis of gender dysphoria ensures that more services for transgender people will be covered by health insurers.

However, Caitlyn does not think she suffers from “gender identity dysphoria.” She knows herself as a beautiful, blonde woman who was trapped in a man’s body for a very, very long time.

Gender and sexuality differ from person to person; everyone identifies differently. There is no one “man”, “woman”, “gay”, or “lesbian”.

Who are you to tell someone they can’t identify as a woman? Who are you to completely disregard someone’s presence because they do not fit into your religious and social beliefs?

The irony is that people develop serious mental illnesses and even resort to suicide because they are denied their presence due to sexual or gender preference.

To diagnose her gender identity as a mental illness is America’s way of labeling something they cannot understand. And that is the real problem.

It is the reason why millions of Americans are afraid to properly identify their gender and or sexuality like they can identify their favorite ice cream flavor. Both of them you are born with, it just takes exploring and time to determine. It is the reason why some major publications have a “LGBTQ” sections and “gay” clubs are a category of nightlife. It is the reason why eventually “gender identity dysphoria” becomes “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” disorder.

Imagine living life as a social experiment and/or topic all of your life for something that is biologically a part of your existence.

Your job is to love, support, and understand.

So the next time you meet someone that is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer, understand that is not their existence and they probably do not want to talk about it.

Serena and Drake are just a fling



Kenya Baker | Contributing Writer

When TMZ ran the story of Drake and Serena Williams being an item or when Baller Alert and The Shade Room provided photographic proof, many were confused and disgruntled.

The pairing shouldn’t be a surprise since the two briefly dated in 2011, remember when Drake and Common were beefing? Well Serena supposedly  played a part in that. Now, in 2015, Drake was spotted courtside-cheering Serena on at Wimbledon.

Jezebel writer Clover Hope jokingly wrote about the two of them being caught kissing “Serena probably smiled, the first real smile Drake ‘s received from a woman since his mom’s friend Judy called his beard “very nice” a few months ago.” ”

On the Internet many have claimed that Serena wasn’t Drake’s type or that Serena is on a higher level compared to him.  Let’s not forget the two dated years ago so someone is obviously someone’s type and certainly on someone’s level.  

When Serena lost her match in the U.S. Open, Drake received the blame.

People were tweeting things like “I TOLD YALL DRAKE AINT NO GOOD FOR SERENA, I TOLD YALL” (@brokemcpoverty), “Drake should stay off his girl’s tour” (@robinlundberg), and even CBS Sports tweeted “The Curse of Drake Strikes Again.”

Aside from cheering her on at Wimbledon and the US Open, Drake was also spotted sitting front row at Serena’s fashion show, there’s even a cute video of him hugging her after the show. As for Serena she looks happy in pictures whenever they’re spotted together not that he should be the sole purpose of her happiness.

Before we declare them a power couple or couple goals on Instagram and Twitter keep in mind neither party has confirmed that they are in a relationship with the other person. This could possibly be just a fling, especially knowing Drake’s dating history.

Drake and Serena are bae goals. Both individuals are worth millions, highly respected in their fields, and adorned by the masses. It’s not like he helped her win a match nor did she help him write a song.

Serena probably just wanted someone to share some moments with and Drake was the perfect candidate with his buff physique and charm. Plus after spending much of the summer putting Meek Mill’s career to shame, what else was there for Drake to do besides play cheerleader to one of the best tennis player in the world.

There are few reasons why this pair may not make it through cuffing season. For starters, Serena seems like the type to ignore Drake if he ever becomes a distraction and we all know Drake does not like to be put aside.

Another Instagram model or stripper will catch his eye eventually. “Views from the 6” is supposed to be released before the year is over and that means Drake will be busy  promoting his album leaving very little time to enchant Serena.

Even if this doesn’t work out we have a lot to be thankful for. We can always scroll through twitter to reminisce on all the funny tweets and memes about Drake wearing his sweater like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air at Wimbledon or him excitedly clapping at the U.S. Open.

Let’s not even think about the songs he could write about Serena, before you know it we all will be searching for tennis references in his songs. So for the last time Serena and Drake are not a power couple just each other’s boo.

Are we encouraging our peers enough?



Alexandra Carmon | Staff Writer

American preacher, Joel Osteen once stated, “Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear.”

As African Americans, it is important that we stick together because it is a harsh world out there for our people. This is all the more reason for students in historically black universities to encourage their peers to succeed in school.

When people start undergoing the process of applying to internships and graduate schools, pressure often arises to be better than the people around them. However, competition amongst students rather than unity can be extremely detrimental.

If one studies alone, they may miss information that their classmate could have given them. Also, when students do not help each other, some students end up falling behind. In addition, students who have a longer time processing information feel like they cannot ask questions in class due to fear of scrutiny.

They do not want to be that annoying kid that constantly makes the teacher go over material over and over again. Instead of mocking the person asking questions, students need to offer a helping hand. You should not be at the top as a result of stepping on other people.

You should work your way to the top and help others on your way up. Senior, Kayla Johnson, Marketing major, Strategic Communications minor from Detroit, Michigan suggested that students should lead by example.

“By leading by example we can do well ourselves and influence and motivate others to do well also. You can’t tell someone to go to class, study, and do homework when you aren’t doing those things yourself.”

Students need motivation especially when they are performing poorly in their classes. People should not feel as though they have to receive perfect scores on all their tests in order to feel successful.

College students should strive to do their best, and not feel stressed when they are unable to pull the grade they wanted. However, unfortunately internships and graduate schools stress high GPAs, which then leads people who do not learn as fast left in the cold.

Sophomore, computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri says, “Lower grades can sometimes hinder the amount of opportunities you may receive.

For example, students with better grades are more likely to get asked to go on trips and conferences offered by their department. Although it could benefit every student in the departments, only the ‘smart’ kids get to go.”

As young African Americans, we need to make sure that our peers are doing well, because the more African American graduates we have, the more we can prove to the world how powerful we are as a race.

Genzebe Dibaba sets new women’s world 1500 meter record in Monaco



Jaelyn Allen | Staff Writer

Monaco–Genzebe Dibaba an Ethiopian woman, broke a 22-year-old world record in the women’s 1500m at a Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday night. The record is  one of the most controversial records held in recent times. Dibaba clocked 3:50.07 in the 1500m to break the 3:50.46 world record set by Qu Yunxia of China in 1993, which, until this year had been considered impossible.

Qu Yunxia was one of the dominant “army” of Chinese female athletes in the 1990s under the guidance of controversial coach Ma Junren. Officials suspected that he was giving them performance-enhancing drugs despite his denial, claiming that he fed his athletes turtle blood and a special fungus. Chinese authorities kicked him off the country’s Olympic team in 2000 after six of his athletes failed drug tests but, despite all of this controversy, Qu’s mark still stood.

Dibaba finished ahead of the Netherland’s Sifan Hassan, who posted a national record 3:56.05 and the United States’ Shannon Rowbury, who was in third at 3:56.29, breaking Mary Slaney’s 32-year-old American record of 3:57.12. Jenny Simpson, the 2015 U.S. champion and two-time World Championships medalist, came in fourth at 3:57.30.

In July, Dibaba broke the African record in the 1500m with a time of 3:54.11 in Barcelona, the fastest women’s 1500 in 18 years. This raised expectations for Monaco, which she exceeded. Her performance in Monaco has raised even more expectations that she might double in the 1500 and 5000 at next month’s World Championships.

Dibaba’s 800-meter split was 2:04, which seemed slower than the pace required to break Yunxia’s record; however, she breezed through the rest of the race, showing no signs of fatigue or loss of form. Her 1500m time is equivalent to a 4:08.41 mile and the women’s world record for the mile is 4:12.56. Her world record is the first in an Olympic track event since Russian Gulnara Samitova-Galkina in the 3000m steeplechase on August 17, 2008.

Dibaba was already very confident that she could break the record. “I knew from the beginning that I could break the record and am still able to improve, maybe under 3:50,” she told the Diamond League. “But one thing is clear: I will double at World Championships [1500m and 5000m]. And let’s try for 5000m world record after Beijing.”

The 24-year-old is the sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba. Dibaba’s older sister, Tirunesh, holds the 5000m world record set June 6, 2008. Genzebe spent the early part of the outdoor season trying to break her sister’s 5000 record of 14:11.15 and just barely failed. She smashed her lifetime best over 5000m in 14:15.41 when winning at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Paris on Saturday.

She produced the fastest time over the distance since 1997, moving up to ninth on the world all-time list. “I think Tirunesh will be happy, all Ethiopia will be happy,” she said.