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    Aregawi has an air of optimism


    She has hardly run this summer but the message from the Swedish camp is good for the impact that Abeba Aregawi could be set to make when she bids to defend her world championship 1500m title in Beijing.

    Aregawi is only sixth on this summer’s European Athletics rankings after a season that has been troubled by injury and which has seen her training in Ethiopia over the last eight weeks.

    She will not be joining the rest of the Swedish team in their pre-competition training camp but is heading straight to Beijing where her event has arguably the woman athlete of the year in Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who broke the world record in Monaco last month with 3:50.07.

    But as Sweden’s head coach Karin Torneklint said, Aregawi has such a competitive streak that she will not be giving up her crown lightly.

    'She herself is very optimistic when we talked to her and very positive, and (she is) there to fight for a medal and she is fierce,' said Torneklint. 'She really believes in this 100 per cent and I feel incredibly good vibes from there.'

    Aregawi’s personal best is 3:56.54 from 2012, the year before she made her first impact on the international stage when she won gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.

    After that success in the winter of 2013, she then went on to win the world crown in 4:02.67 in Moscow.

    And while the world record might have just been broken, Beijing will all be about tactics, with runners looking more at their rivals than the clock.

    Aregawi has established herself as a brilliant front-runner, a European athlete with immense power and a strong finish.

    She might not have competed for two months but with the mood of optimism that Torneklint spoke about, there is no doubt that Aregawi is going to the Bird’s Nest stadium with the intention of leaving with a medal.