Athletics Weekly - - Statistics - WORDS: STEVE SMYTHE PIC­TURES: MARK SHEARMAN

THE 10,000m was first run in the Olympics in 1912 and Fin­land is the most suc­cess­ful na­tion, win­ning seven golds with Ethiopia on five. They have also won nine men’s golds in the World Cham­pi­onships.


SIX fan­tas­tic ath­letes have won dou­ble Olympic gold – Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Lasse Viren, Haile Ge­brse­lassie, Ke­nenisa Bekele and Mo Farah. All bar Farah set world records and Ge­brse­lassie and Bekele won four world ti­tles to Farah’s three and one near miss.

In the end it is close be­tween the two Ethiopi­ans, but the older ath­lete gets it with two other world medals and a greater im­pact on the event in terms of records.

Ge­brse­lassie won the first of his global golds in 1993 when he out­kicked Moses Tanui, in­cur­ring the wrath of the Kenyan by re­peat­edly step­ping on his shoes.

In 1995, when the world record was 26:52.23, the Ethiopian re­duced it to 26:43.53 and re­tained his world ti­tle with a 25.1 last 200m which was quicker than two-lap cham­pion Wil­son Kip­keter achieved in a slow run 800m fi­nal at the same cham­pi­onships!

In 1996 he lost his world record but more im­por­tantly gained an Olympic gold out­sprint­ing Paul Ter­gat. In 1997 he re­gained his world record, then re­tained his world ti­tle, kick­ing hard from 500m out to beat Ter­gat. The Kenyan did break his record shortly after but Ge­brse­lassie re­gained it in 1998 as his 26:22.75 was just un­der 30 sec­onds bet­ter than be­fore the Ethiopian started his record-break­ing.

The dom­i­na­tion con­tin­ued in 1999 as Ge­brse­lassie’s 54.37 last lap again saw off Ter­gat. It was the same story in the Syd­ney Olympics as in one of the great races of all­time, he edged past Ter­gat in the fi­nal stride to win by nine hun­dredths of a sec­ond.

He was never the same there­after with in­jury tak­ing its toll, but he won 2001 world bronze and 2003 world sil­ver.

The best race: Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, Helsinki 1971

AT the AAA Cham­pi­onships race on a hot day and dusty track at Portsmouth, Dave Bed­ford had shat­tered the Euro­pean record with 27:47.0. A few months later, he was an over­whelm­ing favourite for the Euro­peans with none of his com­peti­tors hav­ing bro­ken 28 min­utes.

Bed­ford pre­dictably went to the front and set a fast pace open­ing with a 2:43.2 first kilo­me­tre and through 2000m in 5:26.6.

The 3000m time of 8:15.0 was well in­side world record pace but the pace slowed slightly and the Bri­ton led through half­way in 13:54.4. De­spite his surges and fast pace, five other ath­letes were in con­tention through the sec­ond half and a des­per­ate Bed­ford was still ahead at the bell, after pass­ing 9000m in 25:19.4.

On the last lap, much to the de­light of a large wildly en­thu­si­as­tic home crowd, Juha Vaatainen went into a flat-out sprint and was fol­lowed closely by de­fend­ing cham­pion Ju­r­gen Haase. Cov­er­ing the last lap in an un­prece­dented 53 sec­onds, the Finn won in 27:52.8 to go third all-time just ahead of Haase. The top five set na­tional records and all went into the all-time top seven. Al­to­gether there were 10 na­tional records as Bed­ford fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing sixth.

Re­sult: 1 Juha Vaatainen (FIN) 27:52.8; 2 Ju­r­gen Haase (GDR) 27:53.6; 3 Rashid Sharafet­di­nov (URS) 27:56.4; 4 Daniel Kor­ica (YUG) 27:58.4; 5 Mar­i­ano Haro (ESP) 27:59.4; 6 Dave Bed­ford (GBR) 28:04.4; 7 Mike Tagg (GBR) 28:14.8; 8 Seppo Tuomi­nen (FIN) 28:18.0; 9 Man­fred Let­zerich (FRG) 28:21.0; 10 Noel Ti­jou (FRA) 28:21.8

List of cham­pi­ons

Olympic (2016) Mo Farah (GBR) 27:05.17 World (2017) Mo Farah (GBR) 26:49.51

Europe Morhad Am­douni (FRA) 28:11.22 Com­mon­wealth Joshua Chep­tegei (UGA) 27:19.62 World U20 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 27:21.08 Bri­tish Alex Yee (Kent) 27:51.94

English Ol­lie Lock­ley (Manx) 29:54.55 Scot­land Lach­lan Oates (Shett) 29:48.80 Wales Matt Rees (Swan) 32:28.0

• 2018 un­less stated

Records list

World Ke­nenisa Bekele (ETH) 26:17.53 Olympic Ke­nenisa Bekele (ETH) 27:01.17 World CBP Ke­nenisa Bekele (ETH) 26:46.31 Com­mon­wealth Paul Ter­gat (KEN) 26:27.85 Europe/Bri­tish Mo Farah (N&EB) 26:46.57

Bri­tish U20 Jon Brown (Sh­eff) 29:21.9

World teenage records

Some of the IAAF listed and African marks have been dis­counted and these in­clude Davis Ki­plan­gat’s 29:04.0 at age 14 and Ja­cob Ki­plimo’s 27:26.68 at 15. With all African marks aged 15 ig­nored, the next best is Lau­rie Reilly’s 31:19.8, which is slower than the women’s equiv­a­lent! How­ever, the 2011 world cham­pion Ibrahim Jeilan’s marks have been in­cluded but are ques­tion­able. 13 33:39.5 Dal­i­bor Bal­gac (CRO) 1991 14 32:04.4 Hans Segerfeldt (SWE) 1975 15 31:19.8 Lau­rie Reilly (GBR) 1970 16 27:15.90 Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH) 2006 17 27:02.81 Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH) 2006 18 26:41.75 Sa­muel Wan­jiru (KEN) 2005 19 26:30.03 Ni­cholas Kem­boi (KEN) 2003

Doha 2019 pre­dic­tion

For the first time since 2011, Mo Farah will not be favourite for a global 25-lap­per and will prob­a­bly be ab­sent though he may re­turn for this cham­pi­onship. Chep­tegei, his run­ner-up in Lon­don, looks the best of the rest with Kam­woror the best of the Kenyans.

Win­ning time: 27:30.23

1 Joshua Chep­tegei (UGA); 2 Ge­of­frey Kam­woror (KEN); 3 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN); 4 Paul Tanui (KEN); 5 Ja­cob Ki­plimo (UGA); 5; 6 Mo Ahmed (CAN); 7 Muk­tar Edris (ETH); 8 Je­mal Yimer (ETH)

THE first women’s Olympic 10,000m was only in 1988 and there have been five Ethiopian golds. This event made its de­but at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in 1987 and Ethiopia have won seven golds.


WHILE her 5000m record is com­par­a­tive to that of Me­seret De­far, at 25 laps Dibaba stands out alone. Her first ever loss came in 2016 at Hen­gelo, 11 years after her 30:15.67 de­but in Sol­len­tuna in 2005.

She has won three Olympic medals, two of them gold and also won three world ti­tles and sil­ver medal.

Her first world ti­tle came in Helsinki in 2005 where Paula Rad­cliffe set the pace, but the last lap was an all-Ethiopian af­fair with Dibaba blast­ing a 58.4 last lap.

She re­tained her ti­tle in 2007 with a 60.11 last lap. With run­ner-up El­van Abeylegesse’s drugs dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, the win­ning mar­gin was even­tu­ally six sec­onds.

The Turk­ish drugs cheat was her only real op­po­si­tion in the 2008 Olympics as Dibaba ran a then huge PB 29:54.66 to ini­tially win by just over a sec­ond which be­came 27 sec­onds when Abeylegesse was re­moved.

Dibaba was ab­sent for the next two world cham­pi­onships but re­turned to eas­ily win the 2012 Olympics with an­other fast kick, but this time only need­ing a 62.0 fi­nal cir­cuit.

In the World Cham­pi­onships of 2013 in Moscow it was gold yet again as she ran a sub-60 last lap. She missed the 2015 worlds but re­turned for the 2016 Olympics and set a bril­liant PB of 29:42.56 but that was only good enough for third as Al­maz Ayana broke the world record.

Ayana was also too good for her in the Lon­don World Cham­pi­onships in 2017, win­ning by 46 sec­onds but Dibaba picked up her fourth world medal de­spite now fo­cussing more on marathon train­ing, hav­ing run 2:17:56.

She re­mains sur­pris­ingly the only ath­lete who has bro­ken 30 min­utes on more than one oc­ca­sion.

Records list

World/Olympic Al­maz Ayana (ETH) 29:17.45 World CBP Ber­hane Adere (ETH) 30:04.18 Com­mon­wealth Vi­vian Cheruiyot (KEN) 29:32.53 Europe/Bri­tish Paula Rad­cliffe (Bed) 30:01.19 Bri­tish U20: Char­lotte Pur­due (AFD) 32:36.75

Haile Ge­brse­lassie: beat­ing Paul Ter­gat in an un­for­get­table race at the Syd­ney Olympics in 2000

Gor­don Por­te­ous: still holds UK and world age­group records

Ibrahim Jeilan (236): age records

Tirunesh Dibaba: fol­lows the dis­graced El­van Abeylegesse

Al­maz Ayana: Olympic cham­pion

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