The 10,000-metre world record goes down again! This time, by Letesenbet Gidey

·2-min read
Photo credit: Johan Manders/Global Sports Communication
Photo credit: Johan Manders/Global Sports Communication
  • Letesenbet Gidey breaks the 10,000-metre world record at the Ethiopian Olympic Trials.

  • Just two days ago, Dutch runner Sifan Hassan broke the record at the same track.

  • The rivals are favoured to race head-to-head at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Two days after Dutch runner Sifan Hassan broke the women’s 10,000-metre world record, her Ethiopian rival stepped up to the challenge and shattered the time on the same track.

At the Ethiopian Olympic Trials, held in Hengelo, the Netherlands on Tuesday, Letesenbet Gidey won the 10,000-meter final in 29:01.03, improving on Hassan’s 29:06.82 performance at the World Athletics Continental Tour: Huelva on Sunday.

A pacesetter helped Gidey and the rest of the field early on, bringing the field through the first nine minutes on pace to finish in 29:27 before stepping off the track. Then the world silver medalist took over as the leader, with Ababel Yeshaneh on her heels.

Following the new Wavelight technology at world record pace, Gidey found herself running solo just after the halfway point, clocking 72-second laps. With 400 metres remaining, Gidey charged through the last lap in 63 seconds to take more than five seconds off the world record set by Hassan and improve on her previous personal best by 80 seconds. Tsigie Gebreselama finished second to Gidey in 30:06.01.

'I expected to run a world record,' Gidey told World Athletics. 'I’d like to try and break the world record again and break 29 minutes.'

Gidey now holds two world records after breaking the 5,000-metre record last year. In October 2020, she obliterated the previous world record of 14:11.15 (set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008) by running 14:06.62 at the NN Valencia World Record Day in Valencia, Spain.

Hassan’s record-breaking performance on Sunday lowered the previous 29:17.45 world record set by Almaz Ayana in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Hassan beat Gidey to win gold in the 10,000-metre final. Before the race in Hengelo, Hassan shared her plans to run two events, probably the 5,000 and 10,000-metres at the Olympic Games, which could set the stage for an exciting rematch between the two record-holders in Tokyo this summer.

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