Ethiopian breaks Sifan Hassan’s two-day old mark in the same town of Hengelo with a time of 29:01.03
Only 54 hours after Sifan Hassan set a world 10,000m record of 29:06.82 in Hengelo, Letesenbet Gidey improved the mark to 29:01.03 at the same venue.
Spectators in the Fanny Blankers-Koen Stadium on Sunday were stunned to see Hassan take a chunk off Almaz Ayana’s world record. Now, two days later at an event that acted as the Ethiopian trials for the Olympics, the small crowd in the arena were treated to another masterclass of running over 25 laps.
Talk about double Dutch, this was athletics insanity at the extreme. Gidey ran almost exactly a minute quicker than Paula Radcliffe’s brilliant best in Munich in 2002 – a mark which was, at the time, the European record – and significantly quicker than Paavo Nurmi and Emil Zatopek ran to win Olympic men’s titles.
“What a special night,” said Gidey, after becoming the first woman to hold the 5000m and 10,000m world records since Ingrid Kristiansen 30 years ago. “I am so proud that after the 5000m world record I am now the 10,000m world record-holder as well. In this Olympic year it is the perfect preparation.”
The 23-year-old from the Tigray region of Ethiopia was helped by pacemaker Jackline Rotich and, like Hassan two days earlier, Wavelight Technology lights and Nike Dragonfly spikes. The Ethiopian ran her final mile in an estimated 4:26 and last lap in 63 seconds with her manager Jos Hermens urging her on from the inside the track and shouting at lapped athletes to move to the outside lanes to let her pass.
Gidey set the world 5000m record in Valencia last October in 14:06.62. With Hassan also holding the one mile record, the prospect of Gidey vs Hassan over 10,000m – possibly at the Olympics – is a mouthwatering idea with the 29-minute barrier under threat.
The women’s 10,000m came at the end of a remarkable Ethiopian trials. The men’s 10,000m was won by Selemon Barega in 26:49.21 from Yomif Kejelcha.
Better known as a steeplechaser, Getnet Wale won the men’s 5000m in a world lead of 12:53.28 with the top three inside 13:00 and the two-time world 5000m champion Muktar Edris only fourth.
In the women’s 1500m Freweyni Hailu, 20, clocked a world-leading 3:57.33, whereas Tedesse Lemi out-kicked Samuel Tefera to win the men’s 1500m in 3:31.90
Werkwuha Getachew caused a sensation in the women’s 800m as the two-lap rookie lowered her 2:00.20 PB to a world lead of 1:56.67.
With world-class performances coming thick and fast, Gudaf Tsegay ran a world lead and the fifth fastest 5000m in history with 14:13.32 to win the women’s 12.5-lap race from Ejgayehu Taye’s 14:14.09 and Senbere Teferi’s 14:15.24.