Tokyo previews – Women’s 5000m

Hassan versus Tsegay versus Obiri. Throw in the rest of a stacked Ethiopian team and you have one of the races of the Olympics and one where a whole host could win gold. Here’s our women’s 5000m preview.


Friday 30 July 11:00 UK Time (Heats) Monday 2 August 13:40pm UK Time (Final)

2021 Top Times

2021 RankingsTime AthleteCountry
114:13.3Gudaf TsegayEthiopia
214:14.1Ejgayehu TayeEthiopia
314:15.2Senbere TeferiEthiopia
414:26.4Hellen ObiriKenya
514:26.8Fantu WorkuEthiopia
614:28.2Margaret Chelimo KipkemboiKenya
714:28.5Eilish McColganGB & NI
814:34.6Beatrice ChebetKenya
914:35.3Sifan HassanNetherlands
1014:36.9Meskerem MamoEthiopia

British interest

Eilish McColgan announced herself as a potential medal contender in her national record breaking run in Oslo. Her 14.28.55 is genuinely world class. Amy-Eloise Markovc is the Euro Indoors Champ over 3000m and Jess Judd has had a breakthrough 2021 most notably pushing McColgan all the way over 10,000m at the British champs.

Markovc has front ran well in the past and may push the pace with the view to forcing spots from her heat into the final and Judd has shown terrific finishing speed. Both could get to the final.

The favourites

Ethiopia possess the three fastest times in the world this year and it will be fascinating to see which approach they adopt. Will we see the trio working together to tee up a Tsegay assault or will they play it safe and back themselves over the final few laps. Whilst the fastest in the field this will be Tsegay’s first major champs over 5000m.

Sifan Hassan seems unlikely to push the pace given her double (potentially triple) prospects but is even quicker than Tsegay over 1500m so will back herself any which way. Hellen Obiri may well realise that and try to take the sting out of the other two and we could see a wind up a long way from home. Though the two time world champion, she hasn’t quite reached those heights this year and finished second in the Kenyan champs to Lilian Kasait. I struggle to see how this race can’t be fast and if any of the favourites fall short we could well see one of Ejgayehu Taye, Senbere Teferi or Kasait nab a podium spot. Eilish McColgan will see that as her aim too.

Our medal predictions

  1. Sifan Hassan
  2. Helen Obiri
  3. Gudaf Tsegay


WR: 14.06.62 Letesenbet Gidey (2020)

OR: 14.26.17 Vivian Cheruiyot (2016 Rio)

Featured image “DOH80469 5000m women klosterhalfen obiri” by babbo1957 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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