Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay sets 5,000m world record at Prefontaine Classic

On Sunday afternoon at the Diamond League Final in Eugene, Ore., world 10,000m champion Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay almost achieved the unthinkable: breaking the women’s 5,000m world record in 14:00.20—nearly becoming the first woman in history to run a 5K under 14 minutes.

Tsegay surpassed the previous 5,000m world record of 14:05.20 by five seconds, which was set by her rival Faith Kipyegon earlier this year at the Paris Diamond League. Tsegay battled with world cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet until the final three laps when the Ethiopian pulled ahead.

The pace for the 5,000m final was set for 14:00 flat, with the pacers taking Tsegay and Chebet through 3,000m in 8:26.03. Tsegay threw down a 2:09 final 800m to shake off Chebet and become the first woman to threaten the 14-minute 5K barrier.

Chebet finished second behind Tsegay in 14:05.92, the third-fastest time in history. Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye rounded out the Diamond League 5,000m final podium in 14:21.52. Kipyegon chose to run the 1,500m on Saturday and did not enter the women’s 5,000m at the Prefontaine Classic.

Tsegay had an up-and-down 2023 season, winning the world 10,000m title in Budapest, then finishing a disappointing 13th place in the world 5,000m final several days later.

This is the second world record of Tsegay’s career. In 2021, she ran an indoor 1,500m world record of 3:53.09 in northern France.

posted Monday September 18th
by Marley Dickinson