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Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay sets 5,000m world record, nearly breaking 14 minutes

Tsegay won the Diamond League Final in a world record 14:00.20

Gudaf Tsegay Photo by: Kevin Morris

On Sunday afternoon at the Diamond League final in Eugene, Ore., world 10,000m champion Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia almost achieved the unthinkable: breaking the women’s 5,000m world record in 14:00.20 and 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, which was set by her rival Faith Kipyegon earlier this year at the Paris Diamond League, by five seconds, battling 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 seriously 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.

Gudaf Tsegay
Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay in the women’s 5,000m at 2023 London Diamond League in July. Photo: Kevin Morris

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

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