Marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge has a fairly quiet social media presence, rarely expressimg personal views and using it primarily as a tool to promote events he will be participating in or to thank fans and sponsors. But on Wednesday evening, Kipchoge tweeted about the IAAF’s recent decision to remove the 5,000m from the Diamond League.
“The 5,000m has been crucial for my career and has helped me to become the athlete I am today. I believe in long term careers where track and field can result into [a] great marathon career. I hope future athletes will have the possibility to follow this exact same path in their careers.”
The 5000m has been crucial for my career and has helped me to become the athlete I am today. I believe in long term careers where Track & Field can result into great marathon career. I hope future athletes will have the possibility to follow this exact same path in their careers. pic.twitter.com/e1DeN1c15m
— Eliud Kipchoge (@EliudKipchoge) March 20, 2019
The picture he tweeted is from the 2004 Athens Olympics. It shows himself out front, followed by some of the greatest distance runners in history, who started on the track and eventually moved to the roads. The 2004 5,000m Olympic final saw current 1,500m world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj take the win, followed by third-fastest marathoner of all time and 5,000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele in second and current marathon world record-holder Kipchoge in third.
These results show that the 5,000m is a real meeting point for many distances, a melting pot of an event. Lots of strong 1,500m runners are able to run a great 5K the same way that 10,000m runners and half-marathoners and even marathoners can come down to do the same.
Many athletes, fans and coaches have expressed their concerns around removing the event from the Diamond League, which is the most competitive circuit in track and field. Many are worried that the removal of the 5,000m from the Diamond League will take an event that has helped shaped some of the greatest runners of all time, and make it irrelevant.