© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

The 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships women’s 10,000m race takes place Monday, August 24th in the Bird’s Nest stadium. This is the same building that held the athletics portion of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The race will start at 05:35 AM PST and 08:35 AM EST. It appears by the quality and competitiveness of the field, that the women would like to save the 10,000m from its rumoured demise as an event included in the Olympic Games. It will be an exciting race.

Tirunesh Dibaba, likely the world’s best distance runner will not be in the race. Dibaba won gold in the event at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. She also won gold at the 2013 Moscow IAAF World Track and Field Championships and again won gold in the 2005 and 2007 worlds. Since Dibaba is not racing the 10,000m that opens things up for everyone else.

There are several women who have run under 31:00 during 2015, all of them are Ethiopians, but that doesn’t guarantee a win in a tactical global championships race.

North Americans that are entered include Americans Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle, Emily Sisson and Emily Infield, while two of Canada’s top distance runners competing are Natasha Wodak, and Lanni Marchant.

Wodak owns the national 10,000m record with her 31:41.59, which she accomplished this year. Marchant finished just a few seconds behind in that same Payton Jordan Invitational race for a personal best of 31:46.94. Marchant has the Canadian record in the marathon at exactly 2:28:00.

Flanagan won bronze in the stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Her personal best is from that race at 30:22.22 and is the American record. She is a 12-time national champion, so she has the speed and the experience to compete with the best. Her best for 2015 is the fifth seeded time at 31:09.02. All four of the athletes seeded in front of her are Ethiopian. The three other Americans are all seeded with a difference of just one second between them in their season bests.

One woman who has not run under 31:00 this year, but who should be one of the favourites, is Vivien Cheruiyot of Kenya. Cheruiyot is coming back from having a baby. She won bronze in the 2012 London Games behind Dibaba. Between the 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu Worlds she has won three gold medals, twice in the 5,000m distance and once in the 10,000m event, she owns a 10,000m personal best of 30:30.44. The question is, has Cheruiyot fully returned to form yet?

She ran well in July in Brussels, Belgium clocking a 31:13.29. She ran a good 5,000m in May in Eugene, Oregon at 14:46.69.

Fellow Kenyan Sally Kipyego is a threat anytime she is racing. She is seeded near the bottom of the list of athletes according to the IAAF because she has not raced a 10,000m this season; however, her best is a very fast 30:26.37. She won silver in both the 2011 Daegu worlds and 2012 London Olympics. She may be flying under the media’s radar, but has great potential to win.

Twenty-nine-year-old Gelete Burka is an experienced athlete who has demonstrated great range, running international level performances from 800-metres to the marathon. Her personal best of 30:49.68 took place at Hengelo in May of this year. She has run as fast as 2:02.89 for the 800m and more impressively 3:58.79 in the 1500m. Her personal best in the marathon is 2:26:03. Burka will be a serious contender.

Alemitu Heroye is young. Her best is anyone’s guess, but she has already run 30:53.82, again at Hengelo. The day before her 16th birthday she ran 5,000m in 16:14.30, her best at the distance is 14:43.28 from this year.

Belaynesh Oljira has a very impressive 10,000m personal best from 2012. She ran 30:26.70. Her marathon best from Dubai is 2:25:01. This year her best is 30:53.69. Her half marathon of 68:26 and her marathon times suggest that she is better over the longer distances. She is a little slower, performance-wise in the 5,000m, often running just over 15:00.

Thirty-two-year-old Mamitu Daska ran the Frankfurt marathon in 2011 in the unearthly time of 2:21:59; however, four years later – this year – she ran her 10,000m best of 30:55:56. Thirty two is still young and fast enough to fight with the lead women for a medal and there is no doubt that she will make the race interesting.

Wude Ayalew ran a 30:11.87. This is the 12th fastest time in history and she is the 11th fastest woman. The world record is held by Wang Junxia 29:31.78, a time set in 1993. No one has gotten within 22 seconds of this performance. Ayalew’s recent best is from 2015 at 30:58.03.

The event was threatened to be removed from future Olympics Games. Perhaps the athletes have decided to run at their best in 2015 at this distance to help save the event by making a very exciting race on Monday. If that’s the case, it may well work; this is a fast group, even without the current fastest athlete in the mix, Dibaba, who owns the third best time in history at 29:54.66. Most of these women are international marathon runners also. Racing the worlds 10,000m will allow them to return to marathon training or cross country training quickly, where a marathon run in the heat in Beijing will take a while to recover from.

The 2015 IAAF Beijing World Track and Field Championships will be viewable online with Universal Sports and CBC and on NBC.

Athletes competing:

The first time indicates personal best, while the second time is the athletes best performance in 2015.

338 Gelete BURKA ETH            30:49.68 30:49.68
348 Alemitu HEROYE ETH         30:50.83 30:50.83
349 Belaynesh OLJIRA ETH       30:26.70 30:53.69
339 Mamitu DASKA ETH           30:55.56 30:55.56
880 Shalane FLANAGAN USA     30:22.22 31:09.02
689 Sara MOREIRA POR           31:12.93 31:12.93
560 Vivian CHERUIYOT KEN     30:30.44 31:13.29
618 Susan KUIJKEN NED          31:31.97 31:31.97
687 Ana Dulce FÉLIX POR        31:33.42 31:34.17
626 Jip VASTENBURG NED         31:35.48 31:35.48
548 Yuka TAKASHIMA JPN         31:37.32 31:37.32
918 Emily SISSON USA              31:38.03 31:38.03
891 Emily INFELD USA             31:38.71 31:38.71
890 Molly HUDDLE USA            30:47.59 31:39.20
384 Kate AVERY GBR               31:41.44 31:41.44
224 Natasha WODAK CAN          31:41.59 31:41.59
609 Brenda FLORES MEX            31:45.16 31:45.16
220 Lanni MARCHANT CAN         31:46.94 31:46.94
543 Rei OHARA JPN                    31:48.31 31:48.31
821 Alia MOHAMMED UAE         31:51.86 31:52.29
542 Kasumi NISHIHARA JPN        31:53.69 32:06.48
323 Trihas GEBRE ESP                   32:03.39 32:14.94
573 Betsy SAINA KEN                     30:57.30 32:59.20
566 Sally Jepkosgei KIPYEGO KEN          30:26.37
148 Almensh BELETE BEL                      31:43.05
316 Nazret WELDU ERI                           33:23.93
822 Juliet CHEKWEL UGA                     32:57.02


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