ALREADY THE OWNER of a 10K silver medal from Doha ’19 and an Olympic bronze from last year, Letesenbet Gidey added to her collection by winning the gold here in a thrilling finish over the Kenyan duo of Hellen Obiri and Margaret Kipkemboi
The 24-year-old Ethiopian produced a year-leading 30:09.94 as Obiri ran 30:10.02, and Kipkemboi 30:10.07. Defending champ Sifan Hassan ended up 4th in 30:10.56.
Japan’s Ririka Hironaka and Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan did the majority of the frontrunning through the first half of the race, with only Obiri staying in immediate contact as they cranked out steady kilometers in the 3:03/3:04 range.
After Hironaka crossed the 5000 mark in 15:19.28, the front group slowed slightly to 18:26.09, at which point the eventual medalists edged their way to the front, with Gidey running point at the 7000m mark in 21:29.75.
Through 8000, there were still 13 runners in the main pack, with Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye, Iowa native Karissa Schweizer and Uganda’s Stella Chesang running up front and the eventual medalists tucked in, running a 2:56.98 kilometer, the fastest K of the race so far.
The gang of 13 was whittled to 9 in the ninth kilometer, with Taye leading in 27.24.91.
Obiri tried to get herself to the front to create some separation from the field, but Taye and Gidey were having none of that. Meanwhile, the favored Hassan put herself in striking position as they came to the bell.
Over the last 100, it was Kipkemboi on the inside with enough room to sneak past Gidey and Obiri, who were waging their own battle royal.
There was contact between Gidey’s right elbow and Obiri’s left forearm as they strained for the line, but in the end Gidey got the win.
Hassan did not have enough in the tank to overtake Kipkemboi and had to settle for 4th.
Said Gidey, “This was the biggest aim I had. The dream came true. This victory is even more important to me than a World Record; I am so happy about this performance. I was thinking about winning this gold since 2019. But Hassan was always there. I was also watching Obiri.
“This time, I was really watching them and I knew I had to be very fast in the last 300m. I managed to stay in front and kept the pace until the finish line. I have the next dream now: to win the gold at 5000m.”
Obiri said, “I had no pressure coming into this race so I am happy with my silver and make my people happy. I have been running 10K and half-marathon so I have lost speed to defend my 5000m title. I want to leave it to the younger athletes. I’ll now focus on my marathon debut in October.”
Schweizer in 9th was the top American, running a near-30-second PR in 30:18.05, and became the third-fastest woman in U.S. history, behind only Molly Huddle’s 30:13.17 and Elise Cranny’s 30:14.66.
Alicia Monson was 13th in 30:59.85, while third American Natosha Rogers was 15th in a PR 31:10.57.
WOMEN’S 10K RESULTS
(temperature 66–72F/19–22C; humidity 78–67%)
1. Letesenbet Gidey (Eth) 30:09.94 (WL)
(pace—3:05.98, 3:04.13 [6:10.11], 3:03.01 [9:13.12], 3:03.41 [12:16.53], 3:03.25 [15:19.78], 3:07.39 [18:27.17], 3:02.58 [21:29.75], 2:57.11 [24:26.86], 2:58.10 [27:24.96], 2:44.98) (15:19.78/14:50.16)
(finish—14.63, 29.55, 60.81, 2:09.80, 4:31.92);
2. Hellen Obiri (Ken) 30:10.02 PR
(15:19.43/14:50.59) (14.62, 29.62, 60.96);
3. Margaret Kipkemboi (Ken) 30:10.07 PR
(15:19.93/14:50.14) (14.51, 29.37, 61.01);
4. Sifan Hassan (Neth) 30:10.56
(15:19.28/14:51.28) (15.12, 29.94, 61.25);
5. Rahel Daniel (Eri) 30:12.15 NR
(15:19.67/14:52.48) (15.32, 31.37, 62.84);
6. Ejgayehu Taye (Eth) 30:12.45 PR
(15:19.67/14:52.78) (16.50, 32.07, 63.14);
7. Caroline Kipkirui (Kaz) 30:17.64 NR
(15:19.66/14:57.98) (15.57, 36.45, 67.98);
8. Bosena Mulate (Eth) 30:17.77 PR
(15:19.78/14:57.99) (15.84, 37.39, 68.16);
9. Karissa Schweizer (US) 30:18.05 PR (3, 3 A)
10. Eilish McColgan (GB) 30:34.60; 11. Jessica Judd (GB) 30:35.93 PR; 12. Ririka Hironaka (Jpn) 30:39.71 PR; 13. Alicia Monson (US) 30:59.85 (15:19.78/15:40.07); 14. Stella Chesang (Uga) 31:01.04 NR; 15. Natosha Rogers (US) 31:10.57 PR (15:19.93/15:50.64); 16. Mercyline Chelangat (Uga) 31:28.26; 17. Dominique Scott Efurd (SA) 31:40.73; 18. Dolshi Tesfu (Eri) 31:49.29; 19. Rino Goshima (Jpn) 32:08.68.
(leader splits: Hironaka 3:04.80, 6:08.84, 9:11.87, 12:15.07, 15:19.28; McColgan 18:26.10; Gidey 21:29.75; Chesang 24:26.73; Taye 27:24.92) ◻︎