(Reuters) – Two days after Sifan Hassan smashed the world 10,000 metres record in Hengelo, Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey – competing on the same track in the Dutch city – improved the mark by another five seconds to win the Ethiopian Trials on Tuesday.
Dutchwoman Hassan had run 29:06.82 to slice almost 10 seconds off the record set by Almaz Ayana at the 2016 Olympics but Gidey, who last year claimed the world 5,000m record, demolished that new mark to finish in 29:01.03, more than a minute ahead of Tuesday’s runner-up Tsigie Gebreselama.
Until Ayana’s gold medal performance in Rio nobody had got near Chinese runner Wang Junixa’s controversial 1993 record of 29:31.78 but shoe technology featuring carbon plates and thick foam insoles is enabling athletes to rip up the record books.
“I expected to run a world record,” said the 23-year-old Gidey, who was aided by Wavelight Technology and becomes the first woman to hold both the 5,000m and 10,000m world records since Norway’s Ingrid Kristiansen from 1986-1993.
“What a special night, I am so proud that after the 5,000 metres world record I am now the 10,000 metres world record holder as well. In this Olympic year it is the perfect preparation (for next month’s Tokyo Games).”
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)