Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 10,000 metres

The women's 10,000 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place on 12 August at the Olympic Stadium.[1] The gold medal was won by Ethiopian Almaz Ayana—in only her second 10,000 m race on the track—in a world record time of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds. London 2012 bronze medallist Vivian Cheruiyot won silver for Kenya, with reigning Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia taking bronze.[2]

Women's 10,000 metres
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Engenhão vista atrás do gol.jpg
Interior view of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, where the Women's 10,000m took place.
VenueOlympic Stadium
Date12 August
Competitors37 from 24 nations
Winning time29:17.45 WR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Almaz Ayana  Ethiopia
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia
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Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba entered as the defending 2012 Olympic champion and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya was the reigning 10,000 m World Champion at that point. However, it was Almaz Ayana who had the season-leading time of 30:07.00, the fastest time recorded in seven years for the distance and also her debut.[3]

At the start of the race the 37-woman field was led by Alice Aprot Nawowuna of Kenya. Nawowuna quickly increased the pace, turning the group of runners into a single file, and after five laps the leading group was reduced to eight: three Kenyans (Nawowuna, Cheruiyot and Betsy Saina), three Ethiopians (Almaz Ayana, Tirunesh Dibaba and Gelete Burka), Kenyan ex-pat Yasemin Can of Turkey and Molly Huddle of the United States. The pace remained high from that point on, unusual for an international championship. Huddle was the first to fall away from the pack, followed by Gelete Burka. With twelve laps remaining, Almaz Ayana suddenly took the lead from Nawowuna, disrupting a leading group that had already begun to lap the race's slower runners.[4]

Almaz Ayana continued the fast pace and even increased it, regularly running under 71 seconds per lap. Cheruiyot was the only other athlete near, though she was still some 15–20 metres behind. Almaz lapped all the runners from tenth downwards and completed the distance in 29:17.45,[4] knocking 14 seconds off Wang Junxia's 22-year-old record (which itself had stood twenty-two seconds faster than any athlete before that point). Cheruiyot was runner-up and less than a second outside of the old world record. Defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba won the bronze with the fourth fastest time ever and Nawowuna was also under half an hour to record the fifth fastest time ever in fourth place.[5][6]

In addition to Almaz Ayana's world and Olympic record time, a total of eight national records were broken at the competition. Molly Huddle's run of 30:13.17 in sixth place was the area record for the North, Central American and Caribbean region and number 17 of all time. In fifteenth place, just 5 weeks short of 43 years old, Jo Pavey set the Masters World Record at 31:33.44. Further down the field, only four of the top twenty athletes did not set personal bests.

The medals for the competition were presented by Mrs. Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, IOC member, and the gifts were presented by Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations.


All times are Brasília Time (UTC−3).

Date Time Round
Friday, 12 August 2016 11:10 Finals


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record   Wang Junxia (CHN) 29:31.78 Beijing, China 8 September 1993
Olympic record   Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 29:54.66 Beijing, China 15 August 2008
2016 World leading   Almaz Ayana (ETH) 30:07.00 Hengelo, Netherlands 29 June 2016

The following records were established during the competition:

Date Event Name Nationality Time Record
12 August Final Almaz Ayana   Ethiopia 29:17.45 WR

The following national records were established during the competition:

Country Athlete Round Time Notes
Ethiopia   Almaz Ayana (ETH) Final 29:17.45 WR, OR, AR
Kenya   Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) Final 29:32.53
United States   Molly Huddle (USA) Final 30:13.17 AR
Sweden   Sarah Lahti (SWE) Final 31:28.43
Burundi   Diane Nukuri (BDI) Final 31:28.69
Greece   Alexi Pappas (GRE) Final 31:36.16
Kyrgyzstan   Darya Maslova (KGZ) Final 31:36.90
Uzbekistan   Sitora Hamidova (UZB) Final 31:57.77



Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
  Almaz Ayana   Ethiopia 29:17.45 WR,OR,AR
  Vivian Cheruiyot   Kenya 29:32.53 NR
  Tirunesh Dibaba   Ethiopia 29:42.56 PB
4 Alice Aprot Nawowuna   Kenya 29:53.51 PB
5 Betsy Saina   Kenya 30:07.78 PB
6 Molly Huddle   United States 30:13.17 AR
7 Yasemin Can   Turkey 30:26.41 PB
8 Gelete Burka   Ethiopia 30:26.66 PB
9 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal   Norway 31:14.07 PB
10 Eloise Wellings   Australia 31:14.94 PB
11 Emily Infeld   United States 31:26.94 PB
12 Sarah Lahti   Sweden 31:28.43 NR
13 Diane Nukuri   Burundi 31:28.69 NR
14 Susan Kuijken   Netherlands 31:32.43
15 Jo Pavey   Great Britain 31:33.44 SB, WMR
16 Jess Andrews   Great Britain 31:35.92 PB
17 Alexi Pappas   Greece 31:36.16 NR
18 Yuka Takashima   Japan 31:36.44
19 Darya Maslova   Kyrgyzstan 31:36.90 NR
20 Hanami Sekine   Japan 31:44.44
21 Dominique Scott   South Africa 31:51.47 PB
22 Natasha Wodak   Canada 31:53.14 SB
23 Alia Saeed Mohammed   United Arab Emirates 31:56.74
24 Sitora Hamidova   Uzbekistan 31:57.77 NR
25 Lanni Marchant   Canada 32:04.21 SB
26 Carla Salomé Rocha   Portugal 32:06.05
27 Salome Nyirarukundo   Rwanda 32:07.80
28 Jip Vastenburg   Netherlands 32:08.92
29 Trihas Gebre   Spain 32:09.67 SB
30 Veronica Inglese   Italy 32:11.67
31 Tatiele de Carvalho   Brazil 32:38.21
32 Brenda Flores   Mexico 32:39.08 SB
33 Marielle Hall   United States 32:39.32
34 Beth Potter   Great Britain 33:04.34
35 Marisol Romero   Mexico 35:33.03
Ekaterina Tunguskova   Uzbekistan DNF
Juliet Chekwel   Uganda DNF


  1. ^ "Women's 10,000m". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Women's 10,000m Final" (PDF). Rio 2016. 12 August 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. ^ Morse, Parker (2016-08-09). Preview: women's 10,000m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-12.
  4. ^ a b Report: women's 10,000m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games. IAAF (2016-08-12). Retrieved on 2016-08-13.
  5. ^ senior outdoor 10,000 Metres women. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-08-12.
  6. ^ "Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana smashes 10,000m world record on way to gold". Guardian. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.