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Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 5000 metres

The women's 5000 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 16–19 August at the Olympic Stadium.[1]

Women's 5000 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 5000m took place.
VenueOlympic Stadium
Dates16 August 2016 (heats)
19 August 2016 (final)
Winning time14:26.17 OR
1st, gold medalist(s) Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya
2nd, silver medalist(s) Hellen Onsando Obiri  Kenya
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Almaz Ayana  Ethiopia
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Almaz Ayana came into this race with the number two time in history, run just two and a half months earlier. That race in Rome came within a second and a half of the world record, so expectations were high. Ayana's strategy was well known to these competitors, she had used it to win the World Championships in 2015, the qualification to these Olympics and to win the 10,000 metres at these Olympics. In particular, Vivian Cheruiyot had experienced it first hand in that 10,000, being relegated to silver.

The final started with confusion as the athletes were called to the line three times before the gun was actually fired. Once started Miyuki Uehara went to the front, her move immediately covered by Ayana. The two opened up a 7-metre gap in the first 200 metres of the race. The next lap in 74 seconds was slow and the field, led by four Kenyans reeled in the leaders. Uehara led for 4 and a quarter relatively slow laps, then Ayana executed her strategy, she accelerated. The Kenyans; Cheruiyot, Hellen Onsando Obiri, Mercy Cherono and Yasemin Can running for Turkey rushed to try to cover the move. After 75 second laps, Ayana dropped it to 65 seconds, establishing a 25-metre lead on the pack of Kenyans led by Can and Cheruiyot. Ten other runners in the race were dropped to 60 metres back, with only Senbere Teferi in a no man's land in between groups. Ayana's next two laps were 66 and 68. Can fell off, but the three Kenyans stayed with the pace. The next lap was 69 seconds, but more importantly, unlike her previous races, the gap was not growing. With 1000 metres remaining in the race, Cherono fell off the back but Cheruiyot accelerated with Obiri trying to hold on. The gap was shrinking. Within 300 metres, it disappeared as Cheruiyot went past Ayana. In the next hundred metres, Obiri also went by Ayana. With a lap to go, Cheruiyot had run the 66 second lap and Cheruiyot the 25 metre gap, Ayana was struggling to hold onto any medal at all. Running a 65.59 last lap, Cheruiyot extended the gap to 50 metres, and almost 20 back to Obiri to take gold and leave Obiri silver. Ayana held on to third for the bronze medal. All three were under the previous Olympic record.[2]

The medals were presented by Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, IOC member, Ethiopia and Dahlan Jumaan al-Hamad, Vice President of the IAAF.

Competition formatEdit

The women's 5000m competition consisted of heats (Round 1) and a final. The fastest competitors from each race in the heats qualified for the final along with the fastest overall competitors not already qualified that were required to fill the (normally) sixteen spaces in the final. Due to falls in heat 2, eighteen runners contested the final.


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

World record   Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 14:11.15 Oslo, Norway 6 June 2008
Olympic record   Gabriela Szabo (ROU) 14:40.79 Sydney, Australia 25 September 2000
2016 World leading   Almaz Ayana (ETH) 14:12.59 Rome, Italy 2 June 2016

The following record was established during the competition:

Date Event Name Nationality Time Record
19 August Final Vivian Cheruiyot   Kenya 14:26.17 OR


All times are Brasilia Time (UTC-3)

Date Time Round
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 9:30 Heats
Friday, 19 August 2016 21:40 Finals



Heat 1Edit

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Hellen Onsando Obiri   Kenya 15:19.48 Q
2 Yasemin Can   Turkey 15:19.50 Q
3 Mercy Cherono   Kenya 15:19.56 Q
4 Shelby Houlihan   United States 15:19.76 Q
5 Susan Kuijken   Netherlands 15:19.96 Q, SB
6 Madeline Heiner Hills   Australia 15:21.33 q
7 Miyuki Uehara   Japan 15:23.41 q, SB
8 Ababel Yeshaneh   Ethiopia 15:24.38 q
9 Juliet Chekwel   Uganda 15:29.07
10 Laura Whittle   Great Britain 15:31.30
11 Louise Carton   Belgium 15:34.39
12 Kim Conley   United States 15:34.39
13 Jessica O'Connell   Canada 15:51.18
14 Lucy Oliver   New Zealand 15:53.77
15 Sharon Firisua   Solomon Islands 18:01.62
16 Beatrice Kamuchanga Alice   Democratic Republic of the Congo 19:29.47
Dalila Abdulkadir   Bahrain DNS

Heat 2Edit

In heat 2, Abbey D'Agostino and Nikki Hamblin collided and fell. D'Agostino was the first to get up but instead of running ahead, she stopped to help Hamblin up. Later in the race, it turned out that D'Agostino's injury was the more serious as she started limping and fell again. This time, Hamblin stopped and encouraged her to get up and finish the race.[3] After the race, organizers decided to reinstate them both as finalists, along with Jennifer Wenth who was also impeded by the collision.[4] Hamblin and D’Agostino were later awarded a Fair Play Award by the International Fair Play Committee for their actions in the heat.[5]

Rank Name Nationalityality Time Notes
1 Almaz Ayana   Ethiopia 15:04.35 Q
2 Senbere Teferi   Ethiopia 15:17.43 Q
3 Vivian Cheruiyot   Kenya 15:17.74 Q
4 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal   Norway 15:17.83 Q
5 Eilish McColgan   Great Britain 15:18.20 Q
6 Eloise Wellings   Australia 15:19.02 q, SB
7 Genevieve LaCaze   Australia 15:20.45 q, PB
8 Stephanie Twell   Great Britain 15:25.90
9 Misaki Onishi   Japan 15:29.17
10 Mimi Belete   Bahrain 15:29.72
11 Andrea Seccafien   Canada 15:30.32
12 Ayuko Suzuki   Japan 15:41.81
13 Stella Chesang   Uganda 15:49.80
14 Jennifer Wenth   Austria 16:07.02 q[a]
15 Nikki Hamblin   New Zealand 16:43.61 q[a]
16 Abbey D'Agostino   United States 17:10.02 q[a]
Bibiro Ali Taher   Chad DNF


Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates as she finishes
Rank Name Nationalityality Time Notes
  Vivian Cheruiyot   Kenya 14:26.17 OR
  Hellen Onsando Obiri   Kenya 14:29.77 PB
  Almaz Ayana   Ethiopia 14:33.59
4 Mercy Cherono   Kenya 14:42.89
5 Senbere Teferi   Ethiopia 14:43.75
6 Yasemin Can   Turkey 14:56.96
7 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal   Norway 14:57.53 PB
8 Susan Kuijken   Netherlands 15:00.69 PB
9 Eloise Wellings   Australia 15:01.59 SB
10 Madeline Heiner Hills   Australia 15:04.05 PB
11 Shelby Houlihan   United States 15:08.89
12 Genevieve LaCaze   Australia 15:10.35 PB
13 Eilish McColgan   Great Britain 15:12.09
14 Ababel Yeshaneh   Ethiopia 15:18.26
15 Miyuki Uehara   Japan 15:34.97
16 Jennifer Wenth   Austria 15:56.11
17 Nikki Hamblin   New Zealand 16:14.24 SB
Abbey D'Agostino   United States DNS


  1. ^ a b c Post-race, organizers decided to reinstate Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino as finalists, along with Jennifer Wenth who was also impeded by the collision.[6]


  1. ^ "Women's 5000m". Rio 2016 Organisation. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Kenyan Cheruiyot trumps Ayana for 5000m gold". Daily Mail. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: US and NZ runners help each other". BBC. 17 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Report: women's 5000m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". International Association of Athletics Federations. 16 August 2016.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Report: women's 5000m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". International Association of Athletics Federations. 16 August 2016.