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Event Preview Women 5000 metres

The Ethiopians will be looking for a clean sweep of the medals in the women’s 5000m event, with Berhane ADERE (ETH), Tirunesh DIBABA (ETH) and Meseret DEFAR (ETH) the top three ranked athletes entered for the event.

Adere, the world leader by three and a half seconds, is the only runner to have broken 14min 30s this season with her African record run of 14:29.32 at the Oslo Golden League meet. As the current world indoor 3000m champion and record holder, all eyes will be on her. It remains to be seen whether she can now look to add teh 5000m title to her gold medal in the 10,000m on SaturdayDibaba’s season best of 14:39.94 was also recorded in Oslo, as was Defar’s 14:40.34.

The main competition for the Ethiopians should come from 36-year-old Kenyan, Edith MASAI (KEN) and Romanian star, Gabriela SZABO (ROM).

Masai, the 2002 and 2003 world short course cross country champion, looked good at Kenyan trials and defeated strong fields in both Stockholm and London. She has run 14:50.60 this season to be ranked seventh going into the event.

Szabo, the 1997 and 1999 world champion, hasn’t competed regularly this season and was beaten over 5000m by Defar in Rome and out-sprinted by Masai in London. She did, however, comfortably win the 3000m in Paris and Zurich and appears to be returning to form.

Over 5000m, the reigning world champion, Olga YEGOROVA (RUS), may have finished a distant sixth in Oslo and only recorded 14.55.19 this season, a far cry from her best of 14:29.32, but  she has been showing good form in the 1500m. She won that race in Rome in a personal best 4.01.00, which is also the fourth fastest time in the world this year, so don’t count her out over the longer distance.

Moroccan duo of Zhor EL KAMCH (MAR) and Zahra OUAZIZ (MAR) are ranked highly, at number five and six respectively. El Kamch ran a personal best 14:42.53 to finish fifth in Rome while Ouaziz, the 1999 world silver medallist, is back on track after a long layoff with injury and has recorded a best of 14:47.45 this season.