Kenya's Hellen Lobun in action in the 3000m (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Tampere, Finland

Preview: women’s 5000m – IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

Japan-based Hellen Ekarare Lobun leads the entry lists by a clear margin with 15:12.89 but she was decisively beaten at the Kenyan U20 Championships by Beatrice Chebet, 15:31.66 to 15:46.97.

Chebet is the younger of the two Kenyan representatives at the age of 18 and she will be looking to reach the podium after just missing out in the 3000m at the World U18 Championships in Nairobi last year when she was fourth.

Only Meseret Defar has achieved a 3000m/5000m double at the World U20 Championships but Ethiopia's Girmawit Gebregziabher will be looking to follow suit some 16 years after Defar – who became the Olympic champion for the first time only two years later – achieved that feat.

Gebregziabher’s best times on the track should be discounted as they were all set at high altitude but what should be regarded is her championship record. She won the African U20 cross country title in Chlef, Algeria – beating both Lobun and Chebet – and won the 5000m title at the Ethiopian U20 Championships ahead of Ejegayehu Taye.

Not since 2000 when Dorcus Inzikuru from Uganda took gold has a non-Kenyan or non-Ethiopian won the title. Ugandan representative Sarah Chelangat, 17, is second on the entry list with 15:29.25 while Japan is sending two strong runners: Miku Moribayashi (15:31.62 PB) and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (15:45.78 PB).

Tomomi’s older sister Nozomi just missed out on a medal in the 3000m at the 2014 World U20 Championships in Eugene where she finished fourth.

Steven Mills for the IAAF