Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the two-day-old 10,000m world record in Hengelo, the Netherlands, on Tuesday, running 29:01.04 to win the Ethiopian Olympic Trials. Gidey’s time betters the world record of 29:06.82 that Dutch runner Sifan Hassan just posted on the same track in Hengelo on Sunday. Gidey now owns both the 5,000m and 10,000m world records.
Hassan’s run on Sunday beat the five-year-old 10,000m world record that Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana ran at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She put on such a dominant performance that it was easy to assume that her time would remain the record for a while, but now, just two days later, Hassan sits in second all time, replaced at the top by Gidey.
This was only the fourth official 10,000m race of Gidey’s career, with the other three coming in 2019. Her last time racing the distance was at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, where she won silver in her previous PB of 30:21.23. Despite never having even come close to breaking 30 minutes in the 10,000m ahead of Tuesday’s Ethiopian Trials, Gidey will leave the Netherlands as the woman who almost broke 29 minutes for the first time in history.
Gidey has put on quite a show since her 2019 season. She kicked that year off with a bronze medal at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Denmark, followed that up with her silver in Doha and wrapped up 2019 with the 15K road world record of 44:20, which she also set in the Netherlands. In 2020, few racing opportunities didn’t stop Gidey from making her mark, and she set the 5,000m world record in Valencia, where she ran 14:06.62.
Now, with the Tokyo Games on the horizon, Gidey is the 10,000m world record holder, and she looks like a threat to win a pair of Olympic gold medals if she chooses to race the 5,000m-10,000m double.