Letesenbet Gidey breaks two-day-old 10,000m world record at Ethiopian Olympic Trials

Gidey broke Sifan Hassan's record on the same track in Hengelo, Netherlands, using super spike and blue Wavelight technology.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by GETTY IMAGES +491728296845

A stunning performance from track star Letesenbet Gidey saw her break the women’s 10,000m world record, at the Ethiopian Olympic Trials in Hengelo, Netherlands on Tuesday (9 June).

The European country was chosen to host the event as Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa lies at about 2,400m, meaning domestic races are often much slower than they would be at sea level.

Gidey, who is also the 5,000m world record holder, clocked 29.01.03 to take 5.79 seconds off a world record that had only been broken two days previously by Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan on the same track.

“I expected to run the world record,” Gidey said afterwards, before revealing that she already had a new goal in mind. “Next I will try again, to run maybe 28:56.”

The 23-year-old is the first woman to hold both the 5,000m and 10,000m world records since Ingrid Kristiansen from 1986-1993.

World 10,000m silver medallist Gidey started the race at blistering pace, passing the 2,000m mark in 5:54 and 3,000m in 8:50. She was actually just behind world record pace at the half-way mark, which was being indicated by the blue Wavelight technology. She increased her speed for the remaining laps and completed the final lap in approximately 68 seconds to break the record.

Some have pointed to the effect of the new super spike technology which, in conjunction with the pace-setting lights on the track, is said to improve performance by between half a second and a second a lap.

All four men’s and women’s 5,000m and 10,000m world records which have been broken over the last 10 months, have been by runners using the same technology.

The remarkable 48 hours of record-breaking action will undoubtedly lead to a lot of hype before Gidey and Hassan’s anticipated showdown at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.