3000 metres

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A women's indoor 3000 m race in Birmingham featuring Sentayehu Ejigu and Tirunesh Dibaba

The 3000 metres or 3000-meter run is a track running event (colloquially known as "3k") where 7.5 laps are completed around an outdoor 400 m track or 15 laps around a 200 m indoor track. It is debatable whether the 3000m is classified as a middle distance or long distance event.[1]

In elite level competition, 3000 m pace is more comparable to the pace found in the longer 5000 metres event, rather than 1500 metres pace. The world record performance for 3000 m equates to a pace of 59 seconds per 400 m, which is much closer to the 61 seconds for 5000 m than the 55 seconds for 1500 m. Despite this, the 3000 m does require some anaerobic conditioning and an elite athlete needs to develop a high tolerance to lactic acid, as does the 1500 m. Thus, the 3000 m demands a balance of aerobic endurance in the 5000 m and lactic acid tolerance in the 1500 m.

In men's athletics, 3000 metres has been an Olympic discipline only as a team race at the 1912, 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics. It has not been contested at any of the IAAF outdoor championships, but is occasionally hosted at annual elite track and field meetings. It is often featured in indoor track and field programmes and is the longest distance event present at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

In women's athletics, 3000 metres was a standard event in the Olympic Games (1984 to 1992)[2] and World Championships (1980 to 1993).[3] The event was discontinued at World Championship and Olympic level after the 1993 World Championships in Athletics - Qu Yunxia being the final gold medal winner at the event. Starting with the 1995 World Championships in Athletics and the 1996 Olympic Games, it was replaced by 5000 metres, with other IAAF-organized championships following suit.

Elite runners in this event reach speeds near vVO2max, for which the oxygen requirements of the body cannot continuously be satisfied,[4] requiring some anaerobic effort.

All-time top ten[edit]

The men's world record is 7:20.67 set by Daniel Komen of Kenya in 1996. Komen also holds the world indoor mark with 7:24.90 minutes set in 1998. The women's world record is 8:06.11 set by Wang Junxia of China in 1993. The world indoor women's record is 8:16.60 minutes, set by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba in 2014.

Olympic medalists[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1984 Los Angeles
 Maricica Puică (ROU)  Wendy Smith-Sly (GBR)  Lynn Williams (CAN)
1988 Seoul
 Tetyana Samolenko (URS)  Paula Ivan (ROU)  Yvonne Murray (GBR)
1992 Barcelona
 Yelena Romanova (EUN)  Tetyana Dorovskikh (EUN)  Angela Chalmers (CAN)

World Championships medalists[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1980 Sittard  Birgit Friedmann (FRG)  Karoline Nemetz (SWE)  Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR)
1983 Helsinki  Mary Decker (USA)  Brigitte Kraus (FRG)  Tatyana Kovalenko-Kazankina (URS)
1987 Rome  Tetyana Samolenko (URS)  Maricica Puică (ROU)  Ulrike Bruns (GDR)
1991 Tokyo  Tetyana Samolenko (URS)  Yelena Romanova (URS)  Susan Sirma (KEN)
1993 Stuttgart  Qu Yunxia (CHN)  Zhang Linli (CHN)  Zhang Lirong (CHN)

Season's bests[edit]

Women (outdoor)[edit]

Year Time Athlete Location
1971 9:23.4  Joyce Smith (GBR) London
1972 8:53.0  Lyudmila Bragina (URS) Moscow
1973 8:56.6  Paola Pigni (ITA) Formia
1974 8:52.74  Lyudmila Bragina (URS) Durham
1975 8:46.6  Grete Waitz (NOR) Oslo
1976 8:27.12  Lyudmila Bragina (URS) College Park
1977 8:36.8  Grete Waitz (NOR) Oslo
1978 8:32.1  Grete Waitz (NOR) Oslo
1979 8:31.75  Grete Waitz (NOR) Oslo
1980 8:33.53  Yelena Sipatova (URS) Moscow
1981 8:34.30  Maricica Puică (ROU) Bucharest
1982 8:26.78  Svetlana Ulmasova (URS) Kiev
1983 8:32.08  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) Saint Petersburg
1984 8:22.62  Tatyana Kazankina (URS) Saint Petersburg
1985 8:25.83  Mary Slaney (USA) Rome
1986 8:33.99  Olga Bondarenko (URS) Stuttgart
1987 8:38.1  Ulrike Bruns (GDR) Potsdam
1988 8:26.53  Tatyana Samolenko (URS) Seoul
1989 8:38.48  Paula Ivan (ROU) Gateshead
1990 8:38.38  Angela Chalmers (CAN) Auckland
1991 8:32.00  Elana Meyer (RSA) Durban
1992 8:33.72  Yelena Romanova (RUS) Cologne
1993 8:06.11  Wang Junxia (CHN) Beijing
1994 8:21.64  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL) London
1995 8:27.57  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL) Zurich
1996 8:35.42  Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL) Nice
1997 8:27.78  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Zurich
1998 8:24.31  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Paris
1999 8:25.03  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Zurich
2000 8:26.35  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Zurich
2001 8:23.26  Olga Yegorova (RUS) Zurich
2002 8:21.42  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Monte Carlo
2003 8:33.95  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) Zurich
2004 8:31.32  Isabella Ochichi (KEN) Paris
2005 8:28.87  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR) Oslo
2006 8:24.66  Meseret Defar (ETH) Stockholm
2007 8:24.81  Meseret Defar (ETH) Brussels
2008 8:33.66  Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) Gateshead
2009 8:30.15  Meseret Defar (ETH) Thessaloniki
2010 8:28.41  Sentayehu Ejigu (ETH) Monaco
2011 8:46.84  Viola Jelagat Kibiwot (KEN) Rabat
2012 8:34.47  Mariem Alaoui Selsouli (MAR) Eugene
2013 8:41.46  Shannon Rowbury (USA) London


  1. ^ Middle-distance running. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved on 2014-06-02.
  2. ^ Women's 3000 metres at the Olympic Games. Sport Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
  3. ^ World Championships in Athletics. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
  4. ^ Billat, Véronique L.; J. Pierre Koralsztein (Aug 1996). "Significance of the Velocity at VO2max and Time to Exhaustion at this Velocity". Sports Med. 2: 90–108. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. ^ 3000 Metres - men - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
  6. ^ 3000 Metres - men - senior - indoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
  7. ^ 3000 Metres - women - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.
  8. ^ 3000 Metres - women - senior - indoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-18.