Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 5000 metres

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Men's 5000 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Stadium
Dates25–28 August
Competitors36 from 22 nations
Winning time13:14.39
1st, gold medalist(s) Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco
2nd, silver medalist(s) Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Eliud Kipchoge  Kenya
← 2000
2008 →

The men's 5,000 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium on August 25 and 28.[1]

The final witnessed an epic clash between two track greats from different generations: in his final competitive international race, 1500m champion and track legend Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and 10,000 meter Olympic champion, world record holder at the distance and rising star 21-year-old Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia. The race had a preview at the World Championships a year earlier. There the medalists were barely separated, but the young World Junior record holder Eliud Kipchoge upset the stars by taking gold after El Guerrouj had tried to break away on the final lap.

Here Bekele took an early lead, but instead chose not to push the pace. That duty fell onto Kipchoge, who had watched from behind the year before. Here, El Guerrouj spent most of the race watching from several places behind the lead. As the last lap began, El Guerrouj moved toward the front. Bekele challenged Kipchoge with 200 metres to go. It was a shoulder to shoulder all out sprint battle as Kipchoge refused to let Bekele by, but he couldn't hold him off. Bekele broke out at a lead of several metres. El Guerrouj first ran down Kipchoge, then overhauled the Ethiopian in the final strides to win by just two tenths of a second. With this, El Guerrouj set a historic milestone as the first ever athlete to strike a distance double (1500–5000) since Paavo Nurmi did so in 1924, denying Bekele a chance to do the Olympic 5000 and 10000 m double – which he would ultimately win four years later in Beijing.[2][3]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 12:37.35 Hengelo, Netherlands 31 May 2004
Olympic record  Saïd Aouita (MAR) 13:05.59 Los Angeles, United States 11 August 1984

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the men's 5000 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 13:21.50 or faster during the qualification period. If an NOC had no athletes that qualified under that standard, one athlete that had run the race in 13:25.40 or faster could be entered.


All times are Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)

Date Time Round
Wednesday, 25 August 2004 19:50 Round 1
Saturday, 28 August 2004 21:05 Final


Round 1[edit]

Qualification rule: The first five finishers in each heat (Q) plus the next five fastest overall runners (q) advanced to the final.[4]

Heat 1[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 13:21.16 Q
2 Gebregziabher Gebremariam  Ethiopia 13:21.20 Q
3 Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 13:21.87 Q
4 Craig Mottram  Australia 13:21.88 Q
5 Abraham Chebii  Kenya 13:22.30 Q
6 Hicham Bellani  Morocco 13:22.64 q
7 Alistair Ian Cragg  Ireland 13:23.01 q
8 Samir Moussaoui  Algeria 13:24.98 q
9 Sultan Khamis Zaman  Qatar 13:26.52
10 John Mayock  Great Britain 13:26.81
11 Günther Weidlinger  Austria 13:29.32
12 Christian Belz  Switzerland 13:29.59
13 Alejandro Suárez  Mexico 13:35.32
14 Jonathon Riley  United States 13:38.79
15 Mohammed Abdelhak Zakaria  Bahrain 13:42.04
16 Monder Rizki  Belgium 14:03.58
17 Serhiy Lebid  Ukraine 14:10.23
Carlos García  Spain DNF

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Ali Saidi Sief  Algeria 13:18.94 Q
2 Eliud Kipchoge  Kenya 13:19.01 Q
3 Dejene Berhanu  Ethiopia 13:19.42 Q
4 John Kibowen  Kenya 13:19.65 Q
5 Abderrahim Goumri  Morocco 13:20.03 Q
6 Tim Broe  United States 13:20.29 q
7 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 13:22.17 q
8 Samson Kiflemariam  Eritrea 13:26.97
9 Roberto García  Spain 13:27.71
10 Khoudir Aggoune  Algeria 13:29.37
11 Fabiano Joseph Naasi  Tanzania 13:31.89
12 Marius Bakken  Norway 13:36.38
13 Freddy González  Venezuela 13:42.44
14 Tom Compernolle  Belgium 13:43.44
15 Mark Carroll  Ireland 13:46.81
16 Carles Castillejo  Spain 13:49.16
17 Michael Aish  New Zealand 13:50.00
18 Rajendra Bahadur Bhandari  Nepal 14:04.89 NR



Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Hicham El Guerrouj  Morocco 13:14.39
2nd, silver medalist(s) Kenenisa Bekele  Ethiopia 13:14.59
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Eliud Kipchoge  Kenya 13:15.10
4 Gebregziabher Gebremariam  Ethiopia 13:15.35
5 Dejene Berhanu  Ethiopia 13:16.92
6 John Kibowen  Kenya 13:18.24
7 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 13:24.31
8 Craig Mottram  Australia 13:25.70
9 Hicham Bellani  Morocco 13:31.81
10 Ali Saidi Sief  Algeria 13:32.57
11 Tim Broe  United States 13:33.06
12 Alistair Ian Cragg  Ireland 13:43.06
13 Abderrahim Goumri  Morocco 13:47.27
14 Samir Moussaoui  Algeria 14:02.01
Abraham Chebii  Kenya DNF


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Games: Men's 5000 metres". Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "El Guerrouj wins historic gold". BBC Sport. 28 August 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. ^ Patrick, Dick (28 August 2004). "Second gold secures legacy for El Guerrouj". USA Today. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  4. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 5000m Heats". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Men's 5000m Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 12 October 2015.

External links[edit]