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

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Women's 5000 metres
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Stadium
Dates20–23 August
Competitors41 from 28 nations
Winning time14:45.65
1st, gold medalist(s) Meseret Defar  Ethiopia
2nd, silver medalist(s) Isabella Ochichi  Kenya
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia
← 2000
2008 →

The women's 5000 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium on August 20 and 23.[1]

The final started out slowly and dismally, as none of the entrants wanted to take the lead. With the tightly packed field passing through the 400 metres, many runners started to fall behind and could not handle the pace set by early leaders Sun Yingjie and Xing Huina. Approaching to the halfway mark of the race, Turkey's world-record holder Elvan Abeylegesse surpassed the Chinese duo to charge into the lead and the pace began to accelerate quickly. Ethiopia's Meseret Defar and Kenya's Isabella Ochichi came immediately to the front of the pack, keeping an eye on the leader. With only three laps to go, Abeylegesse struggled to maintain her pace until she finally faded on the backstretch, leaving Defar and Ochichi to exchange the leading duties throughout the race and battle out for the gold. Moments after the bell, Ochichi continued to lead from the rest of the field, but Defar patiently passed her with only 200 metres to go, and then stormed away to her first Olympic title, finishing at 14:45.65. Ochichi had nothing left to respond with, but came through behind her to get the silver, while Defar's teammate Tirunesh Dibaba overhauled the weary Abeylegesse to hold on for the bronze.[2][3]


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

World record  Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR) 14:24.68 Bergen, Norway 11 June 2004
Olympic record  Gabriela Szabó (ROM) 14:40.79 Sydney, Australia 25 September 2000

No new records were set during the competition.


The qualification period for athletics was 1 January 2003 to 9 August 2004. For the women's 5000 metres, each National Olympic Committee was permitted to enter up to three athletes that had run the race in 15:08.70 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 15:20.45 or faster could be entered.


All times are Greece Standard Time (UTC+2)

Date Time Round
Friday, 20 August 2004 23:20 Round 1
Monday, 23 August 2004 22:00 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 Time Notes
1 Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 15:00.66 Q
2 Sentayehu Ejigu  Ethiopia 15:01.31 Q
3 Yelena Zadorozhnaya  Russia 15:01.77 Q
4 Liliya Shobukhova  Russia 15:01.86 Q
5 Edith Masai  Kenya 15:01.92 Q
6 Irina Mikitenko  Germany 15:02.16 q
7 Sun Yingjie  China 15:03.00 q, SB
8 Émilie Mondor  Canada 15:20.15
9 Marla Runyan  United States 15:24.88
10 Tezeta Sürekli  Turkey 15:26.64
11 Kim Smith  New Zealand 15:31.80
12 Dorcus Inzikuru  Uganda 15:38.59
13 Shayne Culpepper  United States 15:40.02
14 Ebru Kavaklıoğlu  Turkey 15:52.39
15 Maria McCambridge  Ireland 15:57.42
16 Souad Aït Salem  Algeria 16:02.10
17 Dulce María Rodríguez  Mexico 16:08.07
18 Zainab Bakkour  Syria 17:18.66
19 Francine Niyonizigiye  Burundi 17:21.27
Elizabeth Zaragoza  El Salvador DNF

Heat 2[edit]

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 14:52.39 Q
2 Elvan Abeylegesse  Turkey 14:54.80 Q
3 Joanne Pavey  Great Britain 14:55.45 Q
4 Isabella Ochichi  Kenya 14:55.69 Q
5 Xing Huina  China 14:56.01 Q, PB
6 Margaret Maury  France 14:56.79 q, PB
7 Sonia O'Sullivan  Ireland 14:59.61 q
8 Gulnara Samitova  Russia 15:05.78 q
9 Jane Wanjiku  Kenya 15:14.57
10 Kirsi Valasti  Finland 15:33.78
11 Shalane Flanagan  United States 15:34.63
12 Maria Protopappa  Greece 15:35.07
13 Volha Krautsova  Belarus 15:44.01
14 Restituta Joseph  Tanzania 15:45.11
15 Catherine Chikwakwa  Malawi 15:46.17
16 Courtney Babcock  Canada 15:47.35
17 Krisztina Papp  Hungary 15:58.44
18 Inês Monteiro  Portugal 16:03.75
19 Supriyati Sutono  Indonesia 16:34.14 SB
20 Nebiat Habtemariam  Eritrea 16:49.01
21 Inés Melchor  Peru 17:08.07



Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 14:45.65
2nd, silver medalist(s) Isabella Ochichi  Kenya 14:48.19
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 14:51.83
4 Yelena Zadorozhnaya  Russia 14:55.52
5 Joanne Pavey  Great Britain 14:57.87
6 Gulnara Samitova  Russia 15:02.30
7 Irina Mikitenko  Germany 15:03.36
8 Sun Yingjie  China 15:07.23
9 Xing Huina  China 15:07.41
10 Sentayehu Ejigu  Ethiopia 15:09.55
11 Margaret Maury  France 15:09.77
12 Elvan Abeylegesse  Turkey 15:12.64
13 Liliya Shobukhova  Russia 15:15.64
14 Sonia O'Sullivan  Ireland 16:20.90
Edith Masai  Kenya DNF


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athens Games: Women's 5000 metres". Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Defar stuns 5,000m field". BBC Sport. 23 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Patient Defar grabs 5,000m gold". EuroSport. 28 August 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 5000m Heats". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ "IAAF Athens 2004: Women's 5000m Final". Athens 2004. IAAF. Retrieved 13 October 2015.

External links[edit]