Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 5000 metres

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Women's 5000 metres
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Engenhão vista atrás do gol.jpg
Interior view of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, where the Women's 5000m took place.
VenueOlympic Stadium
Dates16 August 2016 (heats)
19 August 2016 (final)
Winning time14:26.17 OR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Hellen Onsando Obiri  Kenya
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Almaz Ayana  Ethiopia
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The women's 5000 metres event at the 2016 Summer Olympics took place between 16–19 August at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.[1]


Almaz Ayana came into this race with the number two time in history, run just two and a half months earlier. That race in Rome came within a second and a half of the world record, so expectations were high. Ayana's strategy was well known to these competitors, she had used it to win the World Championships in 2015, the qualification to these Olympics and to win the 10,000 metres at these Olympics. In particular, Vivian Cheruiyot had experienced it first hand in that 10,000, being relegated to silver.

The final started with confusion as the athletes were called to the line three times before the gun was actually fired. Once started Miyuki Uehara went to the front, her move immediately covered by Ayana. The two opened up a 7-metre gap in the first 200 metres of the race. The next lap in 74 seconds was slow and the field, led by four Kenyans reeled in the leaders. Uehara led for 4 and a quarter relatively slow laps, then Ayana executed her strategy, she accelerated. The Kenyans; Cheruiyot, Hellen Onsando Obiri, Mercy Cherono and Yasemin Can running for Turkey rushed to try to cover the move. After 75 second laps, Ayana dropped it to 65 seconds, establishing a 25-metre lead on the pack of Kenyans led by Can and Cheruiyot. Ten other runners in the race were dropped to 60 metres back, with only Senbere Teferi in a no man's land in between groups. Ayana's next two laps were 66 and 68. Can fell off, but the three Kenyans stayed with the pace. The next lap was 69 seconds, but more importantly, unlike her previous races, the gap was not growing. With 1000 metres remaining in the race, Cherono fell off the back but Cheruiyot accelerated with Obiri trying to hold on. The gap was shrinking. Within 300 metres, it disappeared as Cheruiyot went past Ayana. In the next hundred metres, Obiri also went by Ayana. With a lap to go, Cheruiyot had run the 66 second lap and Cheruiyot the 25 metre gap, Ayana was struggling to hold onto any medal at all. Running a 65.59 last lap, Cheruiyot extended the gap to 50 metres, and almost 20 back to Obiri to take gold and leave Obiri silver. Ayana held on to third for the bronze medal. All three were under the previous Olympic record.[citation needed]

The medals were presented by Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, IOC member, Ethiopia and Dahlan Jumaan al-Hamad, Vice President of the IAAF.

Competition format[edit]

The women's 5000m competition consisted of heats (Round 1) and a final. The fastest competitors from each race in the heats qualified for the final along with the fastest overall competitors not already qualified that were required to fill the (normally) sixteen spaces in the final. Due to falls in heat 2, eighteen runners contested the final.


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

World record  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 14:11.15 Oslo, Norway 6 June 2008
Olympic record  Gabriela Szabo (ROU) 14:40.79 Sydney, Australia 25 September 2000
2016 World leading  Almaz Ayana (ETH) 14:12.59 Rome, Italy 2 June 2016

The following record was established during the competition:

Date Event Name Nationality Time Record
19 August Final Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya 14:26.17 OR


All times are Brasilia Time (UTC-3)

Date Time Round
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 9:30 Heats
Friday, 19 August 2016 21:40 Finals



Heat 1[edit]

Rank Athlete Nationality Time Notes
1 Hellen Onsando Obiri  Kenya 15:19.48 Q
2 Yasemin Can  Turkey 15:19.50 Q
3 Mercy Cherono  Kenya 15:19.56 Q
4 Shelby Houlihan  United States 15:19.76 Q
5 Susan Kuijken  Netherlands 15:19.96 Q, SB
6 Madeline Heiner Hills  Australia 15:21.33 q
7 Miyuki Uehara  Japan 15:23.41 q, SB
8 Ababel Yeshaneh  Ethiopia 15:24.38 q
9 Juliet Chekwel  Uganda 15:29.07
10 Laura Whittle  Great Britain 15:31.30
11 Louise Carton  Belgium 15:34.39
12 Kim Conley  United States 15:34.39
13 Jessica O'Connell  Canada 15:51.18
14 Lucy Oliver  New Zealand 15:53.77
15 Sharon Firisua  Solomon Islands 18:01.62
16 Beatrice Kamuchanga Alice  Democratic Republic of the Congo 19:29.47
Dalila Abdulkadir  Bahrain DNS

Heat 2[edit]

In heat 2, Bibiro Ali Taher did not finish due to a mistake because he heard the bell for the people who were a lap of her and she thought it was her final lap and pulled out with 400m to go. Also during the race, Abbey D'Agostino and Nikki Hamblin collided and fell. D'Agostino was the first to get up but instead of running ahead, she stopped to help Hamblin. Later in the race, it turned out that D'Agostino's injury was the more serious as she started limping and fell again. This time, Hamblin stopped and encouraged her to get up and finish the race.[2] After the race, organizers decided to reinstate them both as finalists, along with Jennifer Wenth who was also impeded by the collision. [3] Hamblin and D’Agostino were later awarded a Fair Play Award by the International Fair Play Committee for their actions in the heat.[4] Injured, D'Agostino did not start the final.

Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1 Almaz Ayana  Ethiopia 15:04.35 Q
2 Senbere Teferi  Ethiopia 15:17.43 Q
3 Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya 15:17.74 Q
4 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal  Norway 15:17.83 Q
5 Eilish McColgan  Great Britain 15:18.20 Q
6 Eloise Wellings  Australia 15:19.02 q, SB
7 Genevieve LaCaze  Australia 15:20.45 q, PB
8 Stephanie Twell  Great Britain 15:25.90
9 Misaki Onishi  Japan 15:29.17
10 Mimi Belete  Bahrain 15:29.72
11 Andrea Seccafien  Canada 15:30.32
12 Ayuko Suzuki  Japan 15:41.81
13 Stella Chesang  Uganda 15:49.80
14 Jennifer Wenth  Austria 16:07.02 qR[a]
15 Nikki Hamblin  New Zealand 16:43.61 qR[a]
16 Abbey D'Agostino  United States 17:10.02 qR[a]
Bibiro Ali Taher  Chad DNF


Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates as she finishes
Rank Name Nationality Time Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Vivian Cheruiyot  Kenya 14:26.17 OR
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Hellen Onsando Obiri  Kenya 14:29.77 PB
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Almaz Ayana  Ethiopia 14:33.59
4 Mercy Cherono  Kenya 14:42.89
5 Senbere Teferi  Ethiopia 14:43.75
6 Yasemin Can  Turkey 14:56.96
7 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal  Norway 14:57.53 PB
8 Susan Kuijken  Netherlands 15:00.69 PB
9 Eloise Wellings  Australia 15:01.59 SB
10 Madeline Heiner Hills  Australia 15:04.05 PB
11 Shelby Houlihan  United States 15:08.89
12 Genevieve LaCaze  Australia 15:10.35 PB
13 Eilish McColgan  Great Britain 15:12.09
14 Ababel Yeshaneh  Ethiopia 15:18.26
15 Miyuki Uehara  Japan 15:34.97
16 Jennifer Wenth  Austria 15:56.11
17 Nikki Hamblin  New Zealand 16:14.24 SB
Abbey D'Agostino  United States DNS


  1. ^ a b c Post-race, organizers decided to reinstate Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino as finalists, along with Jennifer Wenth who was also impeded by the collision.[5]


  1. ^ "Women's 5000m". Rio 2016 Organisation. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: US and NZ runners help each other". BBC. 17 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Report: women's 5000m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". International Association of Athletics Federations. 16 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Fair Play Awards recognise true Olympic champions in sportsmanship". 14 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Report: women's 5000m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". International Association of Athletics Federations. 16 August 2016.