5000m image used in IAAF Disciplines (Getty Images)


Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Nicholas Willis 13:22.11 New Zealand NZL
2 Zane Robertson 13:25.41 New Zealand NZL
3 Brett Robinson 13:31.66 Australia AUS
4 Ben St.Lawrence 13:33.16 Australia AUS
5 Jeff See 13:33.18 United States USA


Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Magdalene Masai 15:10.46 Kenya KEN
2 Madeline Heiner 15:21.09 Australia AUS
3 Susan Kuijken 15:29.60 Netherlands NED
4 Jaisha Orchatteri 15:31.37 India IND
5 Victoria Mitchell 15:45.72 Australia AUS


Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Kenenisa Bekele 12:37.35 Ethiopia ETH
2 Haile Gebrselassie 12:39.36 Ethiopia ETH
3 Daniel Komen 12:39.74 Kenya KEN
4 Eliud Kipchoge 12:46.53 Kenya KEN
5 Dejen Gebremeskel 12:46.81 Ethiopia ETH


Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Tirunesh Dibaba 14:11.15 Ethiopia ETH
2 Meseret Defar 14:12.88 Ethiopia ETH
3 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot 14:20.87 Kenya KEN
4 Liliya Shobukhova 14:23.75 Russia RUS
5 Elvan Abeylegesse 14:24.68 Turkey TUR

5000 Metres

How it works

Runners compete over 12-and-a-half laps of a 400m track. They make bunched standing starts and can break immediately for the inside.


The Ancient Greeks organised a number of events akin to today’s long-distance races. During the mid-19th century, match races for betting purposes became very popular in Great Britain and the USA.

Every Olympic Games since 1912 has included a men’s 5000m.

Did you know

It wasn’t until 1996 that a women’s version of the 5000m featured at the Olympic Games, replacing the 3000m.

Gold standard

Unquestionably this is the realm of the East Africans, with Kenya and Ethiopia dominating; Tanzania and Uganda are strong, too. North Africans from Morocco and Algeria have also enjoyed success.


Said Aouita

The versatile Moroccan dominated throughout the mid-to-late 1980s. He won Olympic gold in 1984 and took the World title three years later. He was also the first man to break 13 minutes for the distance.

Gabriela Szabo

The fast-finishing Romanian landed successive world titles (1997 and 1999) before enjoying Olympic glory in Sydney in 2000.