Daniel Komen of Kenya, the only man in history to have run two sub-4 minute miles in the same race won the World Championships gold medal at 5000m, the distance at which he briefly held the world record in 1995. Komen crossed the line in 13:07.38, comfortably ahead of Morocco’s Khalid Boulami, who was second in 13:09.34, and Kenya’s Tom Nyariki, who took the bronze in 13:11.09. Komen’s victory gives Kenya its fourth world 5000m title in a row.
The race started slowly, Germany’s Dieter Baumann taking the field through 1000m in 2:43.86. With eight and a half laps to go Portugal’s Dionisio Castro spurted to the front and rapidly increased the pace, covered by Bob Kennedy of the USA, Baumann and Komen, but he did not break the field. At 2000m (5:33.03) Baumann made a move, putting in a 60.1 second lap and gaining a 5 metre gap on Nyariki. The Kenyan closed it down and then stretched the field himself, followed by Komen and Boulami.
At 3000m (8:05.15) Komen took off, rapidly opening a 10 metre lead. Within 300m there was a 30 metre gap to Nyariki and Boulami, which Komen extended with 59.3 and 58.3 laps. He passed 4000m in 10:33.49 with a 40 metre lead (after a 2:28 fourth kilometre) and strode home unchallenged for the last two and a half laps.
Boulami outkicked Nyariki in the home straight for the silver medal.