Stuart Weir sent us this second piece on the Monaco meet, this piece is on the women’s 5000m, an amazingly intriguing event!
The women’s 5000m was an intriguing and exciting race. On paper it looked like Hellen Obiri (world 5000m champion) against Sifan Hassan (world 1500m and 10000m champion). As the race unfolded Letesenbet Gidey (Ethiopia) and Laura Weightman (Great Britain) joined the big two in a breakaway group of four. Hassan was in fourth place as we wondered if and when she would strike for home – and if the others could respond to her blistering pace. Then with one kilometer to go, Hassan was no more, dropping out of the race. Laura Weightman could not stay with the leaders and then there were two!
Hassan said afterwards that she felt “horrible” stopping and she’d never dropped out of a race before but she was having a problem with the toe and how she has Â½ marathon and the Brussels one hour race to come, she did not want to take a risk.
Helen Obiri took the lead and head it to win in 14:22.12 – a World Lead and Meeting Record.
with Letesenbet Gidey 2nd in 14:26.57.
Obiri said afterwards: “Because Kenya was in lockdown, I was not able to train properly so I was not well prepared for this race. For me, I thought I was in a shape for 14.40 and seeing I did 14.22, I am really happy! It’s a golden opportunity to come here and to run a world lead and a meet record. It was really tricky to accept the situation overall of not competing in Tokyo but we have to accept this and we need to train for next year!”
Regular readers will know that I am a fan of Hellen Obiri, a great athlete and a lovely person. See further https://www.runblogrun.com/2019/04/hellen-obiri-a-great-all-round-runner.html
Laura Weightman finished 3rd in a PB of 14:35.44. It was fun watching the action on BBC TV where commentator Steve Cram, struggled not to get too excited as it appeared briefly that Weightman might beat Paula Radcliffe’s British record, as she was “in the shape of her life”. Cram is, of course, Weightman’s coach.
Weightman was also excited by her performance, commenting: “My last race was the Doha world championship so it’s been a long wait. I’m absolutely delighted with tonight. In lockdown I got my head down and really worked hard. I am fortunate that as a distance runner you don’t need specialist facilities to train. Mentally it was challenging but every day I could leave my house and go for a run. That’s what got me through the days. This race was a big focus, knowing the work that Monaco was doing to put the race on. Tonight was about commit, go hard, hang on as long as you can. I hurt in the last kilometer but I am delighted to be leaving here with a PR and the second fastest British time ever.
“I had to be patient, trust my coach and my training. It was nerve-wracking but I’m excited to be back out racing. One of my targets for the year was to run a fast 5000 and to do it in the manner in which I did – I was brave and confident and really dug in. I think I earned the PR”.
For more on Laura Weightman, see
That Australian, Jessica Hull, ran a 17 second PR and a national record but was only fourth, is an indication of the quality of the race. Shannon Rowbury was fifth, Beatrice Chepkeoch sixth and Eilish McColgan seventh.
And as Hellen Obiri almost said, just think how fast she could have gone if she had been training!