Letesenbet Gidey, world-record holder in 5000m, 10,000m, sets marathon debut

Letesenbet Gidey

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, the world-record holder at 5000m, 10,000m and the half marathon, will make her marathon debut in Valencia, Spain, on Dec. 4.

Gidey, 24, broke the 5000m world record in Valencia in October 2020, then broke the half marathon world record in Valencia last October.

In between, she took 10,000m bronze in the Olympics, two months after breaking the world record in that distance.

Valencia is one of the best marathons for producing fast times. In 2020, Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir won in 2:17:16, which is the sixth-fastest time in history. Also that year, the top four men’s finishers produced times that all currently rank in the top 21 in history.

Last month, Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran the fastest debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 in Hamburg, Germany, to break the Ethiopian record.

Neither of the two preceding world-record holders in the 10,000m — Ethiopian Almaz Ayana and Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan — have run a marathon.

Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, who preceded Gidey as 5000m world-record holder, won the 2017 Chicago Marathon and last raced in 2018.

Kenyan women, once in a rivalry with Ethiopians, have recently dominated, winning eight of the last nine World Marathon Majors.

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