• Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui wins the men's marathon athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships London 2017

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.

History

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.

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