Men's 5km Preview: World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 2023

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The debut World Athletics Road Running Championships, set to recognize the global mile, 5 km, and half-marathon victors, will witness the participation of thousands of amateur runners from a minimum of 100 countries, who will compete alongside distinguished elite athletes.

Men's 5km Preview:

The men’s 5 km line-up features three of four fastest athletes in history. Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi broke the 5 km world record on the road with 12:49 at the Cursa dels Nassos in Barcelona on 31 December 2021. He set the fastest time among the entries and the fifth best in history in the 5000 metres with 12:40.45 at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting. Aregawi won the Diamond League title in the 5000 metres in Zurich 2021, the world cross country silver medal in Bathurst in 2023 and finished fourth in the 10000 metres at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and at the World Championships in Budapest 2023. 

Yomif Kejelcha missed the 5 km world record on the road by just one second when he clocked 12:50 in Lille last July. The Ethiopian athlete moved to sixth in the world all-time list when he clocked 12:41.73 in the 5000m at the Bislett Games in Oslo. Kejelcha won two world indoor gold medals in the 3000 metres in 2018 and 2022, set the world indoor record over the mile distance with 3:47.01 in Boston in 2019. 

Kejelcha leads 6-5 in his head-to-head clashes against Aregawi over all distances from 3000 to 10000 metres. 

Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir from Kenya set the fourth fastest time in the 5 km on the road with 12:55 in Herzogenaurach, where he finished second in a race won by Kejelcha with 12:53. 

The trio formed by Aregawi, Kejelcha and Kimeli have run seven of the eleven fastest times over the 5 km distance under the 13 minutes barrier. 

The Ethiopian team also features Hagos Gebrhiwet, who won the 5000 metres at the Monaco Diamond League meeting in his PB of 12:42.18 and set a half marathon PB of 58:55 in Granollers last February. Gebrhiwet won the world silver medal in the 5000 metres in Moscow 2013, and two bronze medals at the World Championships in Beijing 2015 and at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. 

The Kenyan team is completed by 2022 world 10000m silver medallist Stanley Waithaka and Cornelius Kemboi, who clocked 27:43 in the 10 km on the road in Brasov. 

Stewart McSweyn from Australia returns to run the 5 km on the road for the first time since 2017. McSweyn set the Oceanian record with 7:28.02 in the 3000m at the Golden Gala in Rome in 2021 and PBs on the 5 km on the road of 13:53 in Carlsbad and in the 5000 metres on the track with 12:56.50 in Brussels in 2022. 

The line-up also features Egide Ntakarutimana from Burundi, who improved his PB to 13:03.61 in the 5000 metres in Vienna and clocked 27:45 in the 10 km on the road in Brasov in 2022, Ouassim Ouamiz, Spanish record holder with 13:19 in 2002 and 2022 NCAA champion Olin Hacker from the USA.

The elite men's 5km race is set to commence at 12:15 local time (GMT +3).

World Athletics, together with the primary sponsor TDK, will present the champions of the individual events with a reward of $70,000. An additional bonus of $100,000 will be awarded for the establishment of new world records. The cumulative prize pool for the World Championships amounts to $8,498,000.

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