After winning bronze medals at the Olympics in Tokyo, World Championships in Doha and World Indoor Championships in Portland, 2022 was the year in which Gudaf Tsegay won her first global gold medals and her world title outdoors was claimed in the 5000m.
Five days after securing world 1500m silver and four months after winning the world indoor 1500m title, the 25-year-old used that 1500m speed to hold off Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet in a thrilling sprint finish in Oregon, 14:46.29 to 14:46.75. Behind them, Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum got bronze in 14:47.36.
Seyaum, also previously a 1500m specialist, and Tsegay were among the four women who dipped under 14:30 during the outdoor season, respectively clocking 14:25.84 and 14:26.69 when finishing first and second at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Oslo.
The fastest race of the year was at the Diamond League in Eugene, however, as their Ethiopian compatriot Ejgayehu Taye stormed to a meeting record of 14:12.98, which puts her fifth on the world all-time list.
That race had been billed as a world record attempt and Letesenbet Gidey looked on track to threaten her own mark of 14:06.62 set in Valencia in 2020 when she reached 3000m in 8:32.07. But she slowed over the next two kilometres and Taye took advantage, breezing past to eventually take two seconds off her PB and win by more than 11 seconds. Gidey’s 14:24.59 was the second-quickest performance of the season, while Eritrea’s Rahel Daniel ran a national record of 14:36.66 to finish third.
Like Daniel, Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal also broke a national record as she clocked 14:31.07 on home soil in Oslo.
After her world silver medal win, Chebet went on to win Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham, while she also won the African title in June.
Earlier in the year, Taye had claimed world indoor 3000m bronze in a race won by her compatriot Lemlem Hailu from USA’s Elle Purrier St Pierre. Seyaum clocked 8:23.24 for the distance in Lievin, moving her to third on the world indoor all-time list.
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