Another clash between the titanic Ethiopian duo of Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar is to be expected in the women's 5,000m final in Berlin, though the Kenyans certainly hope to repeat, if not improve upon their 2, 3, 4 finish at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.
Returning from that bittersweet Kenyan squad are Vivian Cheruiyot (2nd) and Sylvia Kibet (4th). Kibet set a personal best 14:37 this year and Cheruiyot has run 14:22. But can either of them truly expect to defeat the 14:11, 14:12 two-headed powerhouse from Ethiopia? It's certainly not going to be easy.
Also in the race will be Olympic runner-up Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey. Born in Ethiopia, Abeylegesse did not seem to lose any of the famous Ethiopian finishing kick in the emigration process, as she has been a major factor in both the 2007 and 2008 global championships, though she hardly races anywhere else. Abeylegesse will be doubling in Berlin, like Defar and Dibaba, and we feel the fresh Kenyans might be able to kick her down at the finish.
On the 2009 world list, we have to go down to spot #11 before we find a non-Ethiopian or Kenyan, and that doesn't even include Abeylegesse. It will be almost impossible for a Russian, American, Kiwi or Portugese to sneak into the top 8, let alone the top 3 in this race.
LRC Predictions: Gold: Meseret Defar ETH Silver: Tirunesh Dibaba ETH Bronze: Vivian Cheruiyot KEN 4th: Sylvia Kibet KEN
Women's 5,000m Statistics By LRC Coaching Guru John Kellogg
14:33.65 Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) PR 14:11.15 WR (2008) Gold medal in 2008 Olympic Games, gold medal in 2005 World Championships, gold medal in 2003 World Championships, bronze medal in 2004 Olympic Games
14:34.17 Meselech Melkamu (ETH) PR 14:33.83 (2007) 4th in 2005 World Championships, 6th in 2007 World Championships, 8th in 2008 Olympic Games
14:34.36 Linet Masai (KEN)+
14:36.38 Meseret Defar (ETH) PR 14:12.88 (#2 all-time) (2008) Gold medal in 2004 Olympic Games, gold medal in 2007 World Championships, silver medal in 2005 World Championships, bronze medal in 2008 Olympic Games, gold medal in 2006 World Cup
14:37.01 Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) PR 14:22.51 (#3 all-time) (2007) Silver medal in 2007 World Championships, 5th in 2008 Olympic Games, 14th in 2000 Olympic Games
14:37.77 Syvia Kibet (KEN) 4th in 2008 Olympic Games, 4th in 2007 World Championships
14:38.44 Wude Ayalew (ETH)+
14:40.00 Sentayehu Ejigu (ETH) PR 14:35.18 (2004) 10th in 2004 Olympic Games
14:41.62 Iness Chenonge (KEN) Bronze medal in 2002 Commonwealth Games, 6th in 2006 Commonwealth Games
14:42.06 Ejegayehu Dibaba (ETH) PR 14:32.74 (2004)+
14:42.06 Mariya Konovalova (RUS) PR 14:38.09 (2008) 11th in 2007 World Championships
14:50.77 Grace Momanyi (KEN)+
14:52.49 Kim Smith (NZL) PR 14:45.93 (2008) 4th in 2006 World Cup
14:55.52 Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)
14:58.11 Sara Moreira (POR)
14:59.88 Sabrina Mockenhaupt (GER) 6th in 2006 World Cup, 7th in 2002 World Cup
15:07.78 Jen Rhines (USA) PR 14:54.29 (#4 all-time USA) (2008) 7th in 2007 World Championships, 14th in 2008 Olympic Games
15:21.87 Julie Culley (USA)
15:30.47 Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR) PR 14:24.68 (#5 all-time) (2004) Silver medal in 2008 Olympic Games, 5th in 2007 World Championships, 5th in 2003 World Championships, 12th in 2004 Olympic Games
No mark in 2009 Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) PR 14:23.75 (#4 all-time) (2008) Silver medal in 2006 World Cup, 6th in 2008 Olympic Games, 9th in 2005 World Championships, 13th in 2004 Olympic Games
+ = Not on Worlds Team in 5,000m