World top hundred list women all-time marathon. 42 Ethiopians, 30 Kenyans, 8 Japanese, 6 Americans (incl. Benoit/1985, before bouncy shoes, 2:21:21), 3 Russians, 3 Bahrainis (2 born in Eth., 1 born in Kenya), 2 Chinese, 2 Romanians, 1 Namibian, 1 Brit (Radcliffe/2nd all time, 2:15:25, before bouncy shoes).
Ethiopia has the most depth. Actually when I compare Ethiopian female runners with Kenyan female runners of course both impress me a lot but I give the edge in general to Ethiopian female runners with their physical form, their technique when they run and their general athleticism. One of the things I’ve noticed about Ethiopia and I’ve been there, also back in 2009, is that they pay a lot of attention to technique and other factors in athletics and this was possibly because of Ethiopian coaches many decades ago trained in the USSR and in East Germany for their doctorates in sport.
I’ve noticed that many Kenyan female runners run with what appears to be “strange form” (arm carriage especially, sometimes appearing almost to be putting their arms in a position as if they were carrying a baby) and I’m thinking that possibly this type of form which is atypical might not help them in overall running economy but if I’m wrong on this, then I stand corrected.
When I was in Assela, , Ethiopia, back in 2009, the coaches there would have observed any idiosyncrasies in form with regard to their athletes and attempted very quickly to stamp them out especially the major idiosyncrasies. In addition, the Ethiopians do way more stretching, bounding and other types of physical exercise before and after running. These deviations in form, in my opinion, are usually confined to female athletes in Kenya, not to male athletes.
These are just my observations and if people think these observations are erroneous, so be it. No problem.