Steven Ovett wrote:
Ovett made a mockery of most of his races in his prime (77-80) and I don't think it's a given that Rupp would beat him over 5k without pacers. If Rupp had to push, Ovett would just sit and sit and sit and give him a cursory wave as he trotted past with 80m to go. Ovett's finishing speed was frightening and he never really tested himself over 5000m in his prime so I think it's widely accepted he could have run a lot faster. He ran as fast as he needed to. One of thee most talented middle distance runners we've ever seen. Over 10000m though Rupp would be supreme.
52.5 for the last 400, roughly 25.7-25.8 for the last 200, and that's finishing in a solid 13:22. I don't think Ovett would have had the wheels to go with that at the end of a 5k of that nature. Maybe if he had spent his career focusing on the 5k he could have, but not in his normal 800/1500 shape.
Also, Rupp has run 13:01 indoors and consistently runs under 13:05 in competitive races. I don't think Ovett has him beat in the 5k.
It would be an interesting race. I imagine Rupp and Pre would alternate pacing duties, clipping 64s (~Pre's 5k pace, ~Rupp's 10k pace) for the first 3-4k. If Rupp took it on with 700+ meters to go, he'd win; if he waited for 400m to go, it'd be a nail biter but I still think Ovett would settle for 2nd.
3k Rupp vs. Ovett is clearly the sexiest match-up.