Um the better comparison would be who held the 5000 meter world record seven records ago?
After watching Alan Webb's AR mile in front of a podunk high school dual meet - sized crowd, and thinking that if he had been just a little faster, he'd have the WR, I would choose... the gold medal.
I really admire, him, though. He's awesome!
Olympic gold. WR's come and go, Olympic gold lasts forever.
There is no Gold Medal for â€œfastest indoor 1.5 mile while dressed as a hot-dog with mustard and mayo, but no relish nor catsup.â€ So Iâ€™ll have to say WR.
I'd be surprised if this isn't already a thread here but I was listening to a Citius Mag podcast where this came up and wanted to get LR input!
Considering that half the World Records are set to be wiped in 3 months (perhaps more), an Olympic gold medal is a far better investment.
Mind you, Bannister's first sub-4 record trumps every championship medals.
But, that was a one off.
Only in the anglophone world. Most of the rest of the world do not even know how far a mile is and definitely having an Olympic medal at 1500m would be more recognized.
Who won the 5000m gold medal at 1996 Olympics (no googling here)? Who holds the 5000m WR?
WR is easily the greater accomplishment, that said a gold medal lasts forever where as a record usually doesn't. It's close for me but I think i would take the record.
Same can be said about a WR- lasts forever- He is forever some who was a WR holder, as he is forever someone who was an Olympic champion.
Just because an Olympic Champion gets a physical thing with his win doesn't make it forever. Every 4 years there is a NEW Olympic Champion, as there is a new WR holder (which also gets something physical when he wins- a check, a medal or God knows what)
So obviously a WR in most cases would be way better than an Olympic Champion. I wouldn't say that Centro's medal worth anything unless it is a badge of pure luck. Farah's medals...ehhh, way more than Centro's, but still not close to Bekele's WRs. Kimeto's WR vs Kipchoge wins- now here is an example of a WR that equals nothing compared to Kipchoge's dominance, because unlike the track, in the marathon you face an unforgiving field and to win you must run fast like Kipchoge does.