I have to agree with Renato. The 5k and 10k times are weak. Let's not get caught up in numbers, because let's face it, running 3.1 miles at 4:03 pace is daunting. Instead, examine the strength of the current world records based upon whether or not the individual could have had a better race. You are right about El Guerrouj's 3:26, that I think will be around for a while now that he is done with the 1500. However, I think that the 5/10 are both weak. Kenenisa Bekele ran the bulk of one of those all by himself, and a significant portion of the other. I can't remember which was which. Assuming he had a rival in the way Geb had Komen when he ran 12:41, he could've pushed the pedal significantly. Tergat's 2:04:55 seems fairly strong in that regard, and the weather/course was also perfect that day.
Racer1 wrote:Even if people can improve these records, that does not mean they are "weak." Bekele, Shaheen, El Guerrouj, etc. are suffering when they get these. World records are once or twice in a lifetime performances (or, rarely, as in Gebrselassie's case, 17 times in a lifetime). As an example, I have watched El Guerrouj declare a "world record attempt" almost every time he has ever raced a 1500m or a mile in the last 4-5 years. There are many 3:28's, 3:29's, and great wins and performances.
But 3:26.00? He ran that in 1998, and he never again beat it. So if El Guerrouj's performance is "weak" what is strong?
It's ironic how the 5k/10k, perhaps the most raced of distances, remain the weakest.