Analyzing The Ethiopian 10,000 Trials: Last Night, Would Hagos G Have Beaten Mo Farah In His Prime?

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By Robert Johnson
July 18, 2019

The Ethiopian 10,000-meter trials for this year’s World Championships were held yesterday in Hengelo and the results are in. Four quick takeaways.

1. For the most part, there were no shocking results.

Of the five men entered in the race who had run 13:02 or faster this year for 5,000, all five of them ran 27:02 or faster and the three top spots came from these men. The top three spots went to the men with the three fastest 5,000 pbs in Hagos Gebrhiwet (12:45), Selemon Barega (12:43), and Yomif Kejelcha (12:46).

Below, we give you the results, along with the credentials of all the men who finished the race.

Gebrhiwet celebrates his 2013 season-opening win in Doha

Men’s Results (All Ethiopian unless noted)
1. Hagos Gebrhiwet  26:48.95
– 25 – 12:45/27:01 – 3-time global 5000 medallist. Ran 27:01 in poor conditions in Stockholm.
2.  Selemon Barega 26:49.46 – 19 – 12:43/28:23 – Won Ethiopian champs in 28:23 at altitude earlier this year. 
3. Yomif Kejelcha 26:49.99 – 21 – 12:46 – 10,000 debut (59:17 half marathon)
4. Andamlak Belihu 26:53.15 – 20 – 27:48 road/59:18 – Winner of New Delhi Half last year (59:18).
5. Jemal Yimer Mekonnen 26:54.39 – 22 – 26:56/58:33 – 5th at 2017 Worlds. Multi-time winner of Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.
6. Abadi Hadis
 26:56.46 – 21 – 7:39/12:56/28:29/58:44 – Has run 58:44 twice. 5th in Rome and Lausanne 5000s this year.
7. Berehanu Tsegu 27:00.73 – 19 –  59:42 – Has twice broken 60 flat this year. 27:36 road 10k in 2018. Training partners with Yimer.
8. Solomon Berihu 27:02.26 – 19 – 13:02 – 13:02 this year in Hengelo but only 13th in Lausanne. 10,000 debut.
9. Julien Wanders 27:17.29 – Switzerland – 23 – 13:13/27:44/59:13 – All pbs from 2019. Just missed Worlds standard (27:40) in Stockholm.
10. Tamirat Tola 27:18.10 – 27 – 26:57/59:37/2:04:06 – 10,000 Olympic bronze, 2017 WC silver in marathon. 2:06:57 in London this year.
11. Abdallah Mande 27:22.89 – Uganda – 24 – 13:30/27:46.
12. Mogos Tuemay 27:23.49 – 22 – 13:15/27:34 – 4th in Stockholm 10,000 this year. 18th at World XC.
13. Vincent Kibet 27:24.09 – Kenya – 18 – 13:30
14. Belay Tilahun Bezabeh 27:31.76 – 24 – 27:11 /61:51 – Only 16th in 10,000 at nationals in May (28:46). Won NYC Half in March as a non-invited athlete.
15. Guye Adola 27:46.65 – 28 – 27:09/59:06/2:03:46 – Trying to find form of 2017, when he ran 2:03 and almost upset Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin. Ran 60:17 in March, then 61:44 in April.
16. Milkesa Mengesha 27:51.89 – 19 – 27:47 road – Was 4th in Ethiopian champs earlier this year (28:49). 13:25 pb. World junior XC champ in March.
17. Stephen Kissa 27:58.17 – Uganda – 23 – 13:10/27:47 – Ran 27:13 on roads in March.
18. Selemun Kahsay 27:58.17 – ?? – 28:00 road 10k.
19. Haftu Teklu 28:13.71 – 19 – 13:15/27:30 – Both PRs were set this year.
20. Leta Abebe Desis (Abebe Desasa?) 28:23.01 – ?? –3:43 1500 in 2015? 2017 world youth silver medallist?
21. Bayelign Teshager 28:31.03– 19 – 60:31 half.
22. Mulat Bazezew – 20 – 28:57 – 5th at Ethiopian champs this year (28:57).

The women’s race was won by Letesenbet Gidey, not a surprise at all considering she had the best 5,000 pb of anyone in the field (14:23.14) and just ran 8:20 at the Pre Classic. The second and third Ethiopian spots went to the two women who battled it out for the win and national record at the RAK Half this year, one of whom also has a 14:23 pb.

Here are the women’s results, with credentials.

Women’s Results
1 30:37.89 Letesenbet Gidey ETH 21 – Biggest stud in race. The 2019 World XC bronze medallist ran 14:23 last year for 5,000 and 8:20 for 3,000 at Pre this year (3rd).
2 30:40.85 Netsanet Gudeta ETH 28 – 2018 World Half champ (2015 World XC bronze). Ran 65:45 for 2nd at RAK Half this year.
3 30:45.14 Senbere Teferi ETH – 24 – Set Ethiopian half marathon record earlier this year at RAK (65:45). Ran 14:23 last year but only 8:35 at Pre.
4 30:46.24 Zeineba Yimer ETH – 21 – Huge track pb (32:22 at altitude before this) for the woman who was third at RAK Half (65:46) and 2nd Lisbon this year (68:07)
5 30:51.86 Dera Dida ETH – 22 – World XC silver medallist has 14:42 5000 pb. Also 2:21:45 marathon pb.
6 30:53.11 Tsehay Gemechu ETH – 21 – Winner of New Delhi Half in 2018 (66:50). Ran 14:59 last month. Ran 30:15 road 10k in Valencia in January.
7 30:53.32 Gete Alemayehu ETH – 20 – 31:45 last year. 31:12 on roads. Also 68:23 pb.
8 30:53.53 NJR Girmawit Gebrzihair ETH – 17 – 2018 world junior bronze medallist at 5000 (15:34) was 5th at world junior XC this year.
9. 30:57.54 Tsige Gebreselama ETH – 18 – 2018 world junior bronze medallist in 3000 (8:59). Won bronze at world junior XC.
10. 31:03.32 Degitu Azimeraw ETH – 21 – 4th at RAK Half this year in 66:07.
11. 31:38.70 Stella Chesang UGA – 22 – Set Ugandan record in 5,000 earlier this year (15:00.72). 21st at World XC.

2) Both races featured big negative splits.

The men went 13:31-13:17 whereas the women went 15:30-15:07. You can read the IAAF recap of the races and watch a replay of the men’s race here.

3) Hagos Gebrhiwet’s close was pretty good.

I went back and timed the final 1600 of the men’s race via Jeroen Deen‘s Facebook stream.

Here is what I came up with:

Final 1600 of 4:05.9
Final 800 of 1:57.1
Final 4oo of 54.6
(Leader-to-leader, I had the splits at 64.3, 64.6, 62.5, 54.6. Gebrhiwet didn’t get the lead until after the last lap started. I’d estimate his final 800 was 1:56.8, and last lap was 54.4)

Is that any good?

Yes.

At the 10,000 at the 2017 Worlds, Mo Farah closed a 26:49.51 race in 55.63 — at least a full second slower than what Gebrhiwet closed in yesterday — and won gold. The final 1600 in 2017 was also 4:05 and the final 800 was 1:57.55 (61.92-55.63, leader to leader) versus 1:57.1 yesterday (leader-to-leader). The race also featured a very similar first half split (13:33 vs 13:31 here). The difference is the 2017 Worlds had some crazy laps in the middle of the race (61 1st and 13th laps, for example).

What about the weather?

The weather in the two races was nearly identical.

The men’s 10,000 in London was run at 9:20 p.m. Dark Sky reports that the temperature at 10 p.m. in London that day was 63 (at 8 p.m., it was 67), the wind was 2 mph and the dew point was just 56.

In Hengelo yesterday, the race was run at 8:50 p.m. local. Dark Sky reports that the temperature at 10 p.m. in Hengelo was 63 (at 8 p.m., it was 70), the wind was 3 mph and the dew point was 55.

MB: Would Hagos G have beaten Mo Farah in his prime last night? Closed 26:48 race in 54.4, Farah closed 26:49 race in 55.6

4) The IAAF allowed for lights on the rail set at 27:00 pace to be used as a pacemaker.

The IAAF allowed lights on the rail to serve as a pacemaker at the Night of the 10,000m PBs in the UK on July 6 and in Hengelo yesterday. You can see what it looks like here:

Talk about the 10,000 on our fan forum/messageboard.

*MB: Official 2019 Ethiopian 10,000 Trials Discussion Thread
*MB: Shouldn’t all of the 10k times recorded from Hengelo be disallowed due to illegal pacing? A computer paced the race!!! (video).
*
MB: Would Hagos G have beaten Mo Farah in his prime last night? Closed 26:48 race in 54.4, Farah closed 26:49 race in 55.6


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