Faith Kipyegon Runs 14:05.20 to Break 5,000m World Record in Paris

Just one week after her remarkable 3:49.11 world record at 1500 meters in Florence, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon delivered another dazzling performance by running 14:05.20 at the Meeting de Paris to break the world record at 5,000 meters in her first attempt at the distance since 2015. She is the first woman to hold both records simultaneously since Italy’s Paola Pigni in 1969.

Fittingly, Kipyegon had to beat Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, the previous world record holder at 14:06.62, in order to do it, and Gidey did not go down without a fight. With the green pacing lights set to 14:10.50, Gidey and Kipyegon had dropped the rest of a talented field by 3k (8:31.9) but after hitting 4k in 11:21.7 it appeared the world record would be just out of reach. 

Embed from Getty Images

Gidey, despite her best efforts, had been unable to shake Kipyegon, and Kipyegon took the lead early in the penultimate lap but was not able to create a gap either. Kipyegon picked it up slightly at the bell, but even with 200 meters to go, Gidey was still in it and the world record appeared unlikely.

At that point, however, Kipyegon deployed the kick that has powered her to four global titles, quickly dropping Gidey and pulling away from the pacing lights. She couldn’t, could she?

Yes! With a last lap of 60.6 and a final 200 of 28.1, Kipyegon finished off a 2:42 final kilometer to win it in 14:05.20. Just as in Florence a week earlier, Kipyegon found herself in a state of shock upon crossing the finish line.

Article continues below player.

Embed from Getty Images

“When I saw that it was a world record, I was sooo surprised,” Kipyegon told meet organizers. “It was all about giving my best. I just wanted to improve on my PB, the world record was not my plan. I just ran after Gidey, she is an amazing lady. It is amazing.”

Gidey also ran tremendously well, clocking 14:07.94, the #3 time in history, to become the first woman to break 14:10 twice. She just was not good enough to defeat Kipyegon, who is in the midst of one of the hottest stretches in the history of women’s distance running.

Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye was 3rd in 14:13.31, the #8 time in history, while six women broke 14:30 in all – a record for a single race. American Alicia Monson was 8th in 14:34.88, three seconds off her personal best.

Embed from Getty Images


1 17 KEN
2 18 ETH
3 16 ETH
4 5 KEN
5 11 ETH
6 12 KEN
7 4 ETH
8 3 USA
9 1 KEN
10 2 KEN
11 8 GBR
12 10 USA
13 9 USA
Distance Nat Name Time
1000 SWE LAHTI Sarah 2:52.31
2000 KEN CHEPKOECH Beatrice 5:42.04
3000 KEN CHEPKOECH Beatrice 8:31.91
4000 ETH GIDEY Letesenbet 11:21.93


Lap Time
1 1:10.25
2 1:08.90
3 1:07.81
4 1:08.27
5 1:07.82
6 1:08.00
7 1:07.67
8 1:07.84
9 1:07.90
10 1:08.14
11 1:08.75
12 1:00.6

Quick Take: Kipyegon had a near-perfect setup to break the WR and took advantage

Unlike the men’s 2-mile and steeplechase in Paris, this race was not hyped as a world record attempt. But considering how both women like to run (Gidey likes to negative-split, Kipyegon has a huge kick), the pacing lights were set at a quick enough tempo that the WR was an outside possibility if one of them was still with them at the bell.

Turns out, both of them were, and even though Kipyegon looked to be hurting with a lap to go, she was still able to access her kick and wound up breaking the WR by more than a second in the end.

It wound up as the perfect recipe for Kipyegon to break the WR: great conditions, pacing lights, and the current WR holder acting as a de facto rabbit through 4200. That put her in great position, and from there Kipyegon used a sensational close to get the record. 60.6 and 28.1 is sick in any 5k, let alone a world record race.

Quick Take: Kipyegon breaking the world record in her first 5k since 2015 is amazing

Kipyegon surprised herself by getting the world record, but she owes a lot to Gidey as Kipyegon could just focus on Gidey until the final 800. The fact Kipyegon hadn’t run a 5000 since 2015 is almost unbelievable. That perhaps explained her look of joyous disbelief as she saw the clock right before the finish line.

Kipyegon has always had good endurance — she won the junior race at World XC in both 2011 and 2013, the former occasion while running barefoot — but has barely run the 5000 as a pro. Now she’s the first woman in more than 50 years to hold both records simultaneously. If you’re curious about the last man to do it, Morocco’s Said Aouita held both until 1992.

Quick Take: We’d love to see Kipyegon try the 1500/5000 double at Worlds

No woman has ever won the 1500/5000 double at either the World Championships or Olympics (though two women won the 1500/3000 double at Worlds in the 1980s before the 3000 was scrapped from the program). Kipyegon has nothing left to prove in the 1500 so it would be awesome to see her tackle the double in Budapest this summer. The 1500 is first, with the final on day 4, followed by the 5000 (prelims on day 5, final on day 8).

In an ideal world, Sifan Hassan would also run both and running fans would get to see two of the greatest runners in history square off twice at the same Worlds. But Hassan has already said she is running the 10,000 at Worlds and likely won’t be tripling this time.

So how about this: Hassan runs the 10,000 (final on day 1), Kipyegon runs the 1500, and they both run the 5000 with the winner potentially clinching double gold?

Quick Take: This was a reminder of how tough it will be for an American to medal in the women’s 5000

American Alicia Monson has had a terrific 2023 season with American records in the 3000 (8:25) and 10,000 (30:03) and some wondered whether she might be able to add the 5000 tonight by breaking the mark of 14:23.92 set by Shelby Houlihan in 2020. Monson went out aggressively, hitting 1600 in 4:37.4 (record pace is 4:36.45), but she would fall off the pace and finish 8th in 14:34.88. That’s a decent run, but it was 29 seconds off Kipyegon’s WR and more than 10 seconds behind Lemlem Hailu in 6th.

An American woman has never medalled in the 5000 at Worlds or the Olympics, and while Monson almost won a Diamond League last year against some of the world’s best, tonight was a reminder of just how difficult the path to a medal will be as there is a ton of talent in Kenya and Ethiopia right now. Consider that Monson finished behind three Kenyans and four Ethiopians tonight and this race did not include any of the medallists from Worlds last year (Gudaf TsegayBeatrice ChebetDawit Seyaum) or Sifan Hassan.

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards