Gudaf Tsegay Targets 10,000m World Record At The Prefontaine Classic

By Chris Chavez

April 23, 2024

On May 25th at the Prefontaine Classic, Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, the reigning 10,000m world champion, will target the 10,000m world record of 29:01.03 set by Letesenbet Gidey in June 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Tsegay owns a personal best of 29:29.73 from her victory at last year’s Ethiopian national championships. She went on to win the gold medal at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest after the Netherlands’s Sifan Hassan fell just meters from the finish line. Tsegay won in 31:27.18 to lead an Ethiopian medal sweep. Gidey was second in 31:28.16.

– Gidey broke the world record at the 2021 Ethiopian Olympic Trials, which were held in Hengelo, Netherlands. She broke Sifan Hassan’s previous record of 29:06.82, which was run just two days prior on the same track.

– Tsegay was upset by America’s Elle St. Pierre in the 3000m final at the World Indoor Championships and left Glasgow with a silver medal. She opened up her outdoor season at the Xiamen Diamond League on April 20th by nearly breaking Faith Kipyegon’s 1500m world record and running 3:50.30 to move into No. 3 on the all-time list for the event. Tsegay closed out the 2023 outdoor season by breaking the 5000m world record in 14:00.21 at the Diamond League final at the Prefontaine Classic.

What will Tsegay do at the Olympics?

Tsegay has options on what events she could focus on for the Paris Olympics. The 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m are all on the table. At the Tokyo Olympics, she only contested the 5000m and earned a bronze medal. It will all depend on how the Ethiopian Athletics Federation chooses its team.

After her run in Xiamen, Tsegay was asked whether she had decided on any particular event for the Games. She said, “Which one? I don’t know. I will see with my coach…Maybe three or maybe two.”

In Tokyo, Sifan Hassan attempted the triple and came away with gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m and a bronze medal in the 1500m. If Tsegay chose to do the same triple, here’s how that schedule would play out:

Aug. 2 – 5000m Heats at 6:10 p.m.

Aug. 5 – 5000m Final at 9:10 p.m.

Aug. 6 – 1500m Heats at 10:05 a.m.

Aug. 7 – 1500m Repechage at 12:35 p.m. (if needed)

Aug. 8 – 1500m Semifinal at 7:35 p.m.

Aug. 9 – 10,000m Final at 8:55 p.m.

Aug. 10 – 1500m Final at 8:25 p.m.

It's not impossible. She would just be racing the 1500m final on tired legs.

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.