Statisticians A Lennart Julin and Mirko Jalava look back on the best long-distance performances of the year
The women’s 10,000m season was usually thin and there were only a handful of fast races.
The first was in Stanford at the start of April, with Gelete Burka scoring a win in a world-leading31:08.16 on her debut at the distance. She also emerged as the winner of the Ethiopian National Championships and World Championships Trials, held in Hengelo in 30:49.68, which also topped the world lists at the end of the season.
In fact the six best athletes in 2015 were from this same race and the best non-Ethiopian this season was USA’s Shalane Flanagan, who finished second in Stanford in 31:09.02. Portugal’s Sara Moreirawon the Trofeo Iberico in Huelva in April in 31:12.93 and Kenya’s 2011 world champion Vivian Cheruiyot won in Brussels in July, clocking 31:13.29.
The World Championships race was a slow one, with everything still open at the beginning of the last lap. With world leader Burka pushing to the lead on the back straight, Cheruiyot passed her with 250 metres to go. The Kenyan held on to her lead to win her second world title in 31:41.31.
Burka took the silver (31:41.77) while USA took places three and four. Molly Huddle, thinking she had got the bronze, was celebrating with her hands raised at the finish line, but ended up being overtaken by team-mate Emily Infeld just moments before the finish. Source: IAAF.org