Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Maroussi
Date Started: August 27, 2004
Date Finished: August 27, 2004
Format: Final only.
At the last two World Championships, Ethiopia had won five of the six medals. Their team was so talented that the 2003 World Champion, Berhane Adere, was not chosen for Athina. The only runner they feared was Britain's Paula Radcliffe, who in both 2002 and 2003 had set world marathon bests, bringing the record in 2003 to a Beamon-like 2-15:25. Radcliffe had run the marathon in Athina, but dropped out in that race, held five days earlier. Still hurting, she was not a factor in the 10K, although she led the early kilometres. She lost contact on the 15th lap and stopped on the 19th. That left the lead to the Ethiopian team of Ejegayehu Dibaba, 1992 and 2000 champion Derartu Tulu, and Werknesh Kidane, China's Xing Huina, and Kenya's Lornah Kiplagat. Xing was somewhat unheralded but had set a world junior record of 30:31.55 at the 2003 Worlds. This group stayed together until the last lap, when Dibaba took off, chased by Xing. Off the last turn, Xing pulled ahead for the gold medal, but it was Dibaba who celebrated. Dibaba did not realize that Xing was on the same lap, thinking she had been lapped. She raised her hands joyfully as she crossed the line, but it would only be for the silver medal.
|12||Kathy Butler||30||Great Britain||GBR||31:41.13|
|19||Elva Dryer||32||United States||USA||32:18.16|
|21||Kate O'Neill||24||United States||USA||32:24.04|
|AC||Souad Aït Salem||25||Algeria||ALG||DNF|
|AC||Paula Radcliffe||30||Great Britain||GBR||DNF|