Late last night was the women’s qualifying round for the 5,000m. The only thing that was similar between the men’s and women’s 5,000m qualifying heats was the air temperature – while we don’t know the exact degree, we know it was higher than ideal for long distance racing.
The top women runners apparently did not seem nearly as phased about the heat as the men were on Tuesday night. When if the automatic berths were determined with a lap to go, the runners would still go almost all-out to the finish line, almost as if they plan to psychologically beat their competition. But the combination of the heat and the faster pace did break some athletes. One of those was our own Abbey D’Agostino.
Running in the second qualifying heat, D’Agostino was in the top 10 through the first 3,000m of the race. At that time, her pace was en route to a 15:36 and on track to be one of the five fastest non-auto berths.
But as the race went on, the pace picked up, and with 5 laps to go, D’Ags could not maintain contact with the lead group. She kept fighting to finish, even as she witnessed two other runners drop out of the race right in front of her. She ended up as the final finisher in her heat in a time of 16:16.47. Her heat’s winning time was 15:09.40 (about 6 seconds off D’Ags’ all time personal best) by Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana. The final qualifying time was 15:43.57. Nicole Tully was the only Team USA athlete to make the 5,000m final, as she advanced on time from the first heat in 15:41.03.
After the race, D’Ags was rather upbeat about the situation and admitted that she was feeling the”wobbles” near the end but committed to finishing the race. She was offered medical assistance after the race, but she just needed some air and get rehydrated. “No matter what, you got to hang on and give every ounce you have on the day. It was a good lesson in doing that.” she told Letsrun.com.
Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images AsiaPac