|Date||30 July – 2 August 2021|
|Location||Japan National Stadium, Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo|
|Participants||38 from 21 countries|
The favorites were Kenyan Hellen Obiri and Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan. Hassan was attempting a distance triple by entering the 1,500 and the 5 and 10Ks. On the morning of the 5,000 final she had already run a heat of the 1,500, and had fallen at the start of the final lap, only to get up, catch the field, and then outkick them to win the heat. Behind Obiri and Hassan, Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay was also considered a medal contender.
The 5K final took place in the evening in stifling humidity, and a 24° C. (75° F.) dew point, and despite a light rain, nobody wanted to take the pace out quickly. Japan’s Ririka Hironaka led through 1,000 metres and then Ethiopian Ejgayehu Taye took the field through to 4K, as 11 runners remained in the lead pack.
At that point, Obiri knew she had to move to blunt Hassan’s kick. At the bell only five runners were left in medal contention, led by Obiri, but Hassan sprinted by her on the backstretch to take the lead, and increased her lead to 12 metres as she crossed the line for the gold medal. Obiri held on for silver as Tsegay took bronze.
Hassan was far from finished, as she would run the 1,500 final in four days, earning a bronze medal. She would come back the day after that to win the 10,000, finishing the Tokyo Olympics with a remarkable two golds and one bronze in the three distance events.
|4||–||Agnes Jebet Tirop||KEN|
|12||–||Lilian Kasait Rengeruk||KEN|
|14||–||Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal||NOR|
|6 h2 r1/2||–||Nozomi Tanaka||JPN|
|7 h2 r1/2||–||Rachel Schneider||USA|
|8 h2 r1/2||–||Rahel Daniel||ERI|
|9 h2 r1/2||–||Amy-Eloise Markovc||GBR|
|10 h2 r1/2||–||Eilish McColgan||GBR|
|11 h1 r1/2||–||Laura Galván||MEX|
|11 h2 r1/2||–||Jenny Blundell||AUS|
|12 h1 r1/2||–||Kaede Hagitani||JPN|
|12 h2 r1/2||–||Esther Chebet||UGA|
|13 h1 r1/2||–||Jess Judd||GBR|
|13 h2 r1/2||–||Dominique Scott||RSA|
|14 h1 r1/2||–||Camille Buscomb||NZL|
|14 h2 r1/2||–||Kate Van Buskirk||CAN|
|15 h1 r1/2||–||Prisca Chesang||UGA|
|15 h2 r1/2||–||Isobel Batt-Doyle||AUS|
|16 h1 r1/2||–||Lucia Rodríguez||ESP|
|16 h2 r1/2||–||Diane van Es||NED|
|17 h1 r1/2||–||Julie-Anne Staehli||CAN|
|17 h2 r1/2||–||Marthe Yankurije||RWA|
|18 h1 r1/2||–||Rose Davies||AUS|
|19 h1 r1/2||–||Sarah Chelangat||UGA|
|AC h2 r1/2||–||Klara Lukan||SLO|
|AC h2 r1/2||–||Francine Niyonsaba||BDI|