Fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar, the second-fastest woman of all time, is the defending Olympic champion and won in Oslo in June in 14:26.90. Defar has won two Olympic gold medals as well as the 2007 World championship. She won the bronze in Daegu at 5000 meters. Yet another Ethiopian, Almaz Ayana, was second to Dibaba in Paris and is second in the world this year with a season best of 14:25.84. Ayana also won in Hengelo in June.
Other contenders may include Kenya's Viola Kibiwot – who finished second to Defar in Oslo – and Margaret Wangare. Nobody other than Kenyan or Ethiopian runners has finished in less than 15 minutes in the 5000 this year.
Defar ran a world-leading 30:08.06 in a victory at Sollentuna in June. Her best previous finish in the World Championships at 10,000 meters was fifth in 2011. The third Ethiopian in the race, Belaynesh Oljira, was fifth in London.
Kenya's Gladys Cherono is third on the 2013 world list after taking second in Ostrava in 30:29.23. Other Kenyan contenders include Emily Chebet and Sally Kaptich Chepyego.
The leading non-African in 2013 is U.S. champion Shalane Flanagan. The Beijing bronze medalist, who placed seventh in Daegu, posted the world's eighth best time, 31:04.85, in March. Japan's Hitomi Niiya, who was ninth in London last year, ran 31:06.67 in June.
Other significant winners this year include Meseret Hailu, the 2012 World Half Marathon champion, who won in Amsterdam, plus fellow Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu, who won in Frankfort. Melkamu owns a World Championship silver medal, from 2009, and finished fifth in 2011. The other Ethiopians may also contend, including Merima Mohamed, who finished second in Paris this year in 2:23:14, and Feysa Tadese, who's second in the world this year at 2:21:06 and took the runner-up spot at last year's World Half Marathon Championships.
The world leader, Priscah Jeptoo, isn't on Kenya's World Championship team. Other Kenyans who’ll run in Moscow, in addition to Kiplagat, are led by Margaret Akai, who won a race in Daegu earlier this year in 2:23:28, plus Lucy Kubuu, Agnes Barsosio and Eunice Kirwa.