Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:
|World record||Wang Junxia (CHN)||29:31.78||Beijing, China||8 September 1993|
|Olympic record||Derartu Tulu (ETH)||30:17.49||Sydney, Australia||30 September 2000|
The following new Olympic record was set during this competition.
|15 August||Final||Tirunesh Dibaba||Ethiopia||29:54.66||OR|
Both Tirunesh Dibaba and Elvan Abeylegesse completed the race in a time under the old Olympic record, recording the second and third fastest ever women's 10,000 metre times, making Dibaba the new Olympic record holder.
Read more about this topic: Athletics At The 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 10,000 Metres
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