Paula Radcliffe failed in the first part of her World Championship double as she finished ninth in the 10,000m.
Radcliffe drops back in Helsinki
Tirunesh Dibaba led home an Ethiopian one-two-three as she out-kicked Berhane Adere and her sister Ejegayehu Dibaba on a blistering last lap.
Radcliffe led at the halfway stage and got back in front with four laps to go, but failed to drop her main rivals.
Her focus now turns to the marathon in eight days time, for which she will begin as gold medal favourite.
Radcliffe said: "It was tough. I lacked a bit of 10km training and it showed in the last kilometre.
"A lot of people were worried about what psychological damage I might do if I didn't get out of it what I wanted. But the main goal is the marathon.
"After what happened last year I said 'I am racing for me'. I am going to enjoy my racing and I wanted to race here.
"I felt in the last couple of weeks I was getting in 10km shape and I thought I could do a fast time, but it was just a really good race this year."
Radcliffe went to the front within two laps of the gun.
She then tried a new tactic, mixing up the pace as she intended to do in the last World 10,000m final she ran in Edmonton four years ago.
But she fell back into eighth with 4000m to go and never looked like a serious medal contender.
The 19-year-old Dibaba's gold confirms the potential she had shown all year.
Reigning champion Adere could not live with her raw pace over the last 300m and had to settle for silver.