Ethiopia

Athletics in Ethiopia
Ethiopia has enjoyed a rich tradition of producing some of the world's fastest distance runners over past decades. The country has had a healthy rivalry with East African neighbours Kenya and this has spurred each nation on to achieve quicker times on both and track and road.

Abebe Bikila was the star of marathon running during the 1960s, winning gold at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and setting a World Record at the latter Games (2:12:11).


Magical Moment

When Kenenisa Bekele broke his own 10,000m World Record in Brussels in August 2005 at the Golden League meeting, it was one of the performances that will stick in the memories of all those present for many years. His 26:17.53 winning time has not been approached by anyone ever since. In fact the closest any runner has come since was Micah Kogo's 26:35.63 - a full 18 seconds adrift of Kenenisa's mark.


Current Stars
Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele can rightly claim to be the dominant forces in global distance running over the last decade - particularly on the track, where they hold the all-time fastest times over both 5000m and 10,000m. Meseret Defar is in her racing prime and has been World and Olympic 5000m Champion as well as being in the exclusive sub-30-minute club for the 10,000m having run 29:59.20. Tsegay Kebede epitomises consistency in the marathon and rarely runs a poor race, always being around the 2:05 - 2:06 mark. Tirunesh Dibaba won double gold in Beijing over 5000m/10,000m and is one of the world's greatest distance runners in history, holding the current 5000m World Record at a staggering 14:11.15. She took Olympic gold over 10,000m at the 2012 Olympics.


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Ethiopia - Haile GebrselassieEthiopia - Meseret DefarEthiopia - Tsegay KebedeEthiopia - Kenenisa Bekele