Legacy of Abebe Bikila lives on down the road to Athens

As the Olympic games return to their original roots and get underway in Athens this summer, the legendaries who over the years have lit up and made the events ever memorable come to the picture.
Down the road in the glorious history of Olympic, the bare footed African, the first ever Olympic gold medallist from the continent, who accomplished something that no runner had ever done before, is immortalized and lives forever in minds and souls of all Olympic lovers around the World. The legendary Abebe Bikila who won two gold medals in two consecutive Olympic Marathons, running bare-foot in the City of Rome in 1960 and partaking in Tokyo Olympic while recuperating from an appendicitis operation in 1964, remains a Hero, inspiring his fellow Country men and women who had repeated his legacy in Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. As the 28th Olympiad commences, Ethiopians athletes remain resolute to write history once again in Athens and show the World their unbeatable spirit nurtured by the glorious legacy of Abebe Bikila.

With such a high spirit, the Ethiopian Athletics Squad had headed to Athens in full-force. The Squad consists of 27 members and with the exception of Futuma Roba, the Sydney Women’s Marathon winner who failed to qualify, all the other famous runners are in Athens to fly high our National Colours: Green, Yellow and Red, and bring joy and festivity to millions, back home and abroad.

The reigning Sydney Olympic Marathon Champion Gezahagne Abera, Barcelona gold medalist, Derartu Tulu, the all time hero declared by the World press as the best long distance runner ever inhabited our planet, Haile Gebresellassie and the rising young star Kenenisa Bekele are all well prepared and ready to uphold the legacy of the unforgettable hero, Abebe Bikila, more than forty years after his first debut in the International Athletics Arena.

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Tokyo wishes all the best to all our Athletes.

Embassy of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia
August 11, 2004, Tokyo

Ethiopian Athletics Team for Athens Olympic 2004

Ethiopia has a long tradition of an excellent and winning athletics program that has produced among the finest and most remarkable middle and long distance runners the world has ever seen. Ethiopia got 8 medals (4 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medals) in Sydney Olympic. The following are some of the finest athletes who represent Ethiopia in different disciplines with their selected achievements in major events and race schedule in Athens Olympic 2004.

1. Marathon

Men (Race Schedule – August 29th, 24:00 Jap Time)


Gezahegne Abera

Date of Birth: April 23rd 1978
Personal Best:
Marathon – 2:07:54 (1999, Fukuoka, Japan)
Selected Achievements:
* Sydney Olympic 2000 – Gold Medalist
* World Championship 2001 – Gold Medalist
* Winner of Flora London Marathon 2003
* Winner of Fukuoka Marathon 1999, 2001 & 2003

Women (Race Schedule – August 22nd , 24:00 Jap Time)


Elfineshi Alemu

Date of Birth: June 10th, 1975
Personal Best:
10km: 33:41 (1999)
21km: 1:09:47 (2000, Malmo, Denmark)
Marathon: 2:24:29 (2001, London Marathon)
Selected Achievements:
* 1st, Tokyo Women’s Marathon, Tokyo 2003
* 1st, Nagano Marathon, Japan 2000
* 2nd, Boston Marathon, Boston 2004

2. 10,000 meter

Men (Race Schedule – August 21, 04:05 a.m. Jap Time)


Haile Gebreselassie

Date of Birth: April 18th, 1973
Personal Best:
Marathon: 2:06:35 (2002, London England)
Half Marathon: 1:00:03 (2001, Bristol)
10,000m: 26:22’75 (2004, Hague, Netherlands)
5,000m: 12:39’36 (1998, Helsinki, Finland)
Selected Achievements:
* Gold Medalist in Atlanta and Sydney Olympic in 10,000m.
* Four times of World Champion in 10,000m
* Broke 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m records 18 times.
* Named “Athlete of the year 1998” by IAAF
* Unbeaten at 10,000m from 1993-2002
* Unbeaten at 5,000m from 1996-2002
* 5,000m (indoor) and 10km Road Race Record holder.


Kenenisa Bekele

Date of Birth: June 20th, 1982
Personal Best:
10,000m: 26:20’31 (2004 Hague, Netherlands) World Record
5,000m: 12:37’35 (2004, Ostrava, Czech Rep.) World Record
3,000m: 7:30’67 (2002, Brussels, Belgium), World Record
Selected Achievements:
* 2003, World Champion in 10,000m
* 2002, 2003 and 2004, World Cross Country Champion in both 4km & 12km.
* 10,000m 5,000m and 3,000m (junior) record holder
* Currently world No.1 men athlete in the IAAF World Ranking.


Sileshi Sihin

Date of Birth: 1983
Personal Best:
5,000m: 12:47’04
10,000m: 24:54
Selected Achievements:
* 3rd, World Champion of 10,000m, Paris, France, 2004
* 1st, 10,000m, Hague, Netherlands
* 3rd, IAAF World Cross Country, both 4km & 12km, Brussels, Belgium, 2004


Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam

Date of Birth: 1984
Personal Best:

3,000m: 7:55’40 (2002, London, England)
5,000m: 12:55’59 (2004, Rome, Italy)
10,000m 26:55’73 (2004, Ostrava, Czech Rep.)
Selected Achievements:
* 2nd, IAAF World Cross Country, 4km & 12km, Brussels, Belgium, 2004.
* 1st, Cross International, Valadola, Spain, 2004
* 1st, Cross International, Madrid Spain, 2004

Women (Race Schedule – August 28, 03:35 a.m. Jap Time)


Derartu Tulu

Date of Birth: March 21st, 1972
Personal Best:
Marathon: 2:23:57 (2001, London, England)
21km: 1:07:03 (2001, Lisbon, Portugal)
10,000m: 30:17’49 (2000, Sydney, Australia)
5,000m: 14:44’22 (2003, Brussels, Belgium)
3,000m: 8:46’32 (2000, Oregon, USA)
Selected Achievements:
* 10,000m Gold Medalist in Sydney & Barcelona Olympic in 2000 and 1992 respectively.
* IAAF World Cross Country Champion, 1995 & 1997
* Gold Medalist in World Championship, 10,000m, Edmonton, 2001
* Winner of London and Tokyo Int’l Women’s Marathon in 2001
* 10,000m Olympic Record Holder
* 10,000m & 21km National Record Holder


Berhane Adere

Date of Birth: July 21st, 1973
Personal Best:
3,000m (indoor): 8:29’15
5,000m (indoor): 14:47’35
10,000m: 30:04
Selected Achievements:
* 2003, World Champion, 10,000m, Paris, France
* 2003, World Indoor Champion in 3,000m
* World Indoor 5,000m record holder


Werknesh Kidane

Date of Birth: November 21st, 1981
Personal Best:
3,000m: 8:39’51 (2003, St. Nenis, France)
5,000m: 14:33’04 (2003, Oslo, Norway)
10,000m: 30:07’15 (2003, Paris, France)
Selected Achievements:
* 2nd, IAAF World Outdoor Champion, 10,000m, Paris, France, 2003
* 1st, IAAF World Cross Country Championship, 8km, 2003
* 2nd, IAAF World Cross Country Championship, 4km, 2003
* 1st, World Junior Cross Country Championship, 1999

3. 5,000m

Men (Race Schedule – Round 1: August 26th, 01:55 a.m. / Final: August 29th, 03:05 Jap Time)

Kenenisa Bekele *Please see the above.
Sileshi Sihin *Please see the above.
Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam *Please see the above.


Dejene Berhanu

Date of Birth: 1980
Personal Best:
5,000m: 12:54’15 (2004, Rome, Italy)
10,000m: 27:14’61 (2003, Brussels, Belgium)
Selective Achievements:
* 1st, Carlsbad 5km, CA, USA, 2004)
* 1st, San Sebastian Athletics Meeting, Spain, 2003
* 2nd, Norwich Union Grand Prix, Birmingham, England, 2004

Women (Race Schedule – Round 1, August 21st , 05:15 a.m. / Final, August 24th, 04:00 a.m. Jap Time)


Tirunesh Dibaba

Date of Birth: June 1, 1984
Personal Best:
3,000m: 8:33’56 (2004, Birmingham, England) (Indoor World Junior Record)
5,000m: 14:30’88 (2004, Oslo, Norway) World Junior Record
Selected Achievements:
* Gold, IAAF World Outdoor Championships, 5,000m, Paris, France, 2003
* Gold, IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Junior 6km, 2003
* Silver, IAAF World Cross Country Championships, 4km, Brussels, Belgium


Ejigayebu Dibaba

Date of Birth: 1983
Personal Best:
10,000m: 31:01’07 (2003, Paris, France)
5,000m: 14:32’74 (2004, Oslo, Norway)
Selected Achievements:
* Silver, IAAF World Cross Country Championships, 8km, Brussels, Belgium, 2004
* Gold, Afro-Asian Games, 10,000m, India, 2003
* Gold, Rome Golden Gala, 5,000m, Rome, Italy, 2004


Sintayehu Ejigu

Date of Birth: 1985
Personal Best:
3,000m: 8:46’51 (2003, St. Denis, France)
5,000m: 14:35’18 (2004, Oslo, Norway)
Selected Achievements:
* 1st, Tyson Invitational, 3,000m, Yetteville, AR, 2004
* 2nd, Adidas Boston Indoor Games, 3,000m, 2003
* 2nd, Ethiopian Track & Field Championships, 3,000m, Addis Ababa, 2004


Meseret Defar

Date of Birth: 1983
Personal Best:
3,000m: 8:33’44 (2004, Birmingham, England)
5,000m: 14:40’34 (2003, Oslo, Norway)
Selected Achievements:
* Gold, IAAF World Indoor Championships, 3,000m, Budapest, Hungary, 2004
* Gold, Afro-Asian Games, 5,000m, India, 2003
* Gold, All-Africa Games, 5,000m, Nigeria, 2003
* Gold Medal in 3,000m and 5,000m, IAAF World Junior Championships, Kingston, Jamaica, 2002

4. 1,500m

Men (Race Schedule: Round 1: August 21st , 01:35 a.m. / Semi Final : August 23rd , 03:50 a.m. / Final: August 25th, 05:40 a.m. Jap Time)

Mulugeta Wondimu

Date of Birth: 1985
Personal Best:
1,500m: 3:31’13 (2004, Belgium)
5,000m: 13:01’28
Selected Achievements:
* 1st, DN Galan Super Grand Prix, 1,500m, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004
* 2nd, KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden-Zodler, 1,500m, Belgium, 2004

Women (Race Schedule: Round 1: August 25th, 02:30 a.m. / Semi Final: August 27th, 02:30 a.m. / Final August 29th, 02:30 a.m. Jap Time)


Kutre Dulecha

Date of Birth: 1978
Selected Achievements:
* 2004, All-African Champion
* 2004, Afro-Asian Champion, 1,500m
* 2004, World Indoor Champion, 1,500m
* 24th World Ranking


Meskerem Legesse

Date of Birth: 1982
Personal Best:
800m: 2:01’11 (2004, Arizona, USA)
1,500m: 4:03’96 (2003, Eugene, USA)
Selected Achievements:
* 1st, Tyson Invitational, 800m, Fayetteville, AR, 2004
* 2nd, Verizon Millrose Game, 1,500m, NY, USA, 2004
* 2nd, Adidas Boston Indoor Games, 1,500m

Mestawat Tadesse

Date of Birth: July 19th, 1985
Personal Best:
1,500m: 4:05’15
3,000m: 8:56’62

5. 800m

Men (Race Schedule: Round 1: August 26th, 03:00 a.m. / Semi Final: August 27th, 03:25 a.m. / Final: August 29th, 02:50 a.m. Jap Time)

Berhanu Alemu

Date of Birth: July 16th, 1982
Personal Best:
800m: 1:45’32
1,500m: 3:35’67
Selected Achievements:
* 1st, Golden Spike Meeting, 1,500m, Ostave, Czech Republic, 2004
* 1st, Adidas Boston Indoor Games, 800m, 2004
* 1st, Verizon Millrose Games, NY, 800m, 2004