Kenenisa Bekele And Tigst Assefa Headline Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Team

Bekele returns to the Olympics for the first time in 12 years, and makes his Olympic marathon debut


Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele is gearing up for his return to the Olympic stage. He has clinched a coveted spot on the Ethiopian marathon team for the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympics.

After a twelve-year hiatus from Olympic competition, Bekele’s selection by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation marks his fourth Olympic appearance, however it will be his debut in the marathon. 

Renowned for his former dominance in the 5,000m and 10,000m events, Bekele boasts an impressive Olympic resume, winning three gold and one silver medal across the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games.

Kenenisa Bekele And Tigst Assefa Headline Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Team 1

Bekele’s inclusion in the team follows his second-place finish at the 2024 London Marathon, where he ran a time of 2:04:15, narrowly trailing behind Kenya’s Alexander Mutiso. Notably, Bekele’s London Marathon feat also shattered the men’s 40+ world record.

Set to reignite his rivalry with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, Bekele’s clash with the marathon GOAT promises to be a highlight of the Paris Olympics.

Both athletes, renowned for their extraordinary accomplishments, have etched their names in marathon history, both boasting impressive sub-2:02 personal best marathon times.

Joining Bekele on the Ethiopian squad is the accomplished Sisay Lemma, who has a personal best of 2:01:53 and is also included in the exclusive club of sub-2:02 marathoners. Lemma’s recent victory at the 2024 Boston Marathon makes him a key player in Ethiopia’s team for the Olympic Games.

Rounding out the Ethiopian men’s team is Tamirat Tola, the reigning world marathon champion and a top contender for a podium spot. 

Kenenisa Bekele And Tigst Assefa Headline Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Team 2

Tigst Assefa Headlines Strong Ethiopian Women’s Team

Tigst Assefa, the women’s world record holder, earns her maiden Olympic berth for the Paris 2024 Games to represent Team Ethiopia. 

Assefa’s journey to the Olympics follows her world record-breaking performance at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, where she shattered records with a time of 2:11:53.

Amid heightened anticipation, Assefa gears up to tackle the challenging Paris marathon course, characterized by its hilly terrain and steep elevation gains. With limited experience compared to some of her veteran competitors, the 27-year-old prepares to overcome the toughest test of her career on the Olympic stage.

Kenenisa Bekele And Tigst Assefa Headline Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Team 3

Joining Assefa in the quest for Olympic glory are seasoned marathoners Amane Beriso and Gotytom Gebreslase

Beriso, the reigning world champion, boasts an impressive track record of podium finishes, especially in demanding race conditions. Meanwhile, Gebreslase, a podium finisher at the previous world championships, brings a wealth of experience and talent to the Ethiopian women’s team.

As Ethiopia sets its sights on reclaiming Olympic gold in the women’s marathon event, Bekele, Assefa, and their fellow teammates prepare to challenge the dominance of their East African rivals.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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