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Kenenisa Bekele

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKenenisa•Bekele Beyecha
Used nameKenenisa•Bekele
Original nameቀነኒሳ•በቀለ
Born13 June 1982 in near Bekoji (ETH)
Measurements165 cm / 56 kg
AffiliationsMugar AC
NOC(s) Ethiopia


Kenenisa Bekele started out as a football player, but soon switched to running. The short Ethiopian was seen as the successor of Haile Gebrselassie. His first successes came in cross-country. From 2002 to 2006, he won both the short and long races at the International Cross-Country Championships, and with his sixth title in the long cross, he broke Paul Tergat’s record number of titles. But successes also came on the track. In 2004, he broke the world record in both the 5,000 and 10,000 m, and in 2003 he won his first world title in the 10,000 m, repeating in 2005 and 2007. At the Athens Olympics, he tried to win the 5 and 10k double, but after a win in the longest race, he was beaten by El Guerrouj in the 5,000. In Beijing, he again attempted to win both events, and succeeded with relative ease. Bekele’s greatest setback came in 2005, when his fiancé Alem Techale (a former World Youth Champion) died of heart failure while training with Bekele. He dedicated his three World Titles he won later that year to her memory.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 12:37.35 (2004); 10000 – 26:17.53 (2005).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver Representing Ethiopia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
2008 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing Ethiopia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
2012 Summer Olympics Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Olympic 4 Representing Ethiopia    

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
2004 Summer Olympics 20 August 2004 Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 27:05.10 1
2008 Summer Olympics 17 August 2008 Athletics 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 27:01.17 1
2008 Summer Olympics 23 August 2008 Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Final 12:57.82 1

Other participations

Games Role Details
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony Representing Ethiopia    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes