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 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 NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Kenenisa Bekele
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
2008 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Kenenisa Bekele
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
2012 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Kenenisa Bekele
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony ETH Kenenisa Bekele

Olympic family relations

Special Notes