Derartu Tulu

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameDerartu•Tulu
Used nameDerartu•Tulu
Original nameዻራርቱ•ቱሉ
Born21 March 1972 in Bekoji (ETH)
Measurements160 cm / 45 kg
NOC Ethiopia

Biography

In 1992, Derartu Tulu became the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in somewhat of a surprise. She did so by winning the 10,000 m ahead of Elana Meyer of South Africa, with whom she had led the race most of the way, distancing the field. It was considered a landmark event, as South Africa was re-admitted to the Olympics in 1992, after years of apartheid, and Tulu and Meyer, a white South African, ran a victory lap together. Although Tulu had won the World Junior title in the 10,000 in 1990 and the 10,000 m gold at the 1991 All-African Games and silver at the 1991 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, she had not been considered an Olympic favorite.

After the Olympics, Tulu also won 10,000 m at the 1992 IAAF World Cup. She missed the next few seasons due to a knee injury, but came back in 1995 to win a 10K silver at the World Championships and gold at the International Cross-Country Championships. Injuries hampered her in 1996, including at the Atlanta Olympics, but she returned in 1997, to win another gold at the International Cross-Country Championships, before missing a season due to pregnancy. In 2000, she became the first woman, to repeat in the Olympic 10K, and also won her third title at the International Cross-Country Championships. In 2001, Tulu began concentrating on marathons, winning the London Marathon in the spring and Tokyo Marathon in the fall. Between those marathons, she also won her only track World title, in the 10K. Her last major track international came at the 2004 Olympics, winning 10K bronze. Her last major win came at the 2009 New York Marathon and she retired from sports in 2011.

Tulu’s cousins Ejegayehu, Tirunesh and Genzebe Dibaba also became world class distance runners, setting multiple world records and winning several medals at major internationals.

Personal Best: 10,000 – 30:17.49 (2000); Mar – 2-23:30 (2005).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Derartu Tulu
10,000 metres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1996 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Derartu Tulu
10,000 metres, Women (Olympic) 4
2000 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Derartu Tulu
10,000 metres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
2004 Summer Olympics Athletics ETH Derartu Tulu
10,000 metres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2000 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony ETH Derartu Tulu

Olympic family relations

Special Notes