Kenenisa Bekele


  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Date of Birth: 13 June 1982

Kenenisa Bekele was born in 1982 at Bekoji, in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, where many talented athletes come from. He started out as a football player, but soon switched to running. His first success 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 5.000m and 10.000m and in 2003 he won his first world title in the 10.000m, repeating in 2005 and 2007. At the Athens Olympics he tried to win both the 5.000m and 10.000m, but after a win on the 10.000m he was beaten by El Guerrouj in the 5.000m. In Beijing, he again attempted to win both events, and succeeded with relative ease. He became the first man in 25 years to win the 5.000m and 10.000m in the same Olympiad.


Kenenisa Bekele is living in Addis Abeba with his wife, Dannawit Gebregziabher and his three kids. He trains together with his brother Tariku Bekele in the hills outside Addis Ababa. When he is not training he spends a lot of time building a hotel and a training centre just outside Addis Ababa. 


Kenenisa Bekele is a legend in his sport he has won over  21 Olympic and World Champion titles and broke 6 senior world records In a front line career of more than eight years, Bekele has won gold at the 10.000m in four straight World Championships. He won double Olympic Gold in Beijing on the 5.000m and 10.000m and repeated that at the Berlin World Championships.


Kenenisa has set his first steps towards marathon running in 2013 by winning the Great North Run in a time of 60.09 and beating Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie. He made his long awaited debut in the 2014 Paris marathon. His goal was to make an impressive marathon debut, and so he did. He won the race in a new course record of 2:05:03. Two years later he shaved exactly two minutes of his personal best by setting a new Ethiopian record of 2:03:03 in Berlin marathon. This time makes him the second fastest athlete ever over the marathon distance.

Personal bests

  • 3000m: 7:25.79
  • 5000m: 12:37.35 WR
  • 10.000m: 26:17.53 WR
  • Half Marathon: 60:09
  • Marathon: 2:03:03


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