kids encyclopedia robot

Derartu Tulu facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Derartu Tulu
Derartu Tulu in 2019.jpg
Derartu in 2019
Personal information
Native name Daraartuu Tulluu
ደራርቱ ቱሉ
Born (1972-03-21) 21 March 1972 (age 52)
Bekoji, Arsi Province, Ethiopian Empire (now Oromia Region, Ethiopia)
Years active 1990–2011
Height 1.56 metres (5 ft 1 in)
Weight 44 kilograms (97 lb)
Country Ethiopia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 10,000 metres
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Ethiopia
Olympic Games
Gold 1992 Barcelona 10,000 m
Gold 2000 Sydney 10,000 m
Bronze 2004 Athens 10,000 m
World Championships
Gold 2001 Edmonton 10,000 m
Silver 1995 Gothenburg 10,000 m
World Cross Country Championships
Gold 1995 Durham Senior race
Gold 1997 Turin Senior race
Gold 2000 Vilamoura Senior race

Derartu Tulu NL COL (Oromo: Daraartuu Tulluu, Amharic: ደራርቱ ቱሉ; born 21 March 1972) is an Ethiopian former long-distance runner, who competed in track, cross country running, and road running up to the marathon distance. She won 10,000 metres titles at the 1992 Barcelona and 2000 Sydney Olympics, and a bronze in the event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the World Championships in Athletics, Derartu took silver in the 10,000 m in 1995, and a gold in 2001. She was a three-time IAAF World Cross Country champion (1995, 1997, 2000).

She currently serves as President of Ethiopian Athletics Federation since 2018.

Derartu comes from a sporting family of several Olympic medalists, which includes her nieces Tirunesh, Genzebe and Ejegayehu Dibaba.

Life and career

Derartu Tulu grew up tending cattle in the village of Bekoji in the highlands of Arsi Province, the same village as Kenenisa Bekele. She is the cousin of Ejegayehu Dibaba, Tirunesh Dibaba and Genzebe Dibaba.

Derartu is the first Ethiopian woman and the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal, which she won in the 10,000 m event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The race, where she and Elana Meyer (South Africa) raced for lap after lap way ahead of the rest of the field, launched her career. She sat out 1993 and 1994 with a knee injury and returned to competition in the 1995 IAAF World Cross Country Championships where she won gold, having arrived at the race only an hour before the start. She was stuck in Athens airport without sleep for 24 hours. The same year she lost out to Fernanda Ribeiro and won silver at the World Championships 10,000.

The 1996 season was a difficult year for her. At the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Derartu lost her shoe in the race and had to fight back to get fourth place. She also finished fourth at the Olympic Games, where she was nursing an injury. In 1997 she won the world cross country title for the second time, but did not factor in the 10,000 m World Championships. In 1998 she gave birth to a daughter, Tsion, but came back in 2000 in the best shape of her life. She won the 10,000 m Olympic gold for the second time (the only woman to have done this in the short history of the event). She also won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships title for the third time. In 2001, she finally won her world 10,000 track title in Edmonton. This was her third world or Olympic gold medal. She has a total of 5 world and Olympic medals.

Her transition to the marathon was rewarded with victories in London and Tokyo Marathons in 2001. She finished fourth at the 2005 World Championships, setting her personal best time of 2:23:30. She also won the Portugal Half Marathon in 2000 and 2003, and Lisbon Half Marathon in 2003. In 2009, at the age of 37, she won the New York City Marathon, defeating of the likes of Paula Radcliffe, Lyudmila Petrova and Salina Kosgei.

In 2004 Derartu declined to enter the New York Marathon, where she would have been likely to face marathon World Record holder Paula Radcliffe, whom she has had a great rivalry with over the years, and focused instead on the Olympic Games, where she won the bronze medal in the 10,000 m behind Xing Huina and her cousin Ejegayehu Dibaba. (Radcliffe failed to finish.)

Derartu continued to run competitively in her late thirties, while most of her old rivals retired. Her last marathon finish came in 2011 in Yokohama.

She is remembered for her speed and her 60.3 second-last lap at the end of the 10,000 m at the Sydney Olympics was a sprint of note.

She has been the president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) since 14 November 2018.

International competitions

Representing  Ethiopia
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time
1989 World Cross Country Championships Stavanger, Norway 23rd Senior woman 23:29
1990 World Cross Country Championships Aix-les-Bains, France 15th Senior woman 19:53
African Championships Cairo, Egypt 1st 3000 m 9:11.21
1st 10,000 m 33:37.82
World Junior Championships Plovdiv, Bulgaria 1st 10,000 m 32:56.26
1991 World Cross Country Championships Antwerp, Belgium 2nd Senior woman 20:27
World Championships Tokyo, Japan 21st (h) 3000 m 9:01.04
8th 10,000 m 32:16.55
1992 African Championships Belle Vue Harel, Mauritius 1st 3000 m 9:01.12
1st 10,000 m 31:32.25
World Cup Havana, Cuba 1st 3000 m 9:05.89
1st 10,000 m 33:38.97
Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 1st 10,000 m 31:06.02
1995 World Cross Country Championships Durham, United Kingdom 1st Senior woman 20:21
World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 10,000 m 31:08.10
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, GA, United States 4th 10,000 m 31:10.46
1997 World Cross Country Championships Turin, Italy 1st Senior woman 20:53
World Championships Athens, Greece 24th (h) 10,000 m 33:25.99
1999 World Half Marathon Championships Palermo, Italy 14th Half marathon 1:11:33
2000 World Cross Country Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 1st Senior woman 25:42
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 1st 10,000 m 30:17.49 OR
2001 London Marathon London, United Kingdom 1st Marathon 2:23:57
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 1st 10,000 m 31:48.81
Tokyo International Women's Marathon Tokyo, Japan 1st Marathon 2:25:08
2003 World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 2nd 5000 m 14:56.93
2004 World Cross Country Championships Brussels, Belgium 16th Senior woman 28:39
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 3rd 10,000 m 30:26.42 SB
2005 World Half Marathon Championships Edmonton, Canada 15th Half marathon 1:12:12
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 4th Marathon 2:23:30 PB
2009 New York Marathon New York, NY, United States 1st Marathon 2:28:52

Personal life

Tulu is the aunt of the Dibaba siblings – Ejegayehu, Tirunesh and Genzebe Dibaba.


Tulu was named to the BBC's 100 Women programme in 2017.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Derartu Tulu para niños

kids search engine
Derartu Tulu Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.