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Elfenesh Alemu facts for kids

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Elfenesh Alemu (born 10 June 1975 in Lemo Arya, Arsi Zone) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who specializes in the marathon race. She represented Ethiopia at the Summer Olympics in 2000 and 2004. She also competed in the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics four times consecutively from 1997 to 2003.

Alemu began competing in the event in 1993 and won the African Marathon Championships the following year. She took the bronze medal two years later at the 1995 All-Africa Games. She became the first Ethiopian woman to win the Amsterdam Marathon in 1997. She also won the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in 2000. Her personal best time of 2:24:29 was set in 2001 at the London Marathon, which earned her fifth place in the rankings.

She came third at the 2002 Boston Marathon and won the Tokyo International Women's Marathon in 2003. That year, she married Gezahegne Abera, the 2000 Olympic marathon champion. Alemu returned to the Boston course in both 2004 and 2005, finishing as the runner-up on each occasion. She set a course record of 1:12:57 in her 2005 victory at the San Blas Half Marathon in Puerto Rico.

She was eleventh at the 2009 Chicago Marathon and took a break from competition in the 2010 season. She formed part of an Ethiopian sweep of the 2011 Mumbai Marathon with Koren Yal and Merima Mohammed, placing third in a time of 2:29:04 hours.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
1995 All-Africa Games Harare, Zimbabwe 3rd Marathon 3:08:43
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 15th Marathon 2:41:00
Amsterdam Marathon Amsterdam, Netherlands 1st Marathon 2:37:37
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 5th Marathon 2:28:52
2000 Osaka Ladies Marathon Osaka, Japan 4th Marathon 2:24:47
Nagano Marathon Nagano, Japan 1st Marathon 2:24:55
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 6th Marathon 2:26:54
2001 London Marathon London, United Kingdom 5th Marathon 2:24:29
World Championships Edmonton, Canada Marathon DNF
2003 World Championships Paris, France 6th Marathon 2:26:29
Tokyo International Marathon Tokyo, Japan 1st Marathon 2:24:47
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 4th Marathon 2:28:15

Personal bests

  • 5000 metres - 15:59.99 min (2000)
  • Half marathon - 1:09:46 hrs (2000)
  • Marathon - 2:24:29 hrs (2001)
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