Elvan Abeylegesse

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Elvan Abeylegesse
Elvan Abeylegesse 2010 European Team Championships.jpg
Elvan Abeylegesse
Personal information
Nationality Turkey
Born (1982-09-11) 11 September 1982 (age 31)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Residence İstanbul, Turkey
Height 1.59 m (5.2 ft)[1]
Weight 40 kg (88 lb)[1]
Sport
Sport Running
Event(s) 5000 metres, 10,000 metres
Club Enkaspor Athletics Team
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

5000m: 14:24.68

10000m: 29:56.34

Elvan Abeylegesse, (also formerly: Hewan Abeye (አልቫን አበይለገሠ, Amharic) and Elvan Can (Turkish); born September 11, 1982) is an Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long distance track and field athlete who runs in the disciplines of 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m, but also 10000 m, 2 miles and cross country. She is the former world-record holder for 5000 m, at 14:24.68.

Early life and career[edit]

Abeylegesse was born Hewan Abeye on September 11, 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised with her seven brothers and sisters. She began her career running cross country. In 1999, she started for the Ethiopian junior team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland and finished ninth. There, she was invited to a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Coming to Istanbul, she said that she liked it there very much. "I didn't get enough support from my federation in Ethiopia," she said. "My track club in Turkey gave me all the support I needed. So I decided to move to Turkey. The support was much better in Istanbul. I thought it would be easier to reach my goals in Turkey.” To get Turkish citizenship, she married and took the name Elvan Can. She has since divorced and is now called Elvan Abeylegesse.

“As a youngster, my heroes were Ethiopian runners. I would follow the victories of Gete Wami particularly”, Abeylegesse said. “I studied all their actions: how they slept, how they ate, how they trained, and how they competed.” Registered in the Enka Sports Club in Istanbul, she is coached by Ertan Hatipoglu, a former triple jumper of Turkish origin from Bulgaria. She still has a friendly relationship with other Ethiopian runners, but there is a problem with her former federation. “The officials don’t allow me to train in Ethiopia any longer", Abeylegesse says. “I train now at high altitudes in Turkey as I think that some of my former compatriots see me as a threat. They are uncomfortable with me training in Ethiopia. But I, of course, remain friends with the individual Ethiopian runners.”

Career highlights[edit]

Abeylegesse’s career in the international arena began at the age of 18 in Grosseto, Italy in 2001 by winning the European 3000 m and 5000 m titles, setting a national record for Turkey. She became a world leader with a time of 8:31:94 in the 3000 m in Brussels, Belgium in 2002 and with a time of 3:58.38 in the 1500 m in Moscow, Russia in 2004.

Abeylegesse has been a scholarship holder with the Olympic Solidarity program since August 2002.

At the Evergood Bergen Bislett Games in Norway on June 11, 2004, the sixth meeting of TDK Golden League, Abeylegesse broke the women’s 5000 m world record, which had belonged to Chinese runner Jiang Bo since 1997 (14:28.09), improving the mark by over three seconds to 14:24.68.[2] She became the first Turkish athlete ever to set a world record. "I worked very hard, day and night," Abeylegesse said, speaking through an interpreter. "My target since the first day I started running has been to break world records and become Olympic champion." Şarık Tara, the honorary president of her club, said, "I am proud of our daughter Elvan. Her achievement is an even greater success than our men's national soccer team finishing third in the World Cup."

On 3 June 2006 her record time was beaten by Ethiopian Meseret Defar, who ran in 14:24.53 in New York City.[3]

She ran at the inaugural World 10K Bangalore race in 2008 and finished in a dead heat with Grace Momanyi, with both runners eventually being declared joint victors.[4]

She was the 2010 recipient of the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy, an annual award given by the International Fair Play Committee. She had lent a pair of running shoes to competitor Meselech Melkamu just moments before the beginning of the 10,000 metres final at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. Having forgotten to bring her shoes to the track, Melkamu went on to take the silver.[5]

Abeylegesse won the 2010 edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in a time of 1:07:07. This was the fastest ever time for a débutante in the half marathon race and made her the sixth fastest woman overall. She played down suggestions of a permanent switch to longer road races, however, saying a marathon debut would have to wait until after the 2012 London Olympics.[6]

At the 2010 European Athletics Championships, Abeylegesse won gold in the 10,000 m, finishing in 31 minutes, 10.23 seconds On 28 July 2010,[7] and she won the silver medal in 5000m finishing in 14 minutes, 54.44 seconds on 1 August 2010.[8] She narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup, finishing two seconds behind Molly Huddle in the 5000 m.

She returned to action in 2012 after her pregnancy and made her debut over 20 km, finishing as runner-up at the 20 Kilomètres de Paris.[9] She was also runner-up in the 15K section of the Istanbul Eurasia Marathon. She won the Nice Half Marathon in April 2013.[10] On November 17, 2013 she became runner-up in the women's category at the Istanbul Marathon with a time of 2:29:30.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Abeylegesse married her longtime partner Semeneh Debelie in February 2011 and decided to take the season off due to pregnancy.[12] In July 2011, she gave birth to a girl named Arsema.[13]

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1999 World Cross Country Championships Belfast, Northern Ireland 9th Junior race 22:03
1999 World Youth Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 5th 3000 metres 9:08.29
1999 European Junior Championships Riga, Latvia 2nd 5000 metres 16:06.40
2000 World Cross Country Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 90th Short race 14:30
2000 World Junior Championships Santiago de Chile, Chile 6th 5000 metres 16:33.77
2000 World Junior Championships Santiago de Chile, Chile 6th 3000 metres 9:28.0
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Netherlands 22nd Junior race 23:30
2001 European Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy 1st 3000 metres 8:53.42
2001 European Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy 1st 5000 metres 15:21.12
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 8th (heats) 5000 metres 15:22.89
2001 Mediterranean Games Tunis, Tunisia 3rd 10,000 metres 32:29.20
2001 European Cross Country Championships Thun, Switzerland 1st Junior race 10:35
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 7th 5000 metres 15:24.41
2002 IAAF Grand Prix Final Paris, France 8th 3000 metres 9:01.50
2002 European Cross Country Championships Medulin, Croatia 3rd Junior race 20:19
2003 World Championships Paris, France 5th 5000 metres 14:53.56
2003 IAAF World Athletics Final Monaco 1st 14:56.25
2004 European Champion Clubs' Cup Moscow, Russia 1st 1500 metres 3:58.28
2004 European Cup Istanbul, Turkey 1st 3000 metres 8:49.14
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 8th 1500 metres 4:00.67
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 12th 5000 metres 15:12.64
2004 IAAF World Athletics Final Monaco 1st 14:59.19
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 3rd 5000 metres 14:59.29
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 2nd 10,000 metres 31:59.40
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 2nd 5000 metres
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 2nd 10,000 metres 29:56.34
2009 Mediterranean Games Pescara, Italy 1st 10,000 metres
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 5000 metres
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 10,000 metres
2013 Mediterranean Games Mersin, Turkey 2nd 10,000 meters 32:59.30
Istanbul Marathon Istanbul, Turkey 2nd marathon 2:29:30
World records

Personal bests[edit]

Discipline Performance Place Date
1500 m 3:58:28 Moscow, Russia May 30, 2004
2000 m 5:33:83 İstanbul, Turkey June 7, 2003
3000 m 8:31:94 Brussels, Belgium August 30, 2002
5000 m 14:24:68 Bergen, Norway June 11, 2004
10,000 m 29:56:34 Beijing, China August 15, 2008

Performance progression[edit]

Discipline Season Performance Place Date
1500 m 2004 3:58:28 Moscow, Russia May 30, 2004
1500 m 2003 4:07:25 Beograd, Serbia May 25, 2003
1500 m 2002 4:11:00 İzmir, Turkey May 11, 2002
1500 m 2001 4:11:31 Istanbul, Turkey July 28, 2001
2000 m 2003 5:33:83 Istanbul, Turkey June 7, 2003
3000 m 2004 8:35:83 Doha, Qatar May 14, 2004
3000 m 2003 8:42:29 İzmir, Turkey May 11, 2003
3000 m 2002 8:31:94 Brussels, Belgium August 30, 2002
3000 m 2001 8:53:42 Grosseto, Italy July 21, 2001
3000 m 2000 9:08:07 İzmir, Turkey May 21, 2000
3000 m 1999 9:08:29 Bydgoszcz, Poland July 17, 1999
5000 m 2004 14:24:68 Bergen, Norway June 11, 2004
5000 m 2003 14:53:56 Paris, France August 30, 2003
5000 m 2002 15:00:49 Hengelo, Netherlands June 2, 2002
5000 m 2001 15:21:12 Grosseto, Italy July 20, 2001
5000 m 2000 16:33:77 Santiago de Chile, Chile October 17, 2000
5000 m 1999 16:06:20 Riga, Latvia August 7, 1999
10000 m 2008 29:56.34 Beijing, China August 15, 2008
10000 m 2006 30:21.67 Antalya, Turkey April 15, 2006
10000m 2001 32:29:20 Tunis, Tunisia September 12, 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Athletes-Abeylegesse Elvan TUR". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ Abeylegesse obliterates the women's 5000m World record in Bergen – TDK Golden League. IAAF. June 11, 2004
  3. ^ Meseret Defar runs 5000m World Record in New York – 14:24.53 by Parker Morse, IAAF, June 3, 2006, retrieved June 4, 2006
  4. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2008-05-18). Tadese the men’s 10km victor, while Abeylegesse and Momanyi share women’s spoils in Bangalore. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-09.
  5. ^ Fair play to Abeylegesse!. IAAF (2010-01-19). Retrieved on 2010-01-20.
  6. ^ Fairlie, Greg (2010-02-19). Stunning 1:07:07 Half Marathon debut by Abeylegesse Ras Al Khaimah. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-19.
  7. ^ "Abeylegesse of Turkey wins 10,000 at Europeans". USA Today (David Hunke; Gannett Company). 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  8. ^ "Turkey's Bekele wins women's 5,000 at Europeans". USA Today (David Hunke; Gannett Company). 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  9. ^ Vazel, Pierre-Jean (2012-10-14). Nizigiymana and Jerotich battle the rain en route to Paris 20K wins. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-10.
  10. ^ April 2013 Results. AIMS. Retrieved on 2013-05-06.
  11. ^ "35th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon 2013-Marathon Overall Results". Istanbul Marathon. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  12. ^ Congratulations to Elvan Abeylegesse and Jonna Tilgner. European Athletics (2011-04-22). Retrieved on 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "Milliyet - Elvan anne oldu". Spor.milliyet.com.tr. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
China Jiang Bo
Women's 5,000 m World Record Holder
June 11, 2004 – June 3, 2006
Succeeded by
Ethiopia Meseret Defar
Preceded by
Russia Olga Yegorova
Women's 5,000 m European Record Holder
June 11, 2004 – July 19, 2008
Succeeded by
Russia Liliya Shobukhova
Preceded by
United Kingdom Paula Radcliffe
Women's 10,000 m European Record Holder
August 15, 2008 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ethiopia Berhane Adere
Women's 5,000 m Best Year Performance
2004
Succeeded by
Ethiopia Meseret Defar