Genzebe Dibaba

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Genzebe Dibaba
Genzebe Dibaba by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Dibaba at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot.
Personal information
Nationality Ethiopian
Born (1991-02-08) 8 February 1991 (age 24)
Bekoji, Ethiopia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 1500m, 3000m, 5000m
This article contains a Habesha name. This person is addressed by her given name, Genzebe, and not as Dibaba—the given name of her father.

Genzebe Dibaba Keneni (Amharic: ገንዘቤ ዲባባ; Afaan Oromo: Ganzabee Dibaabaa; born 8 February 1991) is an Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner. She is the sister of three-times Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba, and the cousin of former Olympic champion Derartu Tulu.[1]

She was the 2012 World Indoor Champion for the 1500 m and holds the World record for the distance, and is the reigning 2014 World Indoor Champion and World Indoor Record Holder in the 3000m. She represented Ethiopia at the 2012 Summer Olympics and has twice competed at the World Championships in Athletics (2009 and 2011). She was highly successful as a junior (under-20) athlete, having won two junior world cross country titles and one world junior 5000 m gold medal.


Genzebe won the junior women's title at both the 2008[2] and 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships[3] and finished fifth in the same event in 2007. Genzebe became the second junior woman ever to win two junior cross country championships in a row. She has also competed in IAAF Golden League meetings, including the Reebok Grand Prix and the Oslo Bislett Games. At the 2008 Bislett Games she recorded a personal best time of 15:02.41 in the 5000 metres, during the same race where her sister Tirunesh set a new world record.[4] She did the same a year later in the same race, improving her personal best by more than five seconds.


After winning the 5000 m at the Ethiopian Athletics Championships, she was included in the Ethiopian squad for the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships. In Berlin she replaced Tirunesh on Ethiopia's 5000 m team, who withdrew due to injury. Genzebe ran an excellent heat, finishing fourth and qualifying for the final where, in her first major senior championship race, she finished in an impressive eighth position. She also won the 5000 m gold at the 2009 African Junior Athletics Championships.

She began her 2009–10 cross country campaign with a win at the Cross de Atapuerca.[5] She also competed indoors, improving her 1500 m best to 4:04.80 at the Indoor Flanders meeting.[6] Despite her wins on the senior circuit, she failed to complete a hat-trick of junior race titles at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She performed far below expectations, ending up in eleventh and barely making it into the silver medal winning Ethiopian team.[7] Her fortunes improved at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics as she defeated the junior cross country winner Mercy Cherono to take the 5000 m gold in a championship record time.[8] In November she took a second consecutive victory at the Cross de Atapueca, taking a prominent scalp in Emily Chebet (the reigning senior champion).[9]


She was the runner-up at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country in January 2011 behind Linet Masai.[10] She placed ninth at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships two months later.

Genzebe improved her 5000 m best to 14:37.56 minutes at the Bislett Games and went on to place eighth in the event at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. After this point she began to move away from the 5000 m an focus on the 1500 metres instead – a move which paid significant dividends for her career. She began 2012 with the fifth fastest ever indoor 1500 m, winning the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe in 4:00.13 minutes.[11] A win at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix preceded her first world title at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships.[12] Turning to the outdoor track, she ran an Ethiopian record time of 3:57.77 minutes at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.[13] She was third at the Golden Gala and runner-up at the Bislett Games. She was selected for the 2012 London Olympics, but a hamstring injury in the final lap of her heat saw her eliminated from the competition.[14]


Genzebe opened 2013 on grass, winning the 3 km competition at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country,[15] then took two indoor wins in Karlsruhe and Birmingham.

On February 1, 2014, in Karlsruhe, Germany, Genzebe Dibaba ran 3:55.17 in the 1500m indoor event, beating the previous indoor world record by over 3 seconds.

Five days later, she improved the world indoor record in the 3000 metres to 8:16.60 at the XL Galan meet in Stockholm, Sweden. In that one race, she improved her own personal record by over thirty seconds, the world record by almost seven, and even though it was set on a shorter track indoors, her time was the number four time at the distance ever. Only on one occasion has the time been bettered, that was the 1993 Chinese National Games, when three athletes Wang Junxia, Qu Yunxia and Zhang Linli set the event on its ear, running times that had previously not been approached in two decades.In the month of February and in just 15 days Genzebe was able to break her third world record at indoor two-mile record at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix nine minutes and 0.48 seconds was her new record that shattered Meseret Defar previous record by six seconds.[16]

With these records Genzebe is now one of only three athletes in history to break three world records in three different events within 15 days, joining Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt. She stands alone as the only one to do this feat in three different cities and meets, and in all individual events under FAT.

In summer DL competition, Genzebe won the 1500 at Monaco.


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 5th Junior race
2008 World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Scotland 1st Junior race
World Junior Championships in Athletics Bydgoszcz, Poland 2nd 5000 m
2009 World Cross Country Championships Amman, Jordan 1st Junior race
Ethiopian Athletics Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st 5000 m
African Junior Championships Bambous, Mauritius 1st 5000 m
World Championships Berlin, Germany 8th 5000 m
2010 World Junior Championships Moncton, Canada 1st 5000 m
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 1st 1500 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 8th 1500 m
2014 World Indoor Championships sopot, Poland 1st 3000 m

Personal bests[edit]

Type Event Time Date Place Notes
Outdoor 1500 metres 3:57.54 10 May 2013 Doha, Qatar
3000 metres 8:26.21 9 May 2014 Doha, Qatar
5000 metres 14:28.88 18 July 2014 Monaco
Indoor 1500 metres 3:55.17 1 February 2014 Karlsruhe, Germany World record
3000 metres 8:16.60 6 February 2014 Stockholm, Sweden World record
Two miles 9:00.48 15 February 2014 Birmingham, England World best
5000 metres 14:18.86 19 February 2015 Stockholm, Sweden World record[17]
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.


  1. ^ Dibaba sisters make it a family affair – Edinburgh 2008. IAAF (2008-03-30). Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  2. ^ Junior Women's Race Report – Edinburgh 2008. IAAF. 30 March 2008
  3. ^ Genzebe keeps the Dibaba family at the top of the world – Amman 2009. IAAF. 28 March 2009
  4. ^ Golden League 2008 – Bislett Games 5000 Metres W Results. IAAF. 2008-06-06
  5. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (2009-11-08). Gebremariam and G. Dibaba secure Ethiopian double in Atapuerca. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-11-09.
  6. ^ Hendrix, Ivo (2010-02-15). Koech clocks World best in 2000m Steeplechase, G. Dibaba impresses in Gent. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  7. ^ Johnson, Len (2010-03-28). Cherono sets the record straight – Women's Junior race report – Bydgoszcz 2010. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
  8. ^ Morse, Parker (2010-07-22). Women's 5000m final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-07.
  9. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (2010-11-07). Medhin and Dibaba outclass World champions in Atapuerca. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-07.
  10. ^ Wenig, Jorg (2011-01-08). Kipchoge and Masai prevail in snowy Edinburgh. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-09.
  11. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (2012-02-13). Dibaba runs fifth fastest indoor 1500m ever in Karlsruhe, sprint world leads set in Fayetteville. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  12. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2012-03-10). EVENT REPORT - Women's 1500 Metres - Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  13. ^ Johnson, Len (2012-05-19). Liu Xiang and G. Dibaba the standouts in rainy Shanghai – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  14. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2012-08-06). London 2012 - Event Report - Women's 1500m Heats. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  15. ^ Dibaba dashes Defar's hopes with speedy finish in Edinburgh. IAAF (2013-01-05). Retrieved on 2013-02-17.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Genzebe Dibaba Smashes 5000m Indoor WORLD RECORD XL-Galan 2015

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Russia Yelena Soboleva
Women's 1,500m Indoor World Record Holder
February 1, 2014 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ethiopia Meseret Defar
Women's 3,000m Indoor World Record Holder
February 6, 2014 – present
Succeeded by