Meraf Bahta

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Meraf Bahta
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Sweden
European Championships
Gold 2014 Zürich 5000 m

Meraf Bahta Ogbagaber (born 24 August 1989) is an Eritrean-born Swedish middle-distance runner who specializes in the 1500 metres and 3000 metres.


She was born in Dekishahay. As a junior she competed in the junior races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, finishing twelfth in 2006 and sixth in 2007. Together with her team mates she won the silver medal in the team event at the 2007 championships. She finished fifth in the 1500 metres at the 2006 World Junior Championships.[1] At the 2007 All-Africa Games she finished seventh in the 5000 metres.[2] She competed in her first senior cross-country race at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships, but only finished 43rd.

Her personal best times are 4:05.11 minutes in the 1500 metres, achieved in July 2013 in Heusden-Zolder; and 14:59.49 minutes in the 5000 metres, achieved in July 2014 in Palo Alto USA.[1] The 5000 personal best also marked a Swedish record (former was from 1995 held by Sara Wedlund). With the sub-15 race Meraf made her big international breakthrough and immediately became one of the best long distance runners on European soil and a medal contender for future European Championships.

She moved to Sweden in 2008, fleeing from the situation in Eritrea. In Sweden she has continued her running career, getting support from Ulf Friberg, the trainer of Mustafa Mohamed. Bahta got her permanent residency permit in 2012 and has applied for Swedish citizenship.[3] In December she got her citizenship and since 2014 she is eligible to compete for Sweden in international championships.[4]

In 2014 she also won Tjejmilen.[5]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Eritrea
2005 World Cross Country Championships Saint-Galmier, France 32nd Junior race 22:43
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 5th 1500 metres 4:16.01
World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 12th Junior race 20:22
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 6th Junior race 21:24
All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 9th 1500 metres 4:15.12
7th 5000 metres 15:56.30
2008 World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Great Britain 43rd Senior race 27:31
Representing  Sweden
2014 European Championships Zürich, Switzerland 1st 5000 metres 15:31.39

Personal bests[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meraf Bahta profile at IAAF
  2. ^ 2007 All-Africa Games, women's 5000 m final
  3. ^ Meraf Bahta springer för medborgarskap och VM
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Bahta överlägsen i Tjejmilen" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.