Almaz Ayana

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Almaz Ayana
Almaz Ayana Beijing 2015.jpg
Almaz Ayana at the 2015 World Championships
Personal information
Born (1991-11-21) 21 November 1991 (age 29)
Wenbera,[1] Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Ethiopia[2]
Height1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)[3]
Weight47 kg (104 lb)[3]
Event(s)3000 metres, 5000 metres, 10,000 metres
Achievements and titles
World finals2013
5000 m,  Bronze
5000 m,  Gold
10,000 m,  Gold
5000 m,  Silver
Olympic finals2016
10,000 m,  Gold
5000 m,  Bronze
Personal best(s)

Almaz Ayana Eba (Amharic: አልማዝ አያና ኤባ, born 21 November 1991) is an Ethiopian female long-distance runner who competes in the 3000 metres, 5000 metres, and 10,000 metres events. She broke the 10,000 metres world record, set in 1993, while winning the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. At the 2017 World Championships in London, Almaz won the gold medal in the 10,000 metres, finishing 46 seconds ahead of the runner-up.


5000 metres[edit]

Almaz won a bronze medal in the 5000 metres at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia.

Almaz won her first senior 5000 metres title at the 2014 African Championships in Marrakech, defeating favourite Genzebe Dibaba in a championship record time of 15:32.72.[5] One month later at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, she won the 5000 metres by over 24 seconds.[6]

In May 2015, Almaz ran a personal best of 14:14.32 over 5000 metres at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China,[7][8] improving upon her previous personal best of 14:25.84 set in 2013 in Paris.[9] This made her the third fastest female athlete over that distance, behind compatriots Tirunesh Dibaba, the world record holder, and Meseret Defar.

At the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, she won the 5000 metres, beating bronze medalist Genzebe Dibaba by more than 17 seconds.

On 2 June 2016, Almaz ran 5000 metres in 14:12.59 at the Golden Gala meeting in Rome. This made her the second fastest woman ever at this distance, behind only Tirunesh Dibaba's world record of 14:11.15.

10,000 metres[edit]

She ran the 10,000 metres competitively for the first time[10] at the June 2016 Ethiopian Olympic trials in Hengelo, Netherlands. She posted the fastest ever debut time of 30:07 and defeated Tirunesh Dibaba.[11]

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she set a world record of 29:17.45 in the 10,000 metres,[12] topping Chinese athlete Wang Junxia's 23 year old world record by 14 seconds.[13] No one previously had run within 22 seconds of Wang's record.[14] The 10,000 metres was already an extremely fast race when Ayana broke away with 12 laps to go. Second-placed Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya finished just a second shy of Wang's record and double Olympic 10,000 metres champion Tirunesh Dibaba earned the bronze medal with a 12 seconds improvement in her personal best and the fourth fastest time in history. Multiple national records were set, and eighteen competitors set personal bests.[15] The lax drug testing regime in Ethiopia[16] and the doping scandals that embroiled athletics before the Rio Olympics caused some to question whether Almaz had been doping.[17] British commentators Brendan Foster and Paula Radcliffe, both former world record holders in distance events, were skeptical about Almaz's performance.[13] Fellow competitors reported that before the race, the Ethiopian was coughing and did not seem well.[18] In her post-race press conference, Ayana said her time was purely the outcome of hard training.[19]

On 5 August 2017, she won the 10,000 metres at the World Championships in London.

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2010 World Junior Championships Moncton, Canada 5th 3000 m st. 9:48.08
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 5000 m 14:51.33
2014 African Championships Marrakech, Morocco 1st 5000 m 15:32.72
IAAF Continental Cup Marrakech, Morocco 1st 5000 m 15:33.32
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 1st 5000 m 14:26.83 CR
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3rd 5000 m 14:33.59
1st 10,000 m 29:17.45 WR OR
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 2nd 5000 m 14:40.35
1st 10,000 m 30:16.32

Personal bests[edit]

Surface Event Time Date Place Extra
Track 5000 m 14:12.59 2 June 2016 Rome, Italy #2 Alltime
10 000 m 29:17.45 12 August 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil World record
Surface Event Time Date Place Extra
Road 10 km 32:19 31 December 2010 Luanda, Angola



  1. ^ Haileegziabher Adhanom. 'This is just the beginning' Ethiopia's distance queen Almaz Ayana insists. August 7, 2017. Association Internationale De La Presse Sportive.
  2. ^ "Rome: Ayana, the feather of 5000 meters". IAAF Diamond League. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Almaz Ayana". Rio2016. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  4. ^ Peter Larsson (25 September 2017). "All-time women's best 3000m". Track and Field all-time Performances. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (11 August 2014).More gold medals and records for Okagbare and Bourrada at African championships. IAAF. Retrieved on 15 August 2014.
  6. ^ Ramsak Bob (14 September 2014).Report: Women's 5000m – IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014. IAAF. Retrieved on 9 June 2015.
  7. ^ Almaz Ayana Wins Women's 5000m | Brussels Diamond League. Retrieved on 10 September 2016.
  8. ^ "IAAF - Shanghai 2015 Results 5000m W".
  9. ^ "IAAF Profiles » Almaz Ayana". Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  10. ^ Morse, Parker (12 August 2016). "Report: Women's 10,000m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  11. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (29 June 2016). "Ayana wins in Hengelo with fastest 10,000m debut in history". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia wins first track gold medal at Rio 2016 and shatters 10,000m world record". 12 August 2016. Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b Ingle, Sean (12 August 2016). "Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana smashes 10,000m world record on way to gold". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  14. ^ Schofield, Daniel (12 August 2016). "Almaz Ayana insists 'my doping is my training, my doping is Jesus' after smashing world record at Rio 2016". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  15. ^ Germano, Sara (12 August 2016). "Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana Obliterates 10,000 Meters Record". Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Ethiopia told to do mass doping tests or face IAAF ban". 7 April 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  17. ^ McCann, Allison (12 August 2016). "Did Almaz Ayana Break The World Record By Too Much?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  18. ^ Henderson, Jason (12 August 2016). "Ethiopian tells cynics her Olympic 10,000m win is down to hard training and religious faith". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  19. ^ Gatward, Matt (12 August 2016). "Rio Olympics: Jo Pavey calls Almaz Ayana's surprise record smash 'the craziest race I've ever been in'". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Almaz AYANA | Profile |". Retrieved 2019-06-24.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
China Wang Junxia
Women's 10,000 m World Record Holder
12 August 2016 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ethiopia Genzebe Dibaba
IAAF World Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by