Ayele Abshero

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Ayele Abshero
Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia) - London 2012 Mens Marathon.jpg
Personal information
Born (1990-12-28) 28 December 1990 (age 28)
Yeboba, Ethiopia
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)[1]
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)[1]
Event(s)Long distance
Updated on 14 May 2012.

Ayele Abshero Biza (Amharic: አየለ አብሽሮ ቢዛ, born 28 December 1990) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who mainly competes in cross country and road races.

He came to prominence with a junior silver medal at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships before taking the junior title in 2009. He won the 2008 Zevenheuvelenloop and 2011 Egmond Half Marathon races. He made the fastest-ever marathon debut in history at the 2012 Dubai Marathon, winning in a time of 2:04:23 hours, which was the fourth-fastest ever.


He began to take running seriously in order to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Tessema Abshero, who is an accomplished marathon runner. He also was inspired by the longevity and success of fellow Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie.[2] Ayele ran at the 2007 Great Ethiopian Run, and just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish behind Feyisa Lilesa.[3] His first opportunity to represent Ethiopia at a major competition came at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He competed in the junior men's race and remained near the front in the later stages, eventually taking second place behind teammate Ibrahim Jeilan. This performance earned him two silver medals, individually and with the Ethiopian team.[4] Later that year he took part in the Zevenheuvelenloop road race in Nijmegen. He won the race in a personal best time of 45:15 minutes, defeating Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele and his brother Tariku Bekele.[5] This performance ranked him third-fastest over the distance that year.[6]

Ayele began the following season with a win at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza race and won by a margin of thirteen seconds, finishing far ahead of senior cross country medallists Moses Mosop and Leonard Komon.[7] After a top-five finish at the Cross Internacional de Itálica,[8] he returned to lead the Ethiopian junior team at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He was the favourite to win the race and fulfilled the predictions, taking the junior gold medal ahead of the persevering Kenyan Titus Mbishei who had pushed the race tempo throughout.[9] He ran on the track in Europe that summer and set a 5000 metres best of 13:11.38 minutes and 27:54.29 for the 10,000 metres in July.[10] The following month, he ran for Ethiopia at the 2009 African Junior Athletics Championships and came fourth in the 5000 m.[11] At the end of the year he again entered a Dutch 15K race, this time the Montferland Run, where he finished third some distance behind the winner Nicholas Manza Kamakya.[12]

With many of Ethiopia's main runners absent, he gained a place on the men's senior team for the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships with a runner-up performance at the Jan Meda Cross Country.[13][14] He finished the race in 24th position and, as the fifth finisher among the Ethiopians, his score did not count towards the team competition.[15] He took to the European road circuit in August, winning the Omloop race in Hem with a 10K best of 28:11 minutes. In September, he was third at the 10K race held at the Tilburg Ten Miles and took third again at the Dam tot Damloop.[16] He secured victory at the Egmond Half Marathon with half a minute to spare at the start of 2011, recording a time of 1:02:23 for his debut over the distance.[17] He improved upon this soon after at the City-Pier-City Loop, where he recorded 59:42 minutes for fourth in a tightly contested race.[18]

Ayele made his debut over the marathon distance, on a record-eligible course, at the 2012 Dubai Marathon in January. On a new course, he made the fastest-ever marathon debut with a course record time of 2:04:23 hours. Moses Mosop ran a debut marathon of 2:03:06 at the 2011 Boston Marathon, but the course was not record-eligible. His time was 30 seconds faster than the course record set by Haile Gebrselassie in 2008 and made him the fourth-fastest marathoner ever.[19][20] He won April's Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon and was one second off Deriba Merga's course record.[21] He was chosen for the Ethiopian Olympic marathon team in May and set a 10K best of 27:56 minutes for third place at the Great Manchester Run later that week.[22][23]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2008 World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Scotland 2nd Junior race (Team silver)
2009 World Cross Country Championships Amman, Jordan 1st Junior race (Team silver)
African Junior Championships Bambous, Mauritius 4th 5000 m
2010 World Cross Country Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 24th Senior race
2012 Dubai Marathon, Dubai UAE 1st Marathon 2:04:23 CR


  1. ^ a b "Elite Athletes" (PDF). assets.chicagomarathon.com. Chicago Marathon. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  2. ^ Powell, David (29 March 2009). "With brother and Gebrselassie as inspiration, Abshero rises in the ranks". IAAF. Archived from the original on 2 December 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  3. ^ Negash, Elshadai (25 November 2007). "Convincing victories for Kebede, Ayalew at Great Ethiopian Run". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ Powell, David (13 March 2008). "Junior Men's Race Report – Edinburgh 2008". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  5. ^ van Hemert, Wim (16 November 2008). "Tufa just shy of 15Km World record in Nijmegen – UPDATED". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  6. ^ "15 Kilometres 2008". IAAF. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  7. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (11 January 2009). "Abshero and Kiplagat dominate at Elgoibar Cross Country". IAAF. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  8. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (18 January 2009). "Kipsiro stings Bekele, Kiplagat cruises in Seville Cross Country". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  9. ^ Powell, David (18 March 2009). "Junior Men's Race Report – Amman 2009". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  10. ^ Ayele Abshero Archived 10 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  11. ^ Ouma, Mark (4 August 2009). "More championship record fall in Bambous – African junior champs, Day 3". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  12. ^ van Hemert, Wim (8 December 2009). "Beating the conditions, Manza and Cheptonui take Montferland 15Km wins". IAAF. Chinese Olympic Committee. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  13. ^ Negash, Elshadai (21 February 2010). "Melkamu and unheralded A. Bekele take Ethiopian World XC trials titles". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  14. ^ Butler, Mark (24 March 2010). "Bydgoszcz 2010 – Time for another Paul? Men's Races Preview". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  15. ^ "2010 World XC Championships -Official Team Results Senior Race – M". IAAF. 28 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  16. ^ van Hemert, Wim (20 September 2010). "Fast ten mile runs for Kibet and Mwangangi in Zaandam". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  17. ^ van Hemert, Wim (10 January 2011). "Abshero and Afework score Ethiopian double in Egmond aan Zee". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  18. ^ van Hemert, Wim (14 March 2011). "Desisa and Chepcirchir take fast Half Marathon wins in The Hague". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Ethiopia's Ayele Abshero breaks course record in Dubai Marathon in debut". The Washington Post. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  20. ^ Butcher, Pat (27 January 2012). "Abshero stuns with 2:04:23 debut, Mergia clocks 2:19:31 in Dubai". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  21. ^ Jalava, Mirko (30 April 2012). "Abshero and Ongori take Half Marathon victories in Yangzhou". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  22. ^ Negash, Elshadai (17 May 2012). "Abshero and Gelana to lead Ethiopia's Marathon squad for London 2012". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  23. ^ Wenig, Jörg (20 May 2012). "Gebrselassie takes another strong 10k victory in Manchester". IAAF. Retrieved 7 May 2016.

External links[edit]