Belayneh Dinsamo

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Belayneh Densamo

Belayneh Densamo (born June 28, 1965) is an Ethiopian former long-distance runner, and a long-period world record holder for the marathon discipline. He held the world record for 10 years (1988-1998).

Early life[edit]

Belayneh was born in Diramo Afarrara in Sidamo, the southernmost province, and began first competing professionally at national level.


Densamo broke the world record by 22 seconds with a time of 2:06:50 at the 1988 Rotterdam Marathon, following three previous wins at major marathons 1986–1987. This record lasted the third-longest span ever recorded (and since the event was first professionally organized at the 1896 Olympics).

Last victories

Densamo won two major international marathons in 1989 and in 1990. He was not among the three Ethiopian men who entered the marathon in the 1992 Summer Olympics. He represented Ethiopia at the marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympics, as the world record holder in the relatively humid summer Atlanta, Georgia conditions and was among 13 of a field of 130 who did not finish.[1] Densamo's world record fell to Ronaldo da Costa at the Berlin Marathon in 1998.

As of 2009, Belayneh lives in the area of Cambridge, Massachusetts and has retired from international competition.


  • All results regarding marathon, unless stated otherwise
Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
1986 Tokyo Marathon Tokyo, Japan 2nd 2:08:29[2]
1986 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 2nd 2:09:09
1986 Moscow Marathon Moscow, Russia 1st 2:14:42
1987 All-Africa Games Nairobi, Kenya 1st 2:14:47
1987 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 1st 2:12:58
1988 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 1st 2:06:50
1988 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 2nd 2:11:09
1989 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 1st 2:08:39
1990 Tokyo Marathon Tokyo, Japan 3rd 2:11:32
1990 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 1st 2:11:35
1991 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 5th 2:11:34
1993 Beijing Marathon Beijing, China 3rd 2:12:11
1996 Marrakech Marathon Marrakech, Morocco 3rd 2:12:27
1996 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 1st 2:10:30


  1. ^ Belayneh Densamo Archived 2014-10-21 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Tanzanian Wins Tokyo Marathon". Los Angeles Times. 10 February 1986. Retrieved 1 April 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Men's Marathon World Record Holder
April 17, 1988 – September 20, 1998
Succeeded by