Deresse Mekonnen

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Deresse Mekonnen
Deresse Mekonnen Doha 2010.jpg
Mekonnen at the 2010 World Indoor Championships
Personal information
Born (1987-10-20) October 20, 1987 (age 31)
Sheno, Ethiopia
Country Ethiopia
Event(s)1500 metres, Mile
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 metres: 3:32.26[1]
Mile: 3:48.95[1]

Deresse Mekonnen Tsigu (Amharic: ደረሠ መኮንነን; born 20 October 1987) is an Ethiopian middle distance runner, who specializes in the 1500 metres. He is a two-time World Indoor champion and was the silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships. He represented Ethiopia in the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and holds the Ethiopian record for the mile run.

Running career[edit]

Born in Sheno, Oromia Region,[2] his first major international competition was the 2007 World Championships in Osaka where he finished 11th in the heats.[3] His first major win came at the 2008 World Indoor Championships in Valencia at the 1500 m, where he was initially disqualified for a lane violation after winning the race. However, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation made an appeal, and the disqualification was reversed, giving Mekonnen the gold medal.[4] He came third in the Dream Mile at the Bislett Games in June with an Ethiopian record of 3:49.72 for the distance.[5] He gained selection for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but he just missed a place in the 1500 m final as he was eliminated in the semi-finals.

The following year, he became the first Ethiopian to win the Dream Mile and he further improved his national mark in the process, running 3:48.95 minutes.[6] He also improved his 1500 m best to 3:32.18 minutes at the Herculis meeting in Monaco.[7] He entered the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin and reached the 1500 m final. He won the silver medal behind Yusuf Saad Kamel, becoming Ethiopia's first medallist in the event at the World Championships.[8] He competed in both the 1500 m and 3000 m at the season-closer 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final, but failed to medal in either event.[7]

His focus of the 2010 season was to retain his world title at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. In the buildup to the competition, he ran at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham and improved his 1500 m indoor best to 3:33.10 – fifth on the all-time rankings.[9] At the World Indoor Championships Mekonnen held off a challenge from Abdalaati Iguider and became the first athlete since Hicham El Guerrouj to win back-to-back 1500 m titles indoors.[10] A stomach problem side-lined him for six months but on his return in January 2011 he broke Bernard Lagat's six-year-long win streak in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games.[11]

Personal bests[edit]




Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 28th (h) 1500 m 3:43.15
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 1st 1500 m 3:38.23
African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4th 1500 m 3:44.19
Olympic Games Beijing, China 13th (sf) 1500 m 3:37.85
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd 1500 m 3:36.01
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 8th 1500 m 3:37.51
4th 3000 m 8:05.32
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 1500 m 3:41.86
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 11th (sf) 1500 m 3:44.65


  1. ^ a b All-Athletics. "Profile of Deresse Mekonnen".
  2. ^ Deresse Mekonnen Archived 2011-01-25 at the Wayback Machine.. Sports-Reference. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  3. ^ "Mekonnen Deresse". IAAF. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Men's 1500m - FINAL...UPDATED RESULT after Jury of Appeal decision". IAAF. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2008.
  5. ^ Turner, Chris (2008-06-07). Dibaba’s World record and Kaki’s World Junior mark leaves Oslo in awe - ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  6. ^ Turner, Chris (2009-07-03). Richards improves season’s lead in style; World Junior Mile record in Oslo - REPORT - ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  7. ^ a b Mekonnen Deresse. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  8. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2009-08-19). Event Report - Men's 1500m - Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  9. ^ Brown, Matthew (2010-02-20). World leads set, national records tumble on action-packed programme in Birmingham. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  10. ^ Arcoleo, Laura (2010-03-13). EVENT REPORT - MEN's 1500 Metres Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.
  11. ^ Morse, Parker (2011-01-29). Mekonnen stops Lagat at Millrose. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-29.

External links[edit]