Meselech Melkamu

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Meselech Melkamu
20090815 Meselech Melkamu.jpg
Meselech Melkamu at the 2009 World Championships.
Medal record
Representing  Ethiopia
Women's athletics
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2009 Berlin 10,000 m
World Indoor Championships
Silver medal – second place 2008 Valencia 3000 m
World Cross Country Championships
Gold medal – first place 2004 Bruxelles Junior race
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Fukuoka Long race
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Fukuoka Short race
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Mombasa Senior race
Bronze medal – third place 2009 Amman Senior race
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Bydgoszcz Senior race
African Championships
Gold medal – first place 2008 Addis Ababa 5000 m
Silver medal – second place 2010 Nairobi 10,000 m

Meselech Melkamu (Amharic: መሰለች መልካሙ; born 27 April 1985 in Debre Marqos) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner. She defeated Meseret Defar to win the 5000 m gold medal at the 2008 African Athletics Championships but she is better known for her 29:53.80 run over 10,000 m which ranks her second on the all-time list, behind only world record holder Wang Junxia. She is the fourth woman (of five) in history to break the 30 minute barrier and one of three Ethiopians to accomplish the feat.[1][2]

From 2012 onwards she began to compete in road races and won the Frankfurt Marathon in a course record of 2:21:01 hours.


She made her breakthrough in the junior ranks in 2004 by winning at the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and then taking the 5000 m title at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Athletics. She just missed the senior medals in 2005, taking fourth in the short race at the 2005 World Cross Country Championships and also fourth in the 5000 m at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics. Her first major medals as a senior athlete came the following year as Melkamu won bronze medals in both the long and short races at the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (also winning two team golds). She went on to win the Great Ireland Run the following month.[3]

She repeated her cross country bronze medal in 2007, helping the Ethiopian women the team gold again, and also won a silver medal on the track at the 2007 All-Africa Games, finishing as runner-up behind Meseret Defar in the 5000 m. She was sixth over that distance at the 2007 World Championships later that year. Melkamu won her first indoor medal over 3000 metres the following March, again taking the second spot behind Defar at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships. She did not win a medal at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (finishing in ninth place), but she excelled at the 2008 African Championships in Athletics by beating Defar to win the 5000 m African title. She was selected to represent Ethiopia at the 2008 Summer Olympics and finished in eighth place in the event final.[3]

She returned to the podium at the 2009 World Cross Country Championships, taking another bronze medal, and broke the African record in the 10,000 m with a time of 29:53.80 to win at the FBK Games, overturning Tirunesh Dibaba's mark. She won her first world track medal later that season, finishing as runner-up behind Linet Masai to take the 10,000 m silver at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. She continued her bronze medal streak at the 2010 World Cross Country Championships and won her second medal of the African Championships with a 10,000 m silver in Nairobi.[3] She won at the Obudu Ranch Mountain Race in 2010, which also brought her the women's title of the African Mountain Running Championships.[4]

She won a third consecutive title at the Jan Meda Cross Country in February 2011.[5] At the 2012 Frankfurt Marathon, her first race over 10 km distance, she stayed in the leading group until the 37th km, when she went away to an impressive debut victory, with a new course record of 2:21:01 hours.[6] She ran a half marathon best of 68:05 minutes at the RAK Half Marathon in February 2013, which brought her seventh place.[7]

Personal bests[edit]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
2004 World Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy 1st 5000 m 15:21.52
2005 World Cross Country Championships St-Étienne-St-Galmier, France 6th Short race (4.196 km) 13:28
1st Team 18 pts
4th Long race (8.108 km) 26:39
1st Team 16 pts
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 4th 5000 m 14:43.47
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th 3000 m 8:50.42
2006 World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 3rd Short race (4 km) 12:54
1st Team 25 pts
3rd Long race (8 km) 25:38
1st Team 16 pts
African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 6th 5000 m 16:01.09
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 6th 5000 m 16:08.03
2007 World Cross Country Championships Mombasa, Kenya 3rd Senior race (8 km) 26:48
1st Team 19 pts
All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 5000 m 15:03.86
World Championships Osaka, Japan 6th 5000 m 15:01.42
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 5000 m 15:06.20
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 2nd 3000 m 8:41.50
World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Great Britain 9th Senior race (7.905 km) 25:51
1st Team 18 pts
African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st 5000 m 15:49.81
Olympic Games Beijing, China 8th 5000 m 15:49.03
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 3rd 5000 m 14:58.76
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd 10,000 m 30:51.34
2010 World Cross Country Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 3rd Senior race (7.759 km) 24:26
2nd Senior team 22 pts
African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 2nd 10,000 m 31:55.50


  1. ^ Women's 10,000 all-time list
  2. ^ "Melkamu stuns with 29:53.80 run in Utrecht". IAAF. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Johannes, Sabrina (31 July 2010). Focus on Athletes – Meselech Melkamu. IAAF. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Dinkesa and Melkamu take African Mountain Running titles". IAAF. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Negash, Elshadai (21 February 2011). "Melkamu, Mesfin dominate Ethiopian trials for Punta Umbria". IAAF. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Patience pays for Makau in Frankfurt, debut win for Melkamu". IAAF. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Kabuu and Kipsang triumph in high-quality races at Ras al-Khaimah Half". IAAF. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 

External links[edit]