Almaz Ayana

Almaz Ayana Eba (born 21 November 1991) is an Ethiopian female long-distance runner who competes in the 3000 metres, 5000 metres, and 10,000 metres events.

Ethiopia Long-distance runner

Career

She set a new 10,000 metres world record, breaking the previous one set in 1993, when winning gold in the event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Almaz won bronze medal in 5000 m event at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics held in Moscow, Russia. In the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, she won the 5000 m course beating Genzebe Dibaba by a long distance.

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

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

On June 2, 2016, Almaz Ayana ran 5000 metres in 14:12.59 at IAAF Golden Gala in Rome. This made Almaz the second fastest woman ever on 5000 metres, second only to Tirunesh Dibaba, who holds the world record of 14:11.15.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics final, she recorded the fastest time in history for the 10,000 m event, topping by 14 seconds the previous world record of Chinese athlete Wang Junxia, which had stood for 23 years; no one had previously managed to get within 22 seconds of Wang’s record. Almaz stopped the clock at 29:17.45. Already a world champion in 5000 m, this was the first time she had attempted to run the distance at a major event. She had run the distance competitively just once before, when she beat Tirunesh in the Ethiopian Olympic trials in June with the fastest ever debut of 30:07.

The 10,000m final was an extremely fast race, with second-placed Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya finishing just a second shy of Wang’s record, and double Olympic 10,000m-champion Tirunesh Dibaba claiming bronze with an improvement in her PB of more than 12 seconds. Multiple national records were set, and eighteen competitors set personal bests.

Nevertheless, the extremely lax nature of drug testing in Ethiopia, and the doping scandals that had embroiled athletics before the Rio Olympics, meant questions were immediately raised about how Almaz could have surpassed the previous, seemingly untouchable record of China’s Wang by such a margin. British commentators Brendan Foster and Paula Radcliffe, both former world-record holders in distance events, expressed scepticism about Almaz’s performance. Fellow competitors were also concerned: they reported that, before the race, the Ethiopian was coughing and did not seem well. In her post-race press conference, Almaz said her time was purely an outcome of hard training.

 

Personal bests

PERSONAL BEST – OUTDOOR

PERFORMANCE PLACE DATE
3000 Metres 8:22.22 Rabat (Prince Moulay Abdellah)

14 JUN 2015

5000 Metres

14:12.59 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 02 JUN 2016
10,000 Metres 29:17.45 Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico)

12 AUG 2016

10 Kilometres

32:19:00 Luanda 31 DEC 2010
3000 Metres Steeplechase 9:22.51 Bruxelles (Boudewijnstadion)

27 AUG 2010

 

PERSONAL BEST – INDOOR

PERFORMANCE PLACE DATE
3000 Metres 8:43.47 Stockholm (Globe Arena)

06 FEB 2014

Palmares

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

Video

National championships

International championships

2014, Gold in IAAF Continental Cup, (Marrakech), 5000 m – 15’33”32
2016, Winner of the Diamond League in the 3000/5000 meter