Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba

Born: 1st June 1985

Birth Place: Ethiopia

Known for: being an long distance runner.

Dibaba set a world record at the 2012 Olympics in the 10,000m race, the fastest time completed by a woman in that Olympic year.

She was voted ‘The greatest female athlete of 2020' by Athletics Weekly.

Dibaba has a total of six Olympic medals.

Tirunesh Dibaba

Life story

Early Life

Dibaba was born in the village of Bekoji, Arsi Zone of the Oromia Region, and the fourth of six children. She began competing in athletics at the age of fourteen.



Dibaba comes from an athletic family as she is one of three siblings who have been successful in athletics.

Her older sister, Ejegayehu, was a 10,000m Olympic silver medallist in Athens in 2004, whilst the youngest sister, Genzebe, is the 2015 world champion.

Dibaba and her sister Genzebe are the only siblings in history to have concurrent world records.

Dibaba would go on to become the youngest female world champion in the history of athletics and the first woman to achieve the Olympic 5,000m/10,000m double. She is nicknamed the “Baby-Faced Destroyer” because she looks so young, and also because she won her first world title at the age of sixteen.

Despite spending four years struggling with an injury, Dibaba managed to win the 10,000m race in the London 2012 Olympics, which further showed how much of a special talent she was and still is.

Dibaba stated that her skill as a runner came from her environment as a child: “I grew up walking with containers of water, that I went to fetch from the river after school every day, to assist my mother.”

Tirunesh is the youngest female world champion in the history of athletics.

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