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Tariku Bekele

Tariku Bekele

Ethiopian long-distance runner
Tariku Bekele
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Ethiopian long-distance runner
Is Athlete Runner Long-distance runner
From Ethiopia
Type Sports
Gender male
Birth 28 February 1987, Bekoji
Age 34 years
Tariku Bekele
The details (from wikipedia)


Tariku Bekele (Amharic: ታሪኩ በቀለ; born 28 February 1987) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who specializes in the 5000 metres and has moved up to 10000 metres as well. He is the younger brother of Kenenisa Bekele. He is the fourth fastest Ethiopian ever over 5000 m and 3000 metres. His indoor 3000 m best of 7:31.09 ranks him as the ninth fastest of all-time in the event. He was the 10,000 m bronze medallist at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
His first major victory came at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships, where he won the 3000 m gold medal. He was the 2006 World Junior Champion over the distance and also won a cross country junior bronze medal that year. He took a continental silver medal at the 2007 All-Africa Games. Tariku has finished in the top eight of 5000 m finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the World Championships in Athletics in 2005 and 2007.

Running career

Following the footsteps of his older brother, he first had success at the younger levels of the sport. He won the 3000 m silver medal behind Augustine Choge at the 2003 World Youth Championships in Athletics and stepped up a distance to take the bronze medal over 5000 m at the 2004 World Junior Championships a year later. He beat Paul Tergat in the 2004 Oeiras International Cross Country meeting.

He made his senior global debut at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and finished in seventh place in the 5000 m, just ahead of his more experienced compatriot Dejene Berhanu. He ran the 3000 m at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships, finishing in sixth place. Building upon his successes on the track, he was third in the junior race at the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (while his brother Kenenisa won both senior races).

Tariku became the 5000 m junior champion at the 2006 World Junior Championships and was fourth over the distance at the 2006 IAAF World Athletics Final. He took the 3000 m gold at the World Final, however, having also run the third fastest 3000 m time of the season (7:29.11) in a second-place performance behind Isaac Kiprono Songok at the Rieti Meeting.

Tariku leading at the 2010 ISTAF meeting

His main focus of the 2007 season was on the 5000 m and he won the silver medal at the 2007 All-Africa Games before going on to take fifth place at the 2007 World Championships over the distance – the best performance by an Ethiopian at the competition. He ascended to the top of his event at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships by winning the indoor 3000 m title at the age of 21 – succeeding his brother as the champion in the event. He made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and was sixth over 5000 m. Among other competitions, he competed at the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final that year, also finishing in sixth.

He attempted to defend his world title at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, but it was not to be and he finished in fourth place as Bernard Lagat succeeded him as the 3000 m champion. In the inaugural 2010 IAAF Diamond League series he took two major wins at the Prefontaine Classic and the Weltklasse Zurich meets. He set a world-leading time in the 3000 m at the 2010 Rieti IAAF Grand Prix, running 7:28.70 to finish .30 seconds ahead of Bernard Lagat (who set an American record). The 2010 IAAF Continental Cup presented another opportunity as he was selected to represent Africa over 3000 m. Just as had happened indoors, he was fourth and out of the medals while Lagat took the honours. Tariku took to the roads at the end of the track season, competing at the 10-mile Dam tot Damloop race, but he could only manage sixth place with a time of 46:44. He then ran at the Memorial Peppe Greco and finished as runner-up, beaten to the line by a second by defending champion Edwin Soi.

In 2011 he competed on the 2011 IAAF Diamond League circuit, coming third over 5000 m at the Adidas Grand Prix and fourth over two miles at the Prefontaine Classic. His season's best run of 12:55.47 minutes came at the Herculis meeting in Monaco. He was selected as a back-up runner for the Ethiopian team at the 2011 World Championships, but did not compete. He ended the year with a win at the Saint Silvester Road Race, becoming only the second Ethiopian to win the race after Tesfaye Jifar.

He guaranteed his selection for the 2012 London Olympics with a 10,000 m win at the FBK Games in May 2012 and a personal best run of 27:03.24 minutes to finish second to his brother Kenenisa at the United Kingdom trials. At the Olympic 10,000 m final Tariku finished ahead of his brother to edge into the bronze medal spot and finish as Africa's top performer in the event – it was his first major outdoor medal on the global stage. After the Olympics he competed in a number of road races. He won the Giro di Castelbuono 10K, placed third at the Great South Run and recorded a time of 62:59 minutes in his half marathon debut in Lisbon. He again closed the year with a New Year race win, this time with a personal best run of 28:29 minutes at the San Silvestre Vallecana 10K.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
2003 World Youth Championships Sherbrooke, Canada 2nd 3000 m 7:54.71
2004 World Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy 3rd 5000 m 13:30.86
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 10th 5000 m 13:18.98
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 7th 5000 m 13:34.76
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th 3000 m 7:40.30
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 6th 3000 m 7:47.67
World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 3rd Junior (8 km) 23:56
World Junior Championships Beijing, China 1st 5000 m 13:31.34
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 4th 5000 m 13:50.03
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 3rd 5000 m 13:13.43
World Championships Osaka, Japan 5th 5000 m 13:47.33
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 1st 3000 m 7:48.23
African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4th 5000 m 13:53.03
Olympic Games Beijing, China 6th 5000 m 13:19.06
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 4th 3000 m 7:40.10
African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 6th 5000 m 13:42.41
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd 10000 m 27:31.43

Personal bests

Distance Mark Date Location
3000 metres 7:28.70 29 August 2010 Rieti, Italy
5000 metres 12:52.45 1 June 2008 Berlin, Germany
10,000 metres 27:03.24 22 June 2012 Birmingham, United Kingdom
Half marathon 1:02:11 12 September 2014 Chicago, Illinois

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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