News01 Jun 2016

World champion Dibaba leads Ethiopia’s Olympic marathon selections


Mare Dibaba in the marathon at the Olympic Games (© Getty Images)

World marathon champion Mare Dibaba is one of six athletes who will represent Ethiopia in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation has confirmed its selections – along with several reserves – for both the men’s and women’s marathon, following the announcement of its provisional selection last month.

The men’s team comprises the winners of three of the world’s biggest marathons so far this year: Dubai Marathon champion Tesfaye Abera, Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu and Tokyo Marathon champion Feyisa Lelisa, with 2013 world silver medallist Lelisa Desisa as the reserve.

Dibaba, who equalled her lifetime best of 2:19:52 when winning last year’s Xiamen Marathon, is joined on the women’s team by Dubai Marathon champion Tirfi Tsegaye, who clocked a world-leading 2:19:41 earlier this year, and Tigist Tufa, who won the 2015 London Marathon and finished second in this year’s race.

Two-time Berlin Marathon champion Aberu Kebede and three-time Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia are now the reserves.