Almaz Ayana Eba (Amharic: አልማዝ አያና ኤባ, born 21 November 1991) is an Ethiopian female long-distance runner who competes in the 3000 metres, 5000 metres, and 10,000 metres events. She broke the 10,000 metres world record, set in 1993, while winning the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. At the 2017 World Championships in London, Almaz won the gold medal in the 10,000 metres, finishing 46 seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Almaz Ayana at the 2015 World Championships
|Born||21 November 1991|
Wenbera, Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Ethiopia
|Height||1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Weight||47 kg (104 lb)|
|Event(s)||3000 metres, 5000 metres, 10,000 meters|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||2000 metres (outdoor track): 5:35.10 (28th fastest of all-time)|
3000 metres (outdoor track): 8:22.22 (15th fastest of all time)
5000 metres (outdoor track): 14:12.59 (2nd fastest of all time)
10,000 metres (outdoor track): 29:17.45 (world record)
Almaz won her first senior 5000 metres title at the 2014 African Championships in Marrakech, defeating favourite Genzebe Dibaba in a championship record time of 15:32.72. One month later at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, she won the 5000 metres by over 24 seconds.
In May 2015, Almaz ran a personal best of 14:14.32 over 5000 metres at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China, improving upon her previous personal best of 14:25.84 set in 2013 in Paris. This made her the third fastest female athlete over that distance, behind compatriots Tirunesh Dibaba, the world record holder, and Meseret Defar.
At the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, she won the 5000 metres, beating bronze medalist Genzebe Dibaba by more than 17 seconds.
On 2 June 2016, Almaz ran 5000 metres in 14:12.59 at the Golden Gala meeting in Rome. This made her the second fastest woman ever at this distance, behind only Tirunesh Dibaba's world record of 14:11.15.
She ran the 10,000 metres competitively for the first time at the June 2016 Ethiopian Olympic trials in Hengelo, Netherlands. She posted the fastest ever debut time of 30:07 and defeated Tirunesh Dibaba.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she set a world record of 29:17.45 in the 10,000 metres, topping Chinese athlete Wang Junxia's 23 year old world record by 14 seconds. No one previously had run within 22 seconds of Wang's record. The 10,000 metres was an extremely fast race, with second-placed Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya finishing just a second shy of Wang's record and double Olympic 10,000 metres champion Tirunesh Dibaba earning the bronze medal with a 12 seconds improvement in her personal best. Multiple national records were set, and eighteen competitors set personal bests. The lax drug testing regime in Ethiopia and the doping scandals that embroiled athletics before the Rio Olympics caused some to question whether Almaz had been doping. British commentators Brendan Foster and Paula Radcliffe, both former world record holders in distance events, were skeptical about Almaz's performance. Fellow competitors reported that before the race, the Ethiopian was coughing and did not seem well. In her post-race press conference, Ayana said her time was purely the outcome of hard training.
On 5 August 2017, she won the 10,000 metres at the World Championships in London.
|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|
|2017||World Championships||London, United Kingdom||2nd||5000 m||14:40.35|
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- Ingle, Sean (12 August 2016). "Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana smashes 10,000m world record on way to gold". theguardian.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Schofield, Daniel (12 August 2016). "Almaz Ayana insists 'my doping is my training, my doping is Jesus' after smashing world record at Rio 2016". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
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- McCann, Allison (12 August 2016). "Did Almaz Ayana Break The World Record By Too Much?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Henderson, Jason (12 August 2016). "Ethiopian tells cynics her Olympic 10,000m win is down to hard training and religious faith". athleticsweekly.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Gatward, Matt (12 August 2016). "Rio Olympics: Jo Pavey calls Almaz Ayana's surprise record smash 'the craziest race I've ever been in'". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2016.