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Ethiopia at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Ethiopia competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, from 5 to 21 August 2016. The country's participation in Rio de Janeiro marked its thirteenth appearance at the Summer Olympics since its debut in 1956, having missed three different occasions for joining the African (1976), Soviet (1984), and North Korean (1988) boycotts.

Ethiopia at the
2016 Summer Olympics
Flag of Ethiopia.svg
NOCEthiopian Olympic Committee
in Rio de Janeiro
Competitors38 in 3 sports
Flag bearerRobel Kiros Habte[1]
Ranked 44th
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

The Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) confirmed a team of 38 athletes, 18 men and 20 women, to compete only in track and field, swimming, and road cycling (the country's Olympic return from a 24-year absence) at the Games. The nation's full roster also achieved a historic milestone, as the number of female athletes outnumbered the men for the first time.

Eleven Ethiopian athletes previously competed in London, with only three of them having won medals, including two-time defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba in the women's 10,000 metres, steeplechaser Sofia Assefa, and long-distance runner Dejen Gebremeskel (men's 5000 metres). Other notable athletes on the Ethiopian team featured Dibaba's younger sister and current world record holder Genzebe in middle-distance running, reigning world champions Mare Dibaba (women's marathon) and Almaz Ayana, and freestyle swimmer Robel Kiros Habte, who was appointed as the nation's flag bearer at the opening ceremony and eventually acknowledged internet fame for his portly build and slow qualifying time.[1][2][3]

Ethiopia left Rio de Janeiro with a total of eight medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze), matching its overall tally from the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.[4] Among the nation's medalists were Ayana, who overturned a long-standing world record to become an Olympic champion in the women's 10,000 metres, and Feyisa Lilesa, who flaunted an anti-government gesture upon finishing second in the men's marathon.[5][6] Ayana's predecessor Dibaba witnessed her three-peat bid come to an end with a bronze-medal finish in her pet event, while Genzebe followed her elder sister's Olympic legacy by earning a silver in the women's 1500 metres.[7]



Medal Name Sport Event Date
  Gold Almaz Ayana Athletics Women's 10,000 m 12 August
  Silver Genzebe Dibaba Athletics Women's 1500 m 16 August
  Silver Feyisa Lilesa Athletics Men's marathon 21 August
  Bronze Tirunesh Dibaba Athletics Women's 10,000 m 12 August
  Bronze Tamirat Tola Athletics Men's 10,000 m 13 August
  Bronze Mare Dibaba Athletics Women's marathon 14 August
  Bronze Almaz Ayana Athletics Women's 5000 m 20 August
  Bronze Hagos Gebrhiwet Athletics Men's 5000 m 20 August

Athletics (track and field)Edit

Ethiopian athletes have so far achieved qualifying standards in the following athletics events (up to a maximum of 3 athletes in each event):[8][9]

Following the end of the qualifying period on July 11, a total of 35 track and field athletes (16 men and 19 women) were officially named to the Ethiopian roster for the Games, with Tirunesh Dibaba looking to defend her Olympic title for the third consecutive time in the women's 10,000 metres. Apart from Dibaba, notable athletes also featured London 2012 silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel (men's 5000 metres), double Worlds long-distance champion Almaz Ayana, and middle-distance aces Mohammed Aman and Tirunesh's sister Genzebe Dibaba. [10]

  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round
  • NM = No mark

Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Mohammed Aman 800 m 1:48.33 2 Q 1:46.14 8 Did not advance
Mekonnen Gebremedhin 1500 m 3:47.33 5 Q 3:40.69 7 Did not advance
Dawit Wolde 3:39.29 10 q 3:41.42 10 Did not advance
Aman Wote DNS Did not advance
Muktar Edris 5000 m 13:19.65 2 Q N/A DSQ
Dejen Gebremeskel 13:19.67 3 Q N/A 13:51.91 12
Hagos Gebrhiwet 13:24.65 1 Q N/A 13:04.35  
Yigrem Demelash 10000 m N/A 27:06.27 4
Abadi Hadis N/A 27:26.34 15
Tamirat Tola N/A 27:06.26  
Hailemariyam Amare 3000 m steeplechase 8:35.01 8 N/A Did not advance
Chala Beyo 8:32.06 7 N/A Did not advance
Tafese Seboka DSQ N/A Did not advance
Tesfaye Abera Marathon N/A DNF
Lemi Berhanu N/A 2:13:29 13
Feyisa Lelisa N/A 2:09:54  
Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Habitam Alemu 800 m 1:58.99 3 q 2:00.07 6 Did not advance
Tigist Assefa 2:00.21 5 Did not advance
Gudaf Tsegay 2:00.13 4 Did not advance
Genzebe Dibaba 1500 m 4:10.61 1 Q 4:03.06 1 Q 4:10.27  
Besu Sado 4:08.11 6 Q 4:05.19 4 Q 4:13.58 9
Dawit Seyaum 4:05.33 1 Q 4:04.23 2 Q 4:13.14 8
Almaz Ayana 5000 m 15:04.35 1 Q N/A 14:33.59  
Senbere Teferi 15:17.43 2 Q N/A 14:43.75 5
Ababel Yeshaneh 15:24.38 8 q N/A 15:18.26 14
Almaz Ayana 10000 m N/A 29:17.45 WR  
Gelete Burka N/A 30:26.66 8
Tirunesh Dibaba N/A 29:42.56  
Sofia Assefa 3000 m steeplechase 9:18.75 2 Q N/A 9:17.15 5
Hiwot Ayalew 9:35.09 7 N/A Did not advance
Etenesh Diro 9:34.70 7 q N/A 9:38.77 15
Mare Dibaba Marathon N/A 2:24:30  
Tirfi Tsegaye N/A 2:24:47 4
Tigist Tufa N/A DNF
Yehualeye Beletew 20 km walk N/A DSQ
Askale Tiksa N/A 1:44:15 61



Ethiopia has qualified one rider in the men's Olympic road race by virtue of being ranked in the top two NOCs at the 2015 African Championships, signifying the nation's Olympic comeback in the sport for the first time since 1992.[11][12]

Athlete Event Time Rank
Tsgabu Grmay Men's road race Did not finish


Ethiopia has received a Universality invitation from FINA to send two swimmers (one male and one female) to the Olympics.[13][14][15]

Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Robel Kiros Habte Men's 100 m freestyle 1:04.95 59 Did not advance
Rahel Gebresilassie Women's 50 m freestyle 32.51 75 Did not advance


  1. ^ a b "The Flagbearers for the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Ethiopian 'whale' swimmer is son of swimming federation boss". RT. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Rio 2016: The Olympic swimmer who's – very slowly – becoming crowd favourite". The Independent. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Ethiopia's Rio Olympics Performance – Result Falls Short of Expectations". The Ethiopian Herald. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Rio Olympics: Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana sets world record in winning women's 10,000 meters". Los Angeles Times. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest". The Guardian. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  7. ^ Fantahun, Arefayné (17 August 2016). "Genzebe Dibaba comes second to win silver for Ethiopia". Ethiopia Observer. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  8. ^ " – Top Lists". IAAF. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  9. ^ "IAAF Games of the XXX Olympiad – Rio 2016 Entry Standards" (PDF). IAAF. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Ayana targets double gold as Ethiopia announce team for Rio". IAAF. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  11. ^ Samuel, Rahel (11 February 2015). "Historic Day for Ethiopian Cycling as Tsgabu Grmay wins Gold Medal". Ethiosports. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  12. ^ "UCI announces men's road Olympic quotas". 18 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Swimming World Rankings". FINA. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Men's Final Entry List" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Women's Final Entry List" (PDF). FINA. Retrieved 20 July 2016.

External linksEdit