Gudaf Tsegay

Gudaf Tsegay Desta (born 23 June 1997)[1] is an Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner.[2] She is the 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist in the women's 5000 metres. At the World Athletics Championships, she won a bronze for the 1500 metres in 2019 and a silver in this event and gold for the 5000 m in 2022. Tsegay is a two-time 1500 m World Indoor Championship medallist, winning gold in 2022 and bronze in 2016. She is the current world record holder in the indoor 1500 m, the event in which she also set world under-18 (current) and U20 records.

Gudaf Tsegay
Gudaf Tsegay - victory at the 1500 m, 2022 World Indoor Championships, Belgrade.jpg
Tsegay winning the 1500 m at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade
Personal information
Full nameGudaf Tsegay Desta
Born (1997-06-23) 23 June 1997 (age 25)
Height1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb)
Event(s)Middle-, Long-distance running
Coached byHiluf Yihdego
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Ethiopia
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2020 Tokyo 5000 m
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2022 Eugene 5000 m
Silver medal – second place 2022 Eugene 1500 m
Bronze medal – third place 2019 Doha 1500 m
World Indoor Championships
Gold medal – first place 2022 Belgrade 1500 m
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Portland 1500 m
World Junior Championships
Silver medal – second place 2014 Eugene 1500 m

At age 17, she was the 2014 World Junior Championship 1500 m silver medalist. She represented her country over the distance at the 2014 World Indoor Championships. Tsegay is a versatile runner. As of February 2023, she was the world's 10th fastest woman in the indoor 800 metres, and sixth for both the 5000 m and 10,000 metres.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Gudaf Tsegay comes from the Tigray Region in northern Ethiopia. She is married to Hiluf Yihdego, who is also her coach.[4]


In February 2014, 17-year-old Tsegay set the world's fastest under-18 mark in the indoor 1500 metres with a time of 4:08.47 in Stockholm.[3] In July, she became the World U20 Championship silver medallist in Eugene, Oregon. clocking 4:10.83 behind her compatriot Dawit Seyaum in 4:09.86.

Two years later, Tsegay broke the world U20 indoor record in this event with a time of 4:01.81 in Glasgow, beating previous best set by compatriot Kalkidan Gezahegne in 2010 by more than a second.[5] Tsegay's record was bettered in 2020 by her another compatriot Lemlem Hailu.[3] At the World Indoor Championships held in Portland, Oregon, she won the bronze medal in 4:05.71 behind only Sifan Hassan representing the Netherlands (4:04.96) and Dawit (4:05.30). The then 19-year-old represented Ethiopia in the 800 metres at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she was eliminated in her heat, clocking 2:00.13.

In the 1500 m final at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Tsegay (R in yellow) lost only to Sifan Hassan and Faith Kipyegon (L in red).

In 2017, she competed at the London World Championships and went out of the 1500 m event in the semi-finals. She fell after the first lap and posted the slowest time, slower by about 13 seconds than that ran in the heats.[6]

At the following World Championships in 2019 in Doha, Qatar, Tsegay won the bronze medal in the event with a personal best time of 3:54.38. Hassan was first in 3:51.95 while Kenya's Faith Kipyegon finished second in 3:54.22.[7]

The next year, she earned her first overall 1500 m World Indoor Tour victory, winning races at the Copernicus Cup in Toruń, Poland, Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in Liévin, France and Villa de Madrid in Spain.

2021: World indoor 1500 m recordEdit

On 9 February, Tsegay broke the world indoor 1500 m record at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais (FR).[8] The former mark of 3:55.17 set by her compatriot Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 was lowered by Tsegay to 3 minutes 53.09 seconds.[9]

In June, she posted best time of the year for the 5000 metres with her mark of 14:13.32 to take a bronze at the event in 14:38.87 at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hassan came first in 14:36.79 while Kenya's Hellen Obiri was second clocking 14:38.36.[10]

2022: World 5000 m championEdit

Tsegay took her first global title at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade.

In February 2022, Tsegay contested the mile in Liévin. After falling on the first lap, she finished in 4:21.72, missing Dibaba's world record of 4:13.31 but breaking the 20-year-old meeting record.[11] A few days later, chasing her own world indoor record over 1500 m at the Copernicus Cup in Poland, she was only 1.68 seconds behind, securing the second-fastest mark on the world indoor all-time list.[12] She comfortably took her second overall World Indoor Tour 1500 m victory eight days later at the Villa de Madrid Indoor Meeting, producing another record-breaking 3:57.38, the fifth-fastest result in turn on the world all-time indoor ranking.[13]

Also in March, Tsegay continued her record-breaking form, dominating in her specialist event at the World Indoor Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia. She took her first global title, setting a championship record of 3:57.19 and winning by more than five seconds (~30 m). She led an Ethiopian medals sweep as Axumawit Embaye and Hirut Meshesha finished second and third, respectively. It was the first time one country swept the medals in any discipline, and the seventh successive Ethiopian women's victory in the event, at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.[14]

Her best success of that year came in July at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, where she won two medals including her first global outdoor title. First the 25-year-old took silver in the 1500 m event, finishing behind only Faith Kipyegon and ahead of Laura Muir. Five days later, she claimed the gold medal for the closely-run 5000 m race with a time of 14:46.29 ahead of Beatrice Chebet in 14:46.75 and compatriot Dawit Seyaum (14:47.36).[15]

Tsegay doubled up at the Diamond League final in Zürich in September, placing third in the 5 kilometres road race and sixth in the 1500 m event.[1]


She got her 2023 campaign off to strong start in February, running indoor mile in Toruń (PL). Tsegay missed the world record but her time of 4:16.16 was the second-fastest ever at the time.[16] The same month, she came within just 0.09 seconds of Dibaba's world indoor 3000 m record, clocking super fast 8:16.69 at the World Indoor Tour final in Birmingham.[17]


Gudaf (in the foreground in green) leads the pack en route to her 5000 m victory at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Personal bestsEdit

Type Event Time (m:s) Place Date Notes
Track 800 metres 1:59.52 Paris, France 24 August 2019
800 metres indoor 1:57.52 i Val-de-Reuil, France 14 February 2021 NR, 10th woman all time
1500 metres 3:54.01 Chorzów, Poland 20 June 2021 12th woman all time
1500 metres indoor 3:53.09 i Liévin, France 9 February 2021 World record
One mile 4:16.14 London, United Kingdom 22 July 2018 6th woman all time
One mile indoor 4:16.16 i Toruń, Poland 8 February 2023 2nd all time
3000 metres 8:25.23 Doha, Qatar 25 September 2020
3000 metres indoor 8:16.69 i Birmingham, United Kingdom 25 February 2023 2nd all time
5000 metres 14:13.32 Hengelo, Netherlands 8 June 2021 6th all time
10,000 metres 29.39.42 Maia, Portugal 8 May 2021 6th woman all time

International competitionsEdit

Representing   Ethiopia
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 9th (h) 1500 m i 4:11.83
World Junior Championships Eugene, OR, United States 2nd 1500 m 4:10.83
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, OR, United States 3rd 1500 m i 4:05.71
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 19th (h) 800 m 2:00.13
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 24th (sf) 1500 m 4:22.01
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 3rd 1500 m 3:54.38
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 3rd 5000 m 14:38.87
2022 World Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 1st 1500 m i 3:57.19 CR
World Championships Eugene, OR, United States 2nd 1500 m 3:54.52
1st 5000 m 14:46.29

Circuit wins and titles, National titlesEdit


  1. ^ a b "Gudaf TSEGAY – Athlete profile". World Athletics. Retrieved 25 February 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Bloom, Ben (9 February 2021). "Laura Muir sets new 1500m British indoor mark but Gudaf Tsegay triumphs in world record time". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "All time Top lists – 10,000 m Women – World | until 2022-02-23". World Athletics. Retrieved 23 February 2022. Use filters for details{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Karoney, Celestine (24 March 2023). "Becoming world champion during a civil war". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  5. ^ Mills, Steven (20 February 2016). "1500m world lead for Iguider in Glasgow, world U20 indoor record for Tsegay". World Athletics. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  6. ^ "WCH 17 | London 2017 – 1500 metres Women | Timetable". World Athletics. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  7. ^ "WCH 19 | Doha 2019 – 1500 metres Women | Final". World Athletics. 5 October 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Laura Muir six seconds back as Gudaf Tsegay smashes 1500m world record". The Guardian. 9 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  9. ^ "1500 Metres - women - senior - indoor". Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  10. ^ "The XXXII Olympic Games | Tokyo 2020 – 5000 metres Women | Final". World Athletics. 2 August 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  11. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (17 February 2022). "Ingebrigtsen breaks world indoor 1500m record in Lievin". World Athletics. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  12. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (22 February 2022). "Home sprinter Swoboda beats double Olympic champion Thompson-Herah over 60m in Toruń". Inside the Games. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  13. ^ Smythe, Steve (8 March 2022). "Weekly Round-up - Records in US 10,000m and fast women's times at Trafford 10km". AW. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  14. ^ Turnbull, Simon (19 March 2022). "World record-holder Tsegay leads Ethiopian 1500m medal sweep in Belgrade". World Athletics. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Gudaf Tsegay Closes in 59.95 To Win Her 1st World Title In Women's 5000". 23 July 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  16. ^ Whittington, Jess (8 February 2023). "Tsegay triumphs with No.2 all-time indoor mile in Torun". World Athletics. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  17. ^ Whittington, Jess (25 February 2023). "Tsegay threatens world indoor 3000m record, as tour titles are won in Birmingham". World Athletics. Retrieved 25 February 2023.

External linksEdit