Gezahegne Abera

Gezahegne Abera

Gezahegne Abera (born April 23, 1978) is an Ethiopian athlete, winner of the marathon race at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Born in Etya, Arsi Province, Abera's first international competition was the 1999 Los Angeles Marathon, where he finished fourth, behind three Kenyans. That earned him a place in the Ethiopian 1999 World Championships team, where he finished eleventh.

Later in 1999 season, Abera won his first international marathon by finishing first at Fukuoka marathon. He would win this marathon on two more occasions (in 2001 and 2002). In 2000, Abera finished second in the Boston Marathon.

At the Sydney Olympics, the marathon race came down to two Ethiopians, Abera and Tesfaye Tola, and Kenyan Erick Wainaina. At the 37 km mark, Wainaina tried to make a break, but 2 km later Abera surged to the lead and held the position to the finishing lane. At 22 years old, Abera was the youngest marathon champion in Olympic history.

In 2001, Abera won the World Championships by a mere second ahead of Simon Biwott from Kenya to become the first person to achieve an Olympics-World Championships marathon double.

At the 2003 World Championships, Abera had to abandon the race due to injury, but he was selected in the Ethiopian 2004 Olympic team. His wife Elfenesh Alemu was also selected to the 2004 Olympic team.

External links

* [http://www.runningtimes.com/issues/04apr/abera.htm The Racer - Gezahegne Abera's Rise to World-Champion Marathoner by Neil Wilson]


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