TIRUNESH DIBABA – Keeping Olympic Gold Medal streak for Ethiopia’s women alive
Dibaba then became the first Ethiopian woman to take home two Golds by romping to victory in the 5,000 meters a few days later. All three medalists in that contest were born in Ethiopia, with Abeylegesse taking home the Silver medal for Turkey, and Meseret Defar (see below) earning the Bronze.
No woman from sub-Saharan Africa had ever won a Gold Medal before Tulu did it in 1992. Adding to the drama, with South Africa returning to the Games after a ban of more than a quarter-century, she ran outraced South Africa’s Elana Meyer to prevail in the 10,000 meters by nearly six seconds in 31:06.02. Many were hopeful that it symbolized the beginning of a new era for the continent of Africa when Tulu and Meyer shared a victory lap together, hand-in-hand.
Eight years later, after missing time with knee injuries and to give birth around a medal-less effort in the 1996 Games, Tulu returned stronger than ever to reclaim her 10,000 Meters Gold Medal in 2000. This time, she won in 30:17.49 with another Ethiopian, Gete Wami, finishing almost five seconds behind her for the Silver Medal.
Tulu also earned a Bronze Medal in the 10,000 in 2004.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at Ethiopia’s Golden Girls.