Letesenbet GIDEY

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Ethiopia Ethiopia
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    20 MAR 1998
    ATHLETE'S CODE
    14654918
  • ROAD RACE LABEL STATUS
    2020 Platinum
Letesenbet Gidey at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (AFP / Getty Images)

Current World Ranking Positions

Discipline Place Score
Women's 10,000m 2 1407
Women's Overall Ranking 35 1407

Highest Ever World Ranking Positions

Discipline Place Duration
Women's 10,000m 1 for 5 weeks
Women's 5000m 4 for 9 weeks
Women's Overall Ranking 18 for 4 weeks
Highest ever World Rankings position is considered from 1/1/2019

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
1500 Metres 4:11.11 Hérouville (FRA) 15 JUN 2017 1118
3000 Metres 8:20.27 Cobb Track and Angell Field, Stanford, CA (USA) 30 JUN 2019 1243
Two Miles 9:06.74 Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 20 AUG 2021 1211
5000 Metres 14:06.62 Estadio de Atletismo del Turia, Valencia (ESP) 07 OCT 2020 WR, AR, NR 1269
10,000 Metres 29:01.03 Blankers-Koen Stadion, Hengelo (NED) 08 JUN 2021 WR, AR(p), NR 1303
10 Kilometres 33:55 Bengaluru (IND) 19 MAY 2019 1040
15 Kilometres 44:20 Nijmegen (NED) 17 NOV 2019 WBP, ABP, NR 1274
Half Marathon 1:02:52 Valencia (ESP) 24 OCT 2021 WR, AR, NR 1281

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2021

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records Results Score
3000 Metres 8:28.40 Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 20 AUG 2021 1214
Two Miles 9:06.74 Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 20 AUG 2021 1211
5000 Metres 14:56.7h Addis Abeba (ETH) 11 APR 2021 1169
10,000 Metres 29:01.03 Blankers-Koen Stadion, Hengelo (NED) 08 JUN 2021 WR, AR(p), NR 1303
Half Marathon 1:02:52 Valencia (ESP) 24 OCT 2021 WR, AR, NR 1281

Outdoor

1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2017 4:11.11 Hérouville (FRA) 15 JUN 2017

Outdoor

3000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2021 8:28.40 Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 20 AUG 2021
2019 8:20.27 Cobb Track and Angell Field, Stanford, CA (USA) 30 JUN 2019
2018 8:30.96 Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha (QAT) 04 MAY 2018
2015 9:04.64 Pascual Guerrero Stadium, Cali (COL) 15 JUL 2015

Outdoor

Two Miles

Performance Place Date
2021 9:06.74 Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA) 20 AUG 2021

Outdoor

5000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2021 14:56.7h Addis Abeba (ETH) 11 APR 2021
2020 14:06.62 Estadio de Atletismo del Turia, Valencia (ESP) 07 OCT 2020
2019 14:29.54 Boudewijnstadion, Bruxelles (BEL) 06 SEP 2019
2018 14:23.14 Complexe Sportif Prince Moulay Abdellah, Rabat (MAR) 13 JUL 2018
2017 14:33.32 Stadio Olimpico, Roma (ITA) 08 JUN 2017
2016 14:45.63 Barcelona (ESP) 30 JUN 2016
2015 15:39.83 Bottrop (GER) 21 JUN 2015
2014 16:19.30 Addis Abeba (ETH) 14 JUN 2014

Outdoor

10,000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2021 29:01.03 Blankers-Koen Stadion, Hengelo (NED) 08 JUN 2021
2019 30:21.23 Khalifa International Stadium, Doha (QAT) 28 SEP 2019

Outdoor

10 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2019 33:55 Bengaluru (IND) 19 MAY 2019

Outdoor

15 Kilometres

Performance Place Date
2019 44:20 Nijmegen (NED) 17 NOV 2019

Outdoor

Half Marathon

Performance Place Date
2021 1:02:52 Valencia (ESP) 24 OCT 2021

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 10,000 Metres 30:01.72 National Stadium, Tokyo (JPN) 07 AUG 2021

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 10,000 Metres 30:21.23 Khalifa International Stadium, Doha (QAT) 28 SEP 2019

Honours - World Cross Country Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. U20 Race 18:34 Kololo, Kampala (UGA) 26 MAR 2017
1. U20 Race 19:48 Qingzhen, Guiyang (CHN) 28 MAR 2015
3. Senior Race 36:24 Århus (DEN) 30 MAR 2019

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 10,000 Metres 32:10.2h Addis Abeba (ETH) 08 MAY 2019
Results in:

3000 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result Remark
20 AUG 2021 Prefontaine Classic, Hayward Field, Eugene, OR - Split times USAUSA F F2 8:28.40 ST

Two Miles

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
20 AUG 2021 Prefontaine Classic, Hayward Field, Eugene, OR - Promotional Events USAUSA A F 2. 9:06.74

5000 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
11 APR 2021 Ethiopian Ch., Addis Abeba ETHETH B F 2. 14:56.7h

10,000 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
08 JUN 2021 Ethiopian Trials, Blankers-Koen Stadion, Hengelo NEDNED F F 1. 29:01.03
07 AUG 2021 The XXXII Olympic Games, National Stadium, Tokyo JPNJPN OW F 3. 30:01.72

Half Marathon

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
24 OCT 2021 Medio Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, Valencia ESPESP B F 1. 1:02:52

Last updated: 9 June 2021

Born: 20 March 1998. Coach: Haile Eyasu.

Letesenbet Gidey may have harboured her world record dreams for more than half a decade, but early in her career, she was a very reluctant competitor. So much so that in 2011 she was expelled from school for refusing to run in physical education classes.

“I really did not like racing,” she said, recalling her 13-year-old self. “I brought my parents to school to talk to the headmaster with the hope of getting reinstated. He agreed to reinstate me only if I ran for the school. I reluctantly agreed, just for the chance to get back to school.”

That headmaster deserves at least a modicum of credit for the career trajectory of Ethiopia's latest distance running star, because if any reluctance remained, Gidey hid it well.

Born in Endameskel in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, Gidey – the fourth child in a family of two brothers and two sisters – grew up on her family’s farm looking to initially pursue academic interests. But after getting drawn to the sport in an unorthodox fashion, she knew that it could be her calling in life after competing in a regional race in 2011.

“I ran a 3000m race representing my Woreda [district] and finished second at the All-Tigray Games,” she recalls. “It was this performance that convinced me that I may have a future in athletics.”

But it wasn't an entirely happy introduction to the sport. Early on, Gidey struggled for consistency when competing in her region, sometimes even getting lapped in races.

“I remember finishing 44th in my first cross country race [the junior women’s race at the Jan Meda national championships] in 2012,” she says. “That really did not feel good at all.”

But she stuck with it. In late 2012, Gidey won a 3000m/2000m steeplechase double for the Tigray region at the Ethiopian Schools Championships in Shashemane, which captured the attention of club scouts. A few weeks later, she joined the Trans sport club and moved to Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. She then spent the next two years working her way into the national ranks which led to her first global breakthrough.

In 2015 Gidey led an Ethiopian podium sweep in the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships, a title she successfully defended in Kampala two years later. She performed admirably on the track in her international debut, finishing fourth in the 3000m at the 2015 World U18 Championships.

Her steady rise continued. In 2018, her first season in the senior ranks, she improved to 8:30.96 and 14:23.14 in the 3000m and 5000m, respectively. The latter remained her lifetime best until her record run in Valencia in October 2020.

She returned to the global spotlight in 2019. In March she raced to bronze at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus and improved by a spot in Doha where she took 10,000m silver at the World Championships. She then capped the year with a 44:20 world best over 15km at the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the ongoing conflict in Tigray, made it difficult for Gidey to travel outside of Ethiopia in 2020, but she managed two competitive appearances. Her first was a 14:26.57 clocking at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, beaten only by two-time world champion Hellen Obiri. Two months later, Gidey produced a stunning 14:06.62 world record run in Valencia, improving the previous mark by almost five seconds.

Gidey opened her 2021 campaign in April at the Ethiopian Championships where, competing in the altitude of Addis Ababa, she ran 14:56.7 for 5000m to finish second to world indoor 1500m record-holder Gudaf Tsegay.

Gidey wasn’t dispirited by the defeat, though; she knew that in normal racing conditions at sea level, she’d be capable of producing her best performances. And that’s exactly what she did in Hengelo.



STATS

 

Letesenbet Gidey’s progression
(3000m, 5000m, 10,000m) 2014: -, 16:19.3, -
2015: 9:04.64, 15:39.83, -
2016: -, 14:45.63, -
2017: -, 14:33.32, -
2018: 8:30.96, 14:23.14, -
2019: 8:20.27, 14:29.54, 30:21.23
2020: -, 14:06.62, -
2021: -, 14:56.7, 29:01.03

World all-time women's 10,000m top 10
29:01.03 Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) Hengelo, 8 Jun 2021
29:06.82 Sifan Hassan (NED) Hengelo, 6 Jun 2021
29:17.45 Almaz Ayana (ETH) Rio de Janeiro, 12 Aug 2016
29:31.78 Wang Junxia (CHN) Beijing, 8 Sep 1993
29:32.53 Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) Rio de Janeiro, 12 Aug 2016
29:39.42 Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) Maia, 8 May 2021
29:42.56 Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) Rio de Janeiro, 12 Aug 2016
29:50.77 Kalkidan Gezahegne (BRN) Maia, 8 May 2021
29:53.51 Alice Aprot Nawowuna (KEN) Rio de Janeiro, 12 Aug 2016
29:53.80 Meselech Melkamu (ETH) Utrecht, 14 Jun 2009
29:59.20 Meseret Defar (ETH) Birmingham, 11 Jul 2009

Women's 10,000m world record progression
32:17.20 Yelena Sipatova (URS) Moscow, 16 Sep 1981
31:35.3h Mary Tabb (USA) Eugene, 16 Jul 1982
31:35.01 Lyudmila Baranova (URS) Krasnodar, 29 May 1983
31:27.58 Raisa Sadreydinova (URS) Odessa, 7 Sep 1983
31:13.78 Olga Bondarenko (URS) Kiev, 24 Jun 1984
30:59.42 Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) Oslo, 27 Jul 1985
30:13.74 Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) Oslo, 5 Jul 1986
29:31.78 Wang Junxia (CHN) Beijing, 8 Sep 1993
29:17.45 Almaz Ayana (ETH) Rio de Janeiro, 12 Aug 2016
29:06.82 Sifan Hassan (NED) Hengelo, 6 Jun 2021
29:01.03 Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) Hengelo, 8 Jun 2021