Kanavu cross country run

Kenenisa Bekele: The Legendary Ethiopian Cross Country Runner

Early Life and Remarkable Emergence

Kenenisa is known for his dominance in cross country running, winning numerous titles at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Bekele’s journey to greatness began early, his exceptional talent surfaced when he won the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championship in 2001 and set a world junior record in the 3000 meters.

Personal Information:

  • Full Name: Kenenisa Bekele Beyecha
  • Nationality: Ethiopian
  • Date of Birth: 13 June 1982 (currently aged 41)
  • Place of Birth: Near Bekoji, Arsi Province, Socialist Ethiopia
  • Height: 165 cm
  • Weight: 56 kg
  • Sport: Track, Long-distance running
  • Event(s): 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, Marathon
  • Team: NN Running Team

Unprecedented Dominance in Cross Country

From 2002 to 2006, Kenenisa achieved a historic feat, clinching both short and long course titles at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships for five consecutive years. His cross country dominance was unparalleled.

Track Stardom

Kenenisa’s track career was equally stunning. In 2004, he achieved the extraordinary feat of breaking world records in the indoor and outdoor 5000 meters and the outdoor 10,000 meters within just nine days. He became an indomitable force on the track.

Olympic and World Championships Success

The pinnacle of his Olympic journey was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he secured gold in both the 10,000 meters and 5000 meters, showcasing his immense talent on the global stage. In the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, he made history by becoming the first man to win both the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters at the same championship.

Setting World Records and Marathons

In 2005, Kenenisa set a new world record in the 10,000 meters, an astonishing in Brussels, solidifying his legendary status. He equally shone indoors, breaking records in the 2000 meters and 5000 meters. In 2014, he ventured into marathons, debuting at the Paris Marathon with a record-eligible course time and details are given below,

  • 5000 meters: 12:37.35 NR (Hengelo 2004)
  • 10,000 meters: 26:17.53 NR (Brussels 2005)
  • Marathon: 2:01:41 NR (Berlin 2019)
  • Marathon: 2:05:53 MWR (London 2022)

Injuries and Triumphant Comebacks

Throughout his career, Kenenisa Bekele faced injuries that temporarily halted his success, but his unwavering resilience was evident. In 2016, he made a triumphant return by winning the Berlin Marathon in a personal best time of 2:03:03.

Legacy and Record-Breaking Feats

Kenenisa Bekele’s ability to seamlessly blend endurance and speed earned him legendary status. He set numerous records, including a master’s world record in the age 40 group. His impact on cross country, track, and road racing led many to consider him the greatest distance runner of all time.

Medal Record:

  • Olympic Games: 3 Gold, 1 Silver
  • World Championships: 5 Gold, 1 Bronze
  • World Indoor Championships: 1 Gold
  • African Championships: 2 Gold
  • All-African Games: 2 Gold
  • World Cross Country Championships: 11 Gold, 1 Silver
  • World Marathon Majors: 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze


Kenenisa Bekele’s journey from the small town of Bekoji, Ethiopia, to global running icon status is a testament to his extraordinary talent, determination, and resilience. His legacy in the world of distance running will inspire athletes for generations to come. Kenenisa Bekele is not just a runner; he is a symbol of unwavering perseverance and excellence in the world of sports, forever etched in the annals of athletic history.