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Derartu Tulu

Full name: Derartu Tulu
Original name: ዻራርቱ ቱሉ
Gender: Female
Height: 5-2.5 (160 cm)
Weight: 99 lbs (45 kg)
Born: March 21, 1972 in Bekoji, Oromiya, Ethiopia
Country: ETH Ethiopia
Sport: Athletics

Related Olympians: Cousin of Tirunesh Dibaba; Cousin of Ejegayehu Dibaba; Cousin of Genzebe Dibaba.

Medals: 2 Gold, 1 Bronze (3 Total)

Biography

In 1992, Derartu Tulu became the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in somewhat of a surprise. She did so by winning the 10,000 m ahead of [Elana Meyer] of South Africa, with whom she had led the race most of the way, distancing the field. It was considered a landmark event, as South Africa was re-admitted to the Olympics in 1992, after years of apartheid, and Tulu and Meyer, a white South African, ran a victory lap together. Although Tulu had won the World Junior title in the 10,000 in 1990 and the 10,000 m gold at the 1991 All-African Games and silver at the 1991 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, she had not been considered an Olympic favorite.

After the Olympics, Tulu also won 10,000 m at the 1992 IAAF World Cup. She missed the next few seasons due to a knee injury, but came back in 1995 to win a 10K silver at the World Championships and gold at the International Cross-Country Championships. Injuries hampered her in 1996, including at the Atlanta Olympics, but she returned in 1997, to win another gold at the International Cross-Country Championships, before missing a season due to pregnancy. In 2000, she became the first woman, to repeat in the Olympic 10K, and also won her third title at the International Cross-Country Championships. In 2001, Tulu began concentrating on marathons, winning the London Marathon in the spring and Tokyo Marathon in the fall. Between those marathons, she also won her only track World title, in the 10K. Her last major track international came at the 2004 Olympics, winning 10K bronze. Her last major win came at the 2009 New York Marathon and she retired from sports in 2011.

Tulu’s cousins [Ejegayehu], [Tirunesh] and [Genzebe Dibaba] also became world class distance runners, setting multiple world records and winning several medals at major internationals.

Personal Best: 10,000 – 30:17.49 (2000); Mar – 2-23:30 (2005).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1992 Summer 20 Barcelona Athletics Women's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 1 Gold
1996 Summer 24 Atlanta Athletics Women's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 4
2000 Summer 28 Sydney Athletics Women's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 1 Gold OR
2004 Summer 32 Athina Athletics Women's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 3 Bronze

Women's 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A)
1992 Summer 20 Barcelona Athletics Ethiopia Final 1 31:06.02
1992 Summer 20 Barcelona Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat Two 1 QU 31:55.67
1996 Summer 24 Atlanta Athletics Ethiopia Final 4 31:10.46
1996 Summer 24 Atlanta Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat Two 1 QU 31:35.90
2000 Summer 28 Sydney Athletics Ethiopia Final 1 OR 30:17.49
2000 Summer 28 Sydney Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat One 1 QU 32:06.19
2004 Summer 32 Athina Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings 3 30:26.42
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