World record holder Tigist Assefa named to her first Olympics

On the women’s side, the world record holder, Tigist Assefa, has been named to her first Olympic Games for Ethiopia. Assefa set the running world on fire last September with a jaw-dropping world record at the 2023 Berlin Marathon–two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds. 

Tigist has had a well-polished marathon career so far, winning two of her four races and finishing on the podium in three. Most recently, she finished second to Kenya’sPeres Jepchirchir (the defending Olympic champion) at the 2024 London Marathon, with a time of 2:16:23. This was Assefa’s first loss at an Abbott World Marathon Major.

All eyes will be on the 27-year-old as she tackles the daunting Paris course, which features more than 400 metres of elevation gain. This will be Assefa’s toughest challenge to date.

Joining Assefa on the Ethiopian team are two experienced marathoners: 2023 world championAmane Beriso and 2022 world champion Gotytom Gebreslase. Beriso has finished in the top three of her last six marathons and has thrived in warmer race conditions, taking wins in Budapest, Mexico City and Valencia. Gebreslase has been on the podium in the marathon at the last two world championships.

Like the men, the Ethiopian women’s team looks to end the streak of their East African rival, Kenya. Ethiopia has not won gold in the women’s marathon since Tiki Gelena at the London 2012 Olympics.

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