Ethiopia’s Tigist Ketema on breaking world record in her first marathon: ‘I was quite afraid’

Dollita Okine January 11, 2024
Photo: YouTube via anissmarathon/YT

In her first marathon, Ethiopian runner Tigist Ketema set a record by clocking the quickest debut marathon time ever, winning the Dubai Marathon. The 25-year-old athlete ran a record time of 2:16:07.

According to World Athletics, this achievement means she is eighth on the world all-time list and is quite remarkable given that she had never raced farther than 10km before.

The young athlete, who is now the third-fastest Ethiopian at the distance, ran 800 meters in 2:02.00, 1500 meters in 4:00.91, and 3,000 meters in 8:43.91, as reported by Runner’s World. She ran a negative split in Dubai after completing the first half in 1:08:08, the report added.

Ketema told World Athletics, “I was quite afraid of the distance before I ran my first marathon, but now, I wonder why.” 

Ethiopian Ruti Aga finished second in 2:18:09, while her 19-year-old nephew, Addisu Gobena, won the men’s event in 2:05:01.

According to Africa News, Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey held the previous women’s record, winning the Valencia Marathon in 2:16:49 in her debut at the distance on December 4, 2022.

Before turning her attention to the marathon, Ketema won the 800-meter African Under-20 Championships.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 11, 2024


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