19 Year-old Winner of Beijing Marathon World Championship

Latest gossip in the Eritrean community:

‘Did you hear about the 19 year old Eritrean who won the marathon?’

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie


19-year old?



This is brilliant.

Yep, you read correct; Ghirmay Ghebreslassie won the marathon at the IAAF (international association athletics federation) world championships in Beijing on the 21st August 2015.

The Eritrean teen finished the race at 2(hours):12(minutes):40(seconds) beating the Ugandan world champion (Stephen Kiprotich) who finished two minutes after 2(hours):14(minutes):42(seconds) putting him at 6th place.

I’ve re-watched the race summary (23 minutes in duration) far too many times, I mean I’ve memorised the highlights of the race:

At around 1(hour):57(minutes): Tsegay was Ghebreselassie’s shadow – literally right behind him.

It was  NECK-AND-NECK around a minute later. After 4 minutes 2(hours):02(minutes) Ghebreslassie pushed ahead, Tsegay for some reason kept looking behind, according to commentator this was due to not being used to running alone, but in a group.

‘The Olympic champions have been left back on the streets of Beijing!’ commentator was talking about Dennis Kemetto, Wilson Kipsang, Lelisa Desisa.

Towards the end, where we’re into the top-end of the stadium, he was ahead, I see his hands quivering as he approaches the last 100metres. I’m thinking why’s he quivering? Oh, wait. He’s not quivering, he’s getting a flag, the Eritrean flag. Adrenaline is now kicking in, I can hear my heart. I couldn’t believe it ‘A famous name, a famous victory!’ (commentator’s voice got exited there).

‘The Eritrean with the famous name’ (the commentator kept repeating) hinting at Haile Gebressalassie, Olympic gold champion winner from Ethiopia – now retired.

Ghebreslassie had won the marathon World championships in Beijing. Eritrea was number 1 on the podium. Proud.

If you missed the race, not to worry you can catch up (see what I did there…)


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