Ethiopians Left Confused By Olympic 10,000m

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 15, 2012
  • Updated Aug. 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM UTC
This 1-2 finish surprised many in Ethiopia. Photo: AP

The top-two medals went to a Brit and a Yank.

In recent years, it’s been a bit unusual for a non-East-African to prevail in an Olympic 10,000m final. And so many Ethiopians are wondering how someone like Galen Rupp of the United States ended up winning the silver medal in London.

After all, the last time a caucasian defeated an Ethiopian in the 10,000m medal race was when Finland’s Lasse Viren and Belgium Emiel Puttemans both finished in front of Miruts Yifter in the 1972 Olympic final.

That was 40 years ago.

Since then, the Ethiopians have hauled in the medals–winning five gold, two silver, and four bronzes.

Though not as productive as the men, the women still have made their country proud: they have a 12-year Olympic winning streak.

The last woman to better an Ethiopian in an Olympic final was Fernanda Ribiero back in 1996 in Atlanta.

The Ethiopian press is now asking the following question: just what has happened to their star Kenenisa Bekele? He placed a disappointing fourth in London, one spot behind his younger brother Tariku.

For More: All Africa

FILED UNDER: News / Olympic Games TAGS: / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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