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Past Achievements of Selemon Barega, the Olympic Gold Medalist from Ethiopia

21-year-old Selemon Barega Shirtaga is the current 10,000 m Olympic gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Born on January 20th, 2000, he runs insanely fast in marathon races representing his country, Ethiopia, in both Olympic Games and World Championships. He hails from the Gurage zone of Ethiopia, measuring 1.70 m in height with 53 kg of weight.

He discovered his career as a child in a poverty-stricken village in Ethiopia. While he was growing, he developed running long-distance frequently to fetch water and carry food back home.

Barega took up running at the age of 7, and at 13, he started participating in long-distance competitions while incorporating various strategies.

The Olympic Gold medalist has participated in more than 15 international competitions with a haul of achievements. 

Here you’ll discover all the past achievements of Barega Shirtaga in world athletics.

1. 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships

At 16, Barega emerges as the winner in the 2016 World Under-20 Championships 5,000m race for men. It was World Youth Championships and his debut international competition that took place in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland.

He won a gold medal in 500 meters race contest on July 23rd, 2016.

2. 2017 World Youth Championships and many others

After his first year of international competition, he blew off the subsequent years, winning various medals and accolades.

One year after was a talk of the talk. Selemon participated in various athletic competitions at international levels that lifted him to fame.

Here are other athletic achievements he made for the year 2017:

∙ World Cross Country Championships 2017 in Kampala, Uganda, where he came fifth

∙ African Under20 Championships that happened in Tlemcen, Algeria – He won in 5000 meters race.

∙ Lausanne Diamond League Meeting in Brussels – Won the second position

∙ The IAAF World U18 Championships at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, Kenya from 16th -17th July 2017 – Won a medal.

∙ And finally, the 2017 World Championships Athletics in London, he performed excellently well during the men’s 5000m final, which after Muktar Edris, a fellow compatriot, won over him.

3. 2018 achievements: World Indoor Championships among others

His first competition in 2018 was the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, the United Kingdom, on March 4th. Thanks to the talented running skills of this young man, he came second.

Then again, at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on May 25th, he came as champion, winning a 2 Mile Race.

Though Selemon’s significant championships for 2018 weren’t those mentioned above, the IAAF World Under20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, on July 14th, where he came 4th.

As if that wasn’t enough for the year, he set to Bruxelles Memorial Van Damme Diamond League Meeting and won the World Under20 Record at 5000 meters long-distance race.

His outstanding performance at Bruxelles attracted the rank of overall 5th fastest performer in 500metres race after Kenyan’s Daniel Komen, Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, and Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

4. World Championships of 2019 & others

The year 2019 came into the life of this pro marathoner with beautiful achievements.

First of all, the 2019 World Cross Country Championships that happened in Aarhus, Denmark. He came 4th in the Senior Men’s Race, emerging as the first Ethiopia long-distance runner to conclude after Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei of Uganda.

Secondly, the Diamond League Meetings in Shanghai on May 18th and June 6th Diamond League in Rome counted as days worth remarking in his life. He came second in both competitions respectively.

 Other remarkable achievements of Selemon for the year 2019 included:

∙ Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway on June 13th – He won in 3000 meters race

∙ Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on 30h of June – He came 3rd in a 2 miles race

∙ Lausanne Diamond League Meeting of July 5th – Selemon came second in 5000 meters race

∙ Ethiopian Trials in Hengelo, Netherlands of July 17th – He emerged the second in a personal best time concluding after Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet

∙ Zurich Diamond League of August 29th – He came the 5th at the 5000 meters

∙ World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Qatar of September 27th – He came best at men’s 5000 meters

Finally, he capped it up in the final on September 30th, 2019, where he surpassed a fellow compatriot, Muktar Edris, finishing as the 2nd in 12:59.70.

4. 2020 wins and achievements

Selemon Barega began participating in the year’s tournaments in February. He won at various indoor track races held in Europe that month.

After that, his next contest was on September 8th at Ostrava Golden Spike. He participated in 5000 meters race and emerged the 2nd in 12:49.08, despite his effort to outsprint Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo in the 100m finals.

The subsequent attainment was the 1500 meters race that happened on September 15th at the Gala Dei Castelli in Switzerland, at which he came 3rd.

He proceeded to Doha Diamond League Meeting on September 25th. Taking part in the 1500 meters race, he emerged the overall second best at the event.

Finally, he returned to his country home, Ethiopia, and raced in the Ethiopian Clubs Competition in Addis Ababa on December 26th, winning in 3:38.1.

5. 2021 International competitions and wins

According to the time of 27:58.5, Selemon Barega emerged as the winner at the Olympic candidate trial competition in January 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In February, he participated in numerous indoor track competitions, including an Indoor 3000m in 7:26.10, finishing second after a fellow citizen, Getnet Wale. It was quite an incredible performance that won him the rank of 3rd fastest performer in the history after Kenya’s Daniel Komen in 7:24.90 on February 6th, 1998, and the outsprint of Getnet Wale in 7:24.98.

On the 17th and 24th February, Selemon competed at Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland World Athletics Indoor Tour, and in World Athletics Indoor Tour Madrid, Spain, where he clocked he clocked a 3:32.97 and 3:35.42 respectively, winning both races. After performing in 3000 meters at the World Athletics Indoor Tour, he surfaced as the 8th best runner of all time.

Next, in Bergamo, Italy, on May 12th, he raced 5000 meters track, clocking 13:02.47, though surpassed by Mark Owon Lomuket of Kenya.

He then faced another tactical competition, racing with Yomif Kejelcha, who was second. Berihu Aregawi placed 3rd at the Ethiopian Trials in Hengelo, Netherlands, where he finished the last lap sprint finish wining the 10000m in a time of 26:49.51.

At 21, Barega Shirtaga won a gold medal in 10,000 m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he outsprinted Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, a global record holder, and Jacob Kiplimo, who’s a champion of World Half Marathon, also from Uganda, winning at 27:43.22.

In actuality, winning the 10,000m at Olympics Games ranked Barega the 4th Ethiopian ever in the history of Olympics after Miruts Yifter in 1980, Haile Gebrselassie in 1996 & 2000, and Kenenisa Bekele 2004 & 2008.

Notable international competitions of Selemon Barega Shirtaga include:

∙ 2016 World U20 Championships 5000 m in Bydgoszcz, Poland – first in 13:21.21

∙ 2017 African U20 Championships 5000 m in Tlemcen, Algeria – first in 3:51.43

∙ 2017 World U18 Championships 3000 m in Nairobi, Kenya – first in 7:47.16

∙ 2018 World Indoor Championships 3000 m in Birmingham, United Kingdom -second in 8:15.59

∙ 2018 African Championships 5000 m in Asaba, Nigeria – fourth in 13:52.27

∙ 2019 World Championships 5000 m in Doha, Qatar – double in 12:59.70

∙ 2021 Olympic Games 10,000 m in Tokyo, Japan – first in 27:43:22

∙ 2021 World Championships 5000 m in London, United Kingdom – fifth in 13:35.34

Selemon’s Medal Records

The Ethiopian award-winning long-distance runner has won many gold and silver medals in several racing competitions.

 Selemon has done something brave in various international competitions, winning medals as stated in the record below:

∙ 2016 World Junior Championships Bydgoszcz: First place in 5000 meters with a Gold medal          

∙ 2017 World Youth Championships Nairobi: first place in 3000 m – Gold medal      

∙ 2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham: second place in 3000 m – Silver medal

∙ 2019 World Championships Doha: second place in 5000 m with a Silver medal                     

∙ 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games – first place in 10,000 m – Gold medal

Personal Records

Barega Shirtaga, who’s today a gold medalist, has also made several individual performances aside from achievements at international tournaments.

He has several personal best indoor and outdoor games in athletic sports, particularly in long-distance running events.

Listed below are Barega’s individual best performances:

For outdoor long-distance running events

World Under20 Record (Brussels 2018): 5000 metres – 12:43.02

Hengelo 2019: 10000 metres – 26:49.46

Oslo 2019: 3000 metres – 7:32.17

Eugene 2019: Two miles – 8:08.69 (WJB)

Doha 2020L: 1500 metres – 3:32.97

For indoor competitions

Torun 2021: 1500 metres – 3:32.97

Liévin 2021: 3000 metres – 7:26.10

Who is Solomon Barega?

Selemon Barega Shirtaga is a renowned trained athlete from Ethiopia who participates in long-distance races.

How old is Barega?

Barega was born on January 20th, 2000; therefore, he is 21 years old as of January 2021.

Where was Selemon Barega born?

Selemon Barega, the well-known Ethiopian long-distance runner, was born in Gurage, Ethiopia.

Who won the men’s 10000m Olympics?

The reigning champion, Selemon Barega, won a gold medal 10,000 meters (men) at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Final Words

It’s a significant milestone, sure, but it is about hard work and consistent practice. It’s nothing new to Salomon Barega because he long discovered his career and began to develop it.

Barega has run several marathons, including 5000 meters and 10,000 meters, and he’s just starting. 

He continues to make his country proud of athletics tournaments at all levels, and as a result, the Ethiopian athletics story is never complete without mentioning his name.

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