The Ethiopian long-distance runner Selemon Barega Shirtaga was born on January 20, 2000.

At the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, he triumphed in the 10,000-meter event, and at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, he took silver in the 5,000-meter event.

Selemon Barega Shirtaga Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

After winning silver in the 3000 metre event at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, Barega went on to win gold at the 2022 event.

Selemon Barega Shirtaga Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Gold medals in the 5000-meter event at the World Under-20 Championships in 2016 and the World Under-18 Championships in 2017 were his for the taking (3000m).

At the 2017 World Championships in London, Barega competed for Ethiopia in the 5000-meter event and placed fifth overall.

Selemon’s hometown is the Gurage region of Ethiopia. In 2016, he made his debut on the global stage.

At the IAAF World U20 Championships on July 23 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, he ran a personal best time of 13 minutes, 21 seconds, 21 seconds.

Barega Takes Men’s 10,000 Meters Title in First Athletics Gold at Tokyo 2020

Barega is at the top of his game after winning silver at the world 5,000m championships in Doha two years ago.

In a close and strategic race, the 21-year-old won gold with a surge of speed around the final bend and down the home straight that not even the quick Ugandans could match.

Barega finished the race in 27 minutes, 43 seconds, while Cheptegei, who had previously set a world record of 26 minutes, 11 seconds in Valencia last year.

Outsprinted his young rival over the final 30 metres to take silver in a time of 27 minutes, 43 seconds.

Kiplimo won the bronze medal with a time of 27:43.88 at the meet in Ostrava on May 19. His time of 26:33.93 makes him the fastest so far this year and places him seventh on the all-time list.

Barega’s final kilometre was run in 2 minutes, 25 seconds, the fastest ever for the final kilometre of an Olympic race.

After the race, Barega admitted that he was restoring Ethiopia’s reputation in an event last won by Kenenisa Bekele in 2008, and he said that his strategy had been “really challenging” due to the form of the Ugandans.

He continued, “I was doing short-distance running, and when I was down to very short lengths like 400 (metres) or 200 (metres).

I was really confident about myself to win because I had already experienced winning the 400 (metres) of the short-distance running.”

Conclusion

First athletics gold of Tokyo 2020 went to Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega, who won the 10,000-meter race despite a late charge from world record holder Joshua Cheptegei.

The 21-year-old out-kicked Cheptegei on the final straight to become the first new winner of the event since Britain’s Mo Farah (who did not qualify for the Games) first won it in London in 2012.