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Aselefech Mergia

Aselefech Mergia
Personal information
Born (1985-01-23) January 23, 1985
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight 50 kg (110 lb)
Country  Ethiopia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Marathon

Aselefech Mergia Medessa (Amharic: አሰለፈች መርግአ; born 23 January 1985) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes in the marathon. She was a bronze medallist in the event at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. She is a two-time winner of the Dubai Marathon and has finished in the top three at the Paris and London Marathons. She was retrospectively confirmed as the winner of the 2010 London Marathon after the top two were disqualified. Her personal best of 2:19:31 hours is a former Ethiopian record for the distance and places her within the top ten of all-time.


  • Career 1
  • Personal bests 2
  • Competition record 3
    • Road race wins 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5


She began taking part in professional road races in 2006, starting with a seventh-place finish at the Delhi Half Marathon.[1] She won the Plymouth Half Marathon in 2007, finishing with a time of 1:14:50.[2] She was second in the women's 10K in Glasgow, Scotland, finishing behind Vivian Cheruiyot but setting a personal best of 32:19 for the distance.[3]

At the 2008 World Cross Country Championships she finished sixteenth in the senior race. With five Ethiopian runners ahead of her she missed out for a place on the victorious Ethiopian team. That year she won the Delhi Half Marathon with a personal best run of 1:08:17.[4] She closed the year by winning a silver medal at the 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

She made her marathon debut in April 2009 at the Paris Marathon, where she ran 2:25:02 for second place.[5] She topped the podium at the World 10K Bangalore the following month, just holding off a charge from Mary Keitany to win the race in 32:08.[6] Mergia won the bronze medal in the women's marathon at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, recording a time of 2:25:32.

Aselefech improved her half marathon personal best to 1:07:22 at the 2010 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Despite the fast time, this was only enough for third place behind Elvan Abeylegesse and Mare Dibaba.[7] More improvements came at the 2010 London Marathon: although initially finishing third with a run of 2:22:38, improving her best by over two and a half minutes, she was subsequently declared the winner after doping convictions nullified results of the first two runners.[8] She returned to defend her Bangalore 10K title in May, but was beaten to the tape by compatriot Wude Ayalew and, finishing two seconds behind her, Mergia had to settle for the runner-up position.[9] She regained her Delhi Half Marathon title in November: learning from the poor pacing which had left her in ninth place the previous year, she stuck to the front and won the race in a sprint finish ahead of Merima Mohammed.[10]

She came close to her personal best with a win at the 2011 Dubai Marathon, just missed the course record mark, but gained the US$250,000 first place prize.[11] She was chosen for the Ethiopian marathon team at the 2011 World Championships and was in twelfth at the 40 km point of the race, but dropped out in the final kilometres. In October she ran at the Great South Run and easily saw off a challenge from Doris Changeywo to win the 10-mile race.[12] An attempt to defend her Delhi Half Marathon title ended in a third-place finish, although she improved her best time by a second.[13]

In January 2012, Aselefech won the Dubai Marathon for the second time, setting an Ethiopian record of 2:19:31 hours to break the course record and become the seventh fastest woman ever over the distance. [14][15]

In January 2015, Aselefech won the Dubai Marathon for the third time, 2:20:02.

Personal bests

Competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event
2008 World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Scotland 16th Senior race
World Half Marathon Championships Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2nd Half marathon
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 3rd Marathon
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea DNF Marathon

Road race wins


  1. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2006-10-15). Kibiwott, Chepkirui the winners at Delhi Half-Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  2. ^ Our Past Winners. Plymouth Half Marathon. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  3. ^ Gillon, Doug (2007-05-14). Cheruiyot keeps up monopoly. The Herald. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  4. ^ Three go sub-60, as Ethiopia sweep titles in Delhi Half Marathon. IAAF (2008-11-09). Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  5. ^ Vazel, Pierre-Jean (2009-04-05). 2:05:47 course record for Kipruto in Paris, five others under 2:07. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-11.
  6. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2009-05-31). Merga and Mergia take thrilling 10km victories in Bangalore. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  7. ^ Fairlie, Greg (2010-02-19). Stunning 1:07:07 Half Marathon debut by Abeylegesse Ras Al Khaimah. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-19.
  8. ^ Brown, Matthew (2010-04-25). Commanding victories for Kebede and Shobukhova - London Marathon report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  9. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2010-05-23). Mbishei, Yimer the surprise winners in Sunfeast World 10K. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-09.
  10. ^ Murali, Ram. Krishnan (2010-11-21). Mergia recaptures women’s crown, Mutai foils Ethiopian sweep at Delhi Half Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  11. ^ Butcher, Pat (2011-01-21). Barmasai and Mergia fight headwind to take Dubai Marathon wins. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-01-21.
  12. ^ Martin, David (2011-10-30). Komon and Mergia take convincing victories in Portsmouth. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-10-30.
  13. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2011-11-27). In close races, Desisa and Kabuu prevail in New Delhi Half. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-11-27.
  14. ^ Ayele Abshero, Aselefech Mergia win Dubai Marathon. Ethioabay. Retrieved on 2012-02-03.
  15. ^ Butcher, Pat (2012-01-27). Abshero stuns with 2:04:23 debut, Mergia clocks 2:19:31 in Dubai. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-02-04.

External links

  • Aselefech Mergia profile at IAAF
  • Marathon Info profile
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