The Dibabas are the fastest family in the world, and they’re set to make another splash in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Tirunesh will compete on 10,000m.
By Joshua Evans (International Business Times) |
Football has the Charlton brothers, tennis has the Williams sisters – but athletics has something even more impressive. The Dibabas are the fastest family in the world, and they’re set to make another splash in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
The superhuman-like gene pool is best represented by Tirunesh Dibaba, the fourth of six children and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. The 31-year-old Ethiopian’s older sister, Ejegayehu, won the silver medal in the 10,000m at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Genzebe, her younger sister, won the junior race at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships, while her brother Dejene has been flagged up as a potential star of the future.
Still not impressed? Well, Tirunesh’s cousin just so happens to be the 1992 and 2000 10,000m Olympic champion Derartu Tulu.
Tirunesh was born in the small town of Bekoji and didn’t turn her hand to athletics until the relatively late age of 14, a surprise for one raised in the running-mad country of Ethiopia. Subsequently, she was raised in the high-altitude Arsi Province, but since 2000, has lived in in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Despite her late start in the sport, Tirunesh’s talent was immediately apparent and she earned a fifth-placed finish at her first fully-international outdoor track event, the 2001 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She was only 15 and was clearly destined for great things.
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