Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Ethiopian Shatters World Record

Ethiopian runner Letesenbet Gidey smashed the women’s half-marathon world record in October 2021 by running 62 minutes and 52 seconds in Valencia, Spain — 70 seconds faster than the old record.

The 23-year-old beat the previous 21-kilometer record held by Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich since April 2021. Gidey also holds the world record for 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. She won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.

It’s quite a turnaround for someone who was expelled from school when she was 13 for refusing to run in physical education classes.

“I really did not like racing,” she told World Athletics in 2015. “I brought my parents to school to talk to the headmaster with the hope of getting reinstated. He agreed to reinstate me only if I ran (in competition) for the school. I reluctantly agreed.”

She was born in Endameskel in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and raised on the family farm. When she began competing as a runner, she had only limited success. She finished 44th in her first cross-country race in 2012.

Later, an older brother worked with her, biking alongside to help with her pace when she trained.

Track records have been tumbling all over the world in the current “super spikes” era, which began in 2019 when the Nike company introduce running shoes that use a combination of a stiff plate and pliable foam to give runners more energy with each step. Other companies since have been forced to introduce similar shoes to keep their sponsored runners competitive.

You might also like

Comments are closed.