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Abeba Aregawi

Abeba Aregawi
Abeba Aregawi competing for Sweden in 2013
Personal information
Nationality Swedish (since June 2012)
Born (1990-07-05) 5 July 1990
Adigrat, Ethiopia
Residence Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 1500 metres
Club Hammarby IF

Abeba Aregawi Gebretsadik (Amharic:አበባ አረጋዊ ;born 5 July 1990) is an Ethiopian-born middle-distance runner, currently representing Sweden internationally, who specialises in the 1500 metres. Her personal best for the event is 3:56.54. Aregawi is the current world champion over 1500 metres.

Abeba was born in Adigrat, Ethiopia and holds both Swedish and Ethiopian citizenships. She represented her birth country in middle-distance until December 2012.[1] Abeba was married to an Ethiopian man with Swedish citizenship and has lived in Stockholm 2009-2012. She is now remarried to Yemane Tsegay and lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She represents the Stockholm-based club Hammarby IF. She was naturalized as a Swedish citizen in the summer of 2012, and has represented Sweden in international competition since December 2012.[2][3]



Abeba emerged as an 800 metres runner in 2009 by winning the Ethiopian title in the event ahead of three-time champion Mestawet Tadesse.[4] She competed at a number of European meets after this then set a personal best of 2:01.98 minutes in Tangiers. Her season culminated in an 800 m bronze medal at the 2009 African Junior Athletics Championships, where she finished behind Caster Semenya.[5]


She switched to the 1500 metres in the 2010 season and enjoyed success with wins at the Sollentuna Grand Prix and KBC Night of Athletics meetings, setting a personal best of 4:01.96 minutes at the latter race. She also ran on the 2010 Diamond League circuit for the first time, coming fourth at the DN Galan and seventh at the Weltklasse Zurich.


Abeba had a strong indoor season in 2011, with four straight wins in Düsseldorf, Gent, Birmingham and Stockholm, including a personal best run of 4:01.47 minutes. However, she only made one appearance outdoors as her season was stopped due to injury.[6]


She emerged as one of the world's top 1500 m runners on the 2012 IAAF Diamond League circuit, she won also overall title of Diamond league 2012: 1500 m. She was second to Genzebe Dibaba at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix,[7] running a best of 3:59.23 minutes. However, she defeated her rival at the Golden Gala, breaking the Ethiopian national record with a run of 3:56.54 minutes,[8] literally days before receiving Swedish citizenship, then won again at the Bislett Games.[9] Abeba won both the 800 m and the 1500 m for Hammarby IF in the Swedish team championships on June 20. Representing Ethiopia at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aregawi ran the fastest time in the 1500 metres competition. However, that was while winning the second semi-final race. In the slow, strategic final, Aregawi came off the final turn a step behind the eventual winner Aslı Çakır Alptekin, but faded badly with 20 meters to go in the final straight finishing fifth.


Aregawi contested her first race representing Sweden at international level during the European Indoor Championships in front of her home crowd in Gothenburg, where she won the gold medal. She won the first five Diamond League events and secured the overall title with two races left. She set the Swedish national record in the 1500 at 3:56.60 (just .06 slower than her Ethiopian record the previous season) at the first Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar. Four weeks later, she added the Swedish record at 800 metres, taking it down to 1:59.20 at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands. Both records took down marks by Malin Ewerlöf-Krepp that were almost 15 years old.

At the World Championships in Moscow Aregawi won the gold medal at 1500 metres, Sweden's eighth gold medal since the first championships in 1983.[10]


On 6 February, Aregawi won the 1500 m race at XL Galan in Ericsson Globe at the time of 3:57.91. The time was a new European indoor record and the second best of all time. During the indoor season she also won the World Indoor Championships and took her third straight gold medal in international championships.


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
2012 Olympic Games London, Great Britain 5th 4:11.03
Representing  Sweden
2013 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 4:04.47
World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st 4:02:67
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 1st 4:00.61
European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 2nd 4:05.08
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 6th 4:12.16

Main victories

= IAAF Diamond League event

Personal bests

Track Event Time Venue Competition Date Records
Outdoor 800 m 1:59.20 Hengelo, Netherlands FBK Games 8 June 2013 Swedish record
1500 m 3:56.54 Rome, Italy Golden Gala 31 May 2012 Ethiopian record
3:56.60 Doha, Qatar Athletic Super GP 10 May 2013 Swedish record
Indoor 1500 m 3:57.91 Stockholm, Sweden XL Galan 6 February 2014 Swedish record, 2nd of all time


  1. ^ "Abeba Aregawi Sveriges stora guldhopp" (in Swedish) SVT. 15 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Här blir hon historisk" (in Swedish) Aftonbladet. 16 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Aregawis debut nära världsrekordet" (in Swedish) Dagens Nyheter. 16 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Ahmed and Kebede sprint for victory". IAAF. 3 May 2009.
  5. ^ "African Championships 2009" World Junior Athletics History. 10 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Abeba Aregawi". Tilastopaja. 10 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Liu Xiang and G. Dibaba the standouts in rainy Shanghai". IAAF. 19 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Bolt’s blazing 9.76 one of seven world leads on electric night in Rome". IAAF. 31 May 2012
  9. ^ "Bolt’s 9.79 victory tops the charts In Oslo". IAAF. 7 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Abeba Aregawi: a new champion in new colors" IAAF. 15 August 2013.

External links

  • Abeba Aregawi profile at IAAF
  • Diamond League profile
  • Personal website
  • Athlete profile
Preceded by
Yelena Soboleva
Women's 1500 m European Indoor Record Holder
February 6, 2014 –
Succeeded by
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