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Kenenisa Bekele is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Ethiopia.

After finishing fourth at the 2010 Edinburgh Cross Country race in which he was favored to win, Bekele sat out the entire indoor and outdoor seasons with a ruptured calf muscle. After returning to training in March 2011, his first race back on the track since the 2009 season was at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Korea where he failed to finish the 10,000m. He dropped out with 10 laps to go and then decided not to run the 5000m. Just over two weeks later he ran his second, and last, race of the season at the Diamond League Brussels. He won that race in 26:43.16, the fastest time in the world for the 10,000 meters in 2011.

The 2009 World Championships in Berlin marked Kenenisa Bekele's second straight 5000-10,000m double at a major international championships. The 10k here was his fourth Worlds 10k victory (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009). That's noteworthy in and of itself and also because the Worlds four-peat in the 10,000m is what Gebrselassie did (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999). Bekele, however, is the first in history to pull the 5000-10,000m double at Worlds. Not even Gebrselassie did that.

Bekele, competing in his second Olympics, anchored Ethiopia's potent distance team in Beijing. He won two gold medals — one in the 10,000m and one in the 5000m. So did fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba. They became the first teammates to sweep those men's and women's distance events in the same Games. At the Athens Games in 2004, Bekele won silver in the 5,000m and gold in the 10,000m.

On March 30, Bekele won his record-setting sixth title at the World Cross-Country Championships in Edinburgh despite briefly losing a shoe. Bekele, who finished the 7.5-mile race in 34 minutes, 36 seconds, was leading in muddy conditions when his left shoe came off about 7 minutes into the race. He fell about 25 yards behind the leaders, allowing Zersanay Tadese of Eritrea to pull ahead, but was able to put his shoe back on and get back into the race.

The 2007 season saw Bekele run just two 5,000m and two 10,000m races, but he was hardly slacking off. Bekele made seven starts in the 3,000m and won them all, including the Stockholm Grand Prix in a world-best seven minutes, 25.79 seconds. Incidentally, Bekele's times of 12:49.53 in the 5,000m (Zaragosa) and 26:46.19 in the 10,000m (Brussels Grand Prix) were also the fastest in the world on the year. Bekele won a third straight gold in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

Bekele found himself running from behind on a couple occasions in 2005, but the results were the same. At the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, Bekele overcame the fast pace set by Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar to win the short-course title. On the track, at the World Championships in Helsinki, Bekele needed a stunning spurt over the final 200m to overtake fellow Ethiopian Sihine Sileshi to repeat as champion in the 10,000m. Bekele finished in 27:08.33 while Silechi ran 27:08.87.

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Bekele attempted to become just the sixth man and first since fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter in 1980 to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the same Games. Bekele won the 10,000m in an Olympic-record 27:05.10, but was beaten at the finish of the 5,000m by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. El Guerrouj, who out-kicked Bekele to win the 5,000m by just .20 seconds in 13:14.39, became the first man to win gold in both the 1,500m and 5,000m since Finland's Paavo Nurmi in 1924.

In May 2004, within a span of nine days, Bekele broke Haile Gebrselassie's world records in the 5,000m (12:37.35) and 10,000m (26:20.31), shaving more than two seconds off both marks. At the 2003 World Championships, Bekele beat his legendary teammate by 1.2 seconds for the 10,000m title, then made an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful effort to become the first man to win 5000m and 10,000m world titles at the same meet. He was third in the 5,000m.

Bekele enjoyed an outstanding 2003 season after missing the second half of 2002 with an Achilles' tendon injury. He dominated the cross-country season, winning the long- and short-course world titles for the second consecutive year. No other man has won both in the same year.

In his senior international track debut, Bekele stunned Haile Gebrselassie by winning the 2002 Hengelo 10,000m. He finished ahead of Gebrselassie again in the 5,000m at the Rome Golden League meet, though Kenya's Abraham Chebii defeated them both.

On January 4, 2005, Bekele's fiancee, 18-year-old Alem Techale, died of an apparent heart attack while on a training run with him. Although it was initially stated that no autopsy was performed, Techale and Bekele's manager, Jos Hermens, later said that an autopsy had revealed nothing conclusive about the young woman's death. She was the 2003 World Youth Champion in the 1,500m and in excellent physical condition. The mystery surrounding her death raised suspicion about the possible use of EPO or other performance-enhancing drugs but there is no evidence to support that.

Bekele eventually got over his grief and found happiness with another woman. On Nov. 17, 2007 he married 22-year-old Dannawit Gebregziabher, an up-and-coming actress in Ethiopia's fledgling film industry. Five hundred wellwishers, including fellow Ethiopian track star Haile Gebresellasie, joined the 10,000m world champion and world record holder and his bride at a plush ceremony in the Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa.


How tall is Kenenisa Bekele? How old is Kenenisa Bekele? Where does Kenenisa Bekele live? Find out here.

Age: 34 years old
Birthday: June 13, 1982
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 119 lbs.
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia
Current Residence: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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