Oromia: Tiki Gelana wins the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, sets record

Tiki Gelana wins the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon

April 23, 2012, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (iaaf) – The 24-year-old Gelana clocked the fourth fastest personal best time ever run by a woman. It was her second win in a great Dutch marathon. Last year (16 October) she won the Amsterdam Marathon in a then personal best of 2:22:08.

Tiki Gelana was in a class of her own. As the women passed the five kilometres marker she was already five seconds ahead of compatriot Merima Hasen, who eventually finished third in 2:25:48.

Running in a beautiful rhythm Gelana danced over the roads lined by thousands of spectators, opening a very wide margin on her competitors.

The Italian Valeria Straneo finished extremely strongly, the mother of two clocking 2:23:44 for second place, a personal best and a new national record.


Erba Tiki Gelana (born 22 October 1987) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes in marathon races. Her personal best of 2:18:58 hours is the Ethiopian national record for the event. She won the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon and the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon.

A cousin of 2000 Olympic marathon champion Gezahegne Abera, Tiki began competing in road races in Ethiopia and came fourth at the 2004 Great Ethiopian Run. She went to Catalonia in Spain in 2006 and made her debut over the half marathon distance, including wins in Mataró and Terrassa. She won the San Silvestre Barcelonesa 10K race at the end of the year. She travelled to Japan in 2007 and won the 10K at the Sanyo Road Race – her time of 31:54 minutes made her the third fastest Ethiopian that year. She won the 2008 Women First 5K in Addis Ababa in March, then came fourth at the high-profile World 10K Bangalore in May. She debuted on the European track and field circuit that summer and set a 5000 metres best of 15:17.74 minutes at the Internationales Stadionfest and a 10,000 metres best of 31:27.80 minutes at the Ostrava Golden Spike.

In late 2008, she took sixth place at the Delhi Half Marathon with a time of 1:10:22 hours, but she was two minutes slower at the 2009 RAK Half Marathon, finishing 16th. but managed second place behind Abebu Gelan at the Virginia Beach Half Marathon in her American debut. Her marathon debut followed in October at the Dublin Marathon and in a close finish she took third place on the podium. In 2010 she came fourth at both the Los Angeles Marathon and the Dublin Marathon, although she improved her best to 2:29:53 hours.

The 2011 Amsterdam Marathon marked a breakthrough for Tiki as she won the race in a time of 2:22:08 hours – almost eight minutes faster than her previous best and an improvement upon Gete Wami’s nine-year-old course record. At the end of that year she returned to Ethiopia, where she came runner-up at the Great Ethiopian Run and third at the Ethiopian Clubs Cross Country Championships. She improved her personal best at the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in February 2012, going unchallenged to win the race in 1:08:48 hours.

She broke the Ethiopian record at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, completing a solo run of 2:18:58 hours to win the race almost five minutes ahead of runner-up Valeria Straneo. This made her the fourth fastest woman ever over the distance.

Personal bests

10,000 metres – 31:27.80 min (2008)
10 km road – 31:54 min (2007)
Half marathon – 1:08:48 hours (2012)
Marathon – 2:18:58 hours (2012)


April 22, 2012, Wim van Hemert for the IAAF

32nd ABN-AMRO Rotterdam Marathom. Sunday April 15th.

Windy, tem. 8-10 CT


1. Yemane Tsegay Adhane ETH 2:04:48 PB
2. Getu Feleke ETH 2:04:50 PB
3. Moses Mosop KEN 2:05:03
4. Stephen Kibet KEN 2:08:05 PB
5. Stephen Chemlany KEN 2:10:08
6. Koen Raymaekers NED 2:10:35 PB
7. Dylan Wykes CAN 2:10:47 PB
8. Mariusz Gizynski POL 2:11:20 PB


1. Tiki Gelana ETH 2:18:58 NR PB
2. Valeria Straneo ITA 2:23:44 NR PB
3. Merima Hasen ETH 2:25:48
4. Miranda Boonstra NED 2:27:32 PB
5. Lanni Marchant CAN 2:31:51 PB
6. Heleen Plaatzer NED 2:31:51 Correct PB
7. Krista Duchene CAN 2:32:06 PB
8. Wilma Arizapana COL 2:34:11 PB