Ethiopia competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. This was the nation's twelfth appearance at the Olympics, having missed three occasions because of the African, Soviet, and North Korean boycott. The Ethiopian Olympic Committee sent a total of 35 athletes to the Games, 18 men and 17 women, to compete only in athletics, specifically in the middle and long-distance running events, and swimming, the nation's Olympic debut.

The Ethiopian team featured the defending Olympic champions, long-distance runners Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba. Among these champions, Dibaba managed to defend her Olympic title, in the women's 10,000 metres event. Another middle-distance runner Meseret Defar became the second Ethiopian female athlete to regain her title in the women's 5,000 metres event, ahead of her compatriot and defending champion Dibaba, who won only the bronze medal. Tiki Gelana became the second female Ethiopian to win the women's marathon after 16 years. Swimmer Yanet Seyoum was the nation's flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

Ethiopia left London with a total of 7 medals (3 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze), sharing the same records with Beijing and Athens, respectively. All gold medals were received only by women for the first time in its history.


Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Gold Tirunesh Dibaba Athletics Women's 10,000 m 3 August
 Gold Tiki Gelana Athletics Women's marathon 5 August
 Gold Meseret Defar Athletics Women's 5000 m 10 August
 Silver Sofia Assefa Athletics Women's 3000 m steeplechase 6 August
 Silver Dejen Gebremeskel Athletics Men's 5000 m 11 August
 Bronze Tariku Bekele Athletics Men's 10,000 m 4 August
 Bronze Tirunesh Dibaba Athletics Women's 5000 m 10 August


Ethiopia selected a total of 33 athletes in the track and field after having achieved qualifying standards in their respective events (up to a maximum of 3 athletes in each event at the 'A' Standard, and 1 at the 'B' Standard):[1][2] Most of them were past Olympic medalists, All-African Games medalists, and winners from last year's world championships. Three of them were defending titleholders including middle-distance runners Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba, and Meseret Defar.

Ethiopia has won a total of 7 medals, not only in the track and field, but also in the nation's medal standings. Among the defending champions, Dibaba managed to defend her Olympic title only in the women's 10,000 m. Her compatriot, Meseret Defar, however, regained her Olympic title after eight years in Athens, finishing ahead of Dibaba, who was also the defending champion in Beijing.[3] In the men's events, two-time Olympic champion, Kenenisa Bekele, however, did not win an Olympic medal for the first time, when his brother Tariku Bekele edged him out of the podium to claim the bronze medal.[4]

In the women's marathon, Tiki Gelana became the first Ethiopian to win the gold medal since 1996, despite falling behind the other runners during the midway of the race.[5]

  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Ayele Abshero Marathon N/A DNF
Yenew Alamirew 5000 m 13:15.39 2 Q N/A 13:49.68 12
Mohamed Aman 800 m 1:47.34 1 Q 1:44.34 1 Q 1:43.20 6
Kenenisa Bekele 10000 m N/A 27:32.44 4
Tariku Bekele N/A 27:31.43 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Bereket Desta 400 m 47.40 7 Did not advance
Getu Feleke Marathon N/A DNF
Roba Gari 3000 m steeplechase 8:20.68 1 Q N/A 8:20.00 4
Gebregziabher Gebremariam 10000 m N/A 27:36.34 8
Mekonnen Gebremedhin 1500 m 3:36.56 2 Q 3:42.90 4 Q 3:35.44 6
Dejen Gebremeskel 5000 m 13:15.15 1 Q N/A 13:41.98 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Hagos Gebrhiwet 13:26.16 5 Q N/A 13:49.59 11
Birhan Getahun 3000 m steeplechase DNF N/A Did not advance
Nahom Mesfin 8:18.16 5 q N/A 8:35.12 12
Dino Sefer Marathon N/A DNF
Dawit Wolde 1500 m 3:41.81 10 Did not advance
Aman Wote 1500 m 3:41.67 8 Did not advance
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Abeba Aregawi 1500 m 4:04.55 1 Q 4:01.03 1 Q 4:11.03 5
Meskerem Assefa 4:15.52 9 Did not advance
Sofia Assefa 3000 m steeplechase 9:25.42 1 Q N/A 9:09.84 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Hiwot Ayalew 9:24.01 1 Q N/A 9:12.98 5
Gelete Burka 5000 m 15:01.44 1 Q N/A 15:10.66 5
Meseret Defar 14:58.70 2 Q N/A 15:04.25 1st, gold medalist(s)
Genzebe Dibaba 1500 m 4:11.15 10 Did not advance
Mare Dibaba Marathon N/A 2:28:48 23
Tirunesh Dibaba 5000 m 14:58.48 1 Q N/A 15:05.15 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
10000 m N/A 30:20.75 1st, gold medalist(s)
Etenesh Diro 3000 m steeplechase 9:25.31 2 Q N/A 9:19.89 6
Tiki Gelana Marathon N/A 2:23:07 1st, gold medalist(s)
Werknesh Kidane 10000 m N/A 30:39.38 4
Fantu Magiso 800 m DNS Did not advance
Aselefech Mergia Marathon N/A 2:32:03 42
Belaynesh Oljira 10000 m N/A 30:45.56 5


Ethiopia was given two "Universality places" from the FINA.[6] Mulualem Girma Teshale finished farther behind the other swimmers, only in fifty-seventh place, failing him to advance into the semifinals. Yanet Seyoum, the first female Ethiopian swimmer [7] finished sixty-fifth out of 73 swimmers, and also did not advance into the semifinals.

Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Mulualem Girma Teshale 50 m freestyle 28.99 57 Did not advance
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Yanet Seyoum 50 m freestyle 32.41 65 Did not advance


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