Yonas Andebrhan Kifle (born 5 November 1977)[1] is an Eritrean runner who specializes in the 10,000 metres, the marathon and cross-country running. He has represented Eritrea at the Olympics on four occasions; in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. He has also competed at World Championship-level in cross country, road running, and on the track indoors and outdoors.

He was the bronze medallist in the half marathon at the 2007 All-Africa Games and the 2005 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. His personal bests include 59:30 minutes for the half marathon and 2:07:34 hours for the marathon (an Eritrean record).


Kifle was born in Adi Billai in Eritrea's Debub Region. He made his first international appearance for Eritrea at the age of 21, running in the 3000 metres at the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships. He finished in last place and was over twenty seconds behind the rest of the runners.[2] His first international outdoor competition followed later that year and he ran in the heats of the 5000 metres at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics in Seville. In 2000 he came 61st at the 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and made his Olympic debut with a performance in the heats of the 10,000 metres at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He began to improve from the 2002 season onwards: he was eighth in the long race at the 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, fourth at the 2002 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships with a time of 1:01:05 hours, and came sixth over 5000 m at the 2002 African Championships in Athletics.[3] He also won the Cursa de Bombers 10K in Spain that year.

Kifle was injured in the 2003 season, but came back in 2004 with a top ten finish at the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and a second Olympic appearance on the track, taking 16th in the 10,000 m final at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was eleventh in the 10,000 m at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and won his first major individual medal with third-place finish at the 2005 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. He made the top ten at both the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships.[4] He had some of his best half marathon performances in 2007, including a bronze medal at the 2007 All-Africa Games and set a significant personal best of 59:30 minutes to take fifth at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships.[3]

On his marathon debut, he was fifth at the 2007 Amsterdam Marathon with a personal best time of 2:07:34 hours – an Eritrean record.[5] At the 2008 London Marathon he ran a time of 2:08:51 for seventh place.[6]

Kifle attempted his first Olympic marathon at the 2008 Beijing Games, but he could only manage 36th place overall. He was seventh for a second year running at the 2009 London Marathon having finished in 2:08:28.[7] He took part in the marathon at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and was in contention up to the 30 km but he dropped out soon after and did not finish the race.[8][9]

He ran at the 2010 London Marathon and finished in ninth place with a time of 2:14:39, behind compatriot Zersenay Tadese.[10] Kifle was chosen to compete at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, but he failed to finish the men's marathon race. He ran his best time since 2009 at the 2012 Seoul International Marathon (2:08:51) and he was the only non-Kenyan runner to feature in the top ten.[11] At the 2012 Summer Olympics he finished in 58th place.[12]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 13th 3000 m
World Championships Seville, Spain 13th (heats) 5000 m
2000 World Cross Country Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 61st Long race
Summer Olympics Sydney, Australia 14th (heats) 10,000 m
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Belgium 42nd Long race
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 10th (heats) 5000 m
2002 World Cross Country Championships Dublin, Ireland 8th Long race
African Championships Radès, Tunisia 6th 5000 m
World Half Marathon Championships Brussels, Belgium 4th Half marathon 1:01:05 PB
2004 World Cross Country Championships Brussels, Belgium 9th Long race
3rd Team competition
Summer Olympics Athens, Greece 16th 10,000 metres
World Half Marathon Championships New Delhi, India 11th Half marathon
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 11th 10,000 m 27:35.72 PB
World Half Marathon Championships Edmonton, Canada 3rd Half marathon
2006 World Cross Country Championships Fukuoka, Japan 7th Long race
2nd Team competition
World Road Running Championships Debrecen, Hungary 10th 20 km Individual
2nd 20 km Team
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 3rd Half marathon
World Road Running Championships Udine, Italy 7th Half marathon
2008 World Cross Country Championships Edinburgh, Scotland 20th Senior race
Summer Olympics Beijing, China 36th Marathon
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany DNF Marathon
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea DNF Marathon
2012 Summer Olympics London, United Kingdom 58th Marathon

Personal bests


  1. ^ Yonas Kifle Archived 2012-12-15 at the Wayback Machine.. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  2. ^ 1999 World Indoor Championships - Men's 3000 metres Final Archived August 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  3. ^ a b Kifle Yonas. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  4. ^ John Manners (2007-10-12). Focus on Athletes - Yonas Kifle (ERI). IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  5. ^ van Hemert, Wim (2007-10-21). 2:06:29 breakthrough for Mutai - Amsterdam Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  6. ^ Brown, Matthew (2008-04-13). Lel takes third London Marathon win as three men go under 2:06! Archived August 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  7. ^ Brown, Matthew (2009-04-26). Wanjiru takes Lel’s course record while Mikitenko wins again in London. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  8. ^ 2009 World Championships Marathon Archived April 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. IAAF (2009-08-22). Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  9. ^ Kifle Yonas. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  10. ^ Brown, Matthew (2010-04-25). Commanding victories for Kebede and Shobukhova - London Marathon report Archived April 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  11. ^ Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada (2012-03-18). Loyanae cruises 2:05:37 to shatter course record in Seoul. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  12. ^ "London 2012 - Men's Marathon". www.olympic.org. IOC. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 

External links