From a Poverty-Stricken Ethiopian Village to the Tokyo Olympics: 21-year-old Selemon Barega Wins The 10,000m race

1 min read

Selemon Barega

“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”

– Les Brown

Born in 2000, Selemon Barega is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes primarily in the 5000m and 10,000m. Growing up in an impoverished village, Barega frequently ran long distances to carry food and water back home. He took up running at age seven and began competing in 2013. His motivation to pursue athletics was his physical education teacher from primary school, writes the IOC

Selemon Barega


At the age of 16, Barega won the 2016 World Under-20 Championships in the 5,000m race. In 2017, he won the World Under-18 and the African Under-20 Championships and placed 5th at his first World Championships. He finished second place at the 2018 World Indoor Championships and the 2019 World Championships at age 19. In 2019 he received the Male Rising Star award at the World Athletics Awards in France. 

According to World Athletics, Barega is currently ranked world no.1 in men’s 5,000m and no.10 in 10,000m. 

Barega’s celebration of winning the gold

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Selemon Barge won a gold medal in the men’s 10,00m event. He is only the 4th ever Ethiopian to win a gold in the 10,000m race, and his victory was also Ethiopia’s first medal at the tournament. 

Selemon Barega, by the young age of 21, has achieved ground-breaking feats. His journey of pushing through poverty and lack of professional training inspires athletes who connect to his story from all corners of the world. His passion and determination towards making history sets a bright example for young kids everywhere.  

Selemon Barega – gold in men’s 10,000m event

 #GCPWishesSelemonBarega #GCPAWishesOlympians

Team Global Child Prodigy Congratulates Selemon Barega for winning Gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This will inspire millions of people worldwide, including children who aspire to be like him. 

We are on a mission to recognize Child prodigies across the world in all domains. Do let us know in the comment section if you know any such kid, or you can directly apply For Global Child Prodigy Award 2021 from the link below.

If you know someone close to you who deserves to be on the top 100 Child Prodigies list, make sure to register at 

Get to Know about the Latest Child Prodigies!

Subscribe to our Newsletter