IT’S clearly something in their DNA because the Dibaba sisters are the fastest group of siblings in the world.
The Dibaba sisters — Tirunesh, Genzebe, and Ejegayehu— are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records.
Tirunesh is the most decorated, with three Olympic gold medals. She made history at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where she became the first woman to win gold in the 5,000 meters and 10,000-metre races. She then went on to win gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, where she became the first woman to win the event at two consecutive Olympics, as reported in Face 2 Face Africa.
Genzebe is a silver medalist thanks to the Rio Olympics in 2016, their older sister, Ejegayehu, is an Olympian, too winning silver from Athens. Their cousin Derartu Tulu was the first Black African woman to win Olympic gold, in the 1992 games, as first reported in Vogue.
The sisters were raised three hours south of the country’s capital of Addis Ababa. They grew up in a tukul, also known as a round mud hut, without electricity.
Both of their parents were farmers and their mother, Gutu, told Vogue that she attributes the women’s success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows.
They come from a big family as there are seven siblings, and every one of them is a runner.
‘What the Dibabas have is what Serena and Venus have, except there are more of them,’ said American TV network NBC track analyst, Ato Boldon. He adds, ‘It’s not a stretch to say they are the world’s fastest family. World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport.’