At the tender age of just 21, Ghirmay is already a marathon superstar having claimed the 2015 World title for the distance and 2016 New York Marathon.
Despite his parents’ initial resistance to his running career, preferring Ghirmay to focus on his studies, the Eritrean wonder quickly excelled on the international stage.
Aged just 17 he posted a hugely impressing 60:09 to win the 2013 Paderborn Half-Marathon and also placed an impressive seventh in the men’s under-20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland.
The following year he maintained his international progression with a seventh-place finish at the World Half-Marathon Championships (60:10) in Copenhagen and on his marathon debut in Chicago – when entered as a pacemaker – he completed the distance to place sixth a highly-respectable 2:09:08.
Yet if he showed signs of promise in 2014 few could have anticipated his stunning 2015 campaign. The Eritrean impressed many observers by finishing second in the Hamburg Marathon in 2:07:47 in April then four months later made history to become the youngest ever winner – at the age of 19 – of the World Championship marathon in Beijing. Despite confusion around the correct route in the latter stages, he claimed a landmark gold medal in 2:12:28 to launch his career into a new stratosphere.
In 2016 he backed up that performance to claim fourth places at both the London Marathon and Rio Olympic Games before ending his season with yet another history-making performance as he the youngest ever winner of the New York Marathon – achieving the feat in 2:07:51.
Did You Know?
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie is a huge Man Utd fan and he started supporting the Red Devils after watching the brilliance of Portuguese wizard Cristiano Ronaldo.