Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Tigst Assefa Bio, Age, Career, Achievements, Medals, Awards, Net worth.

By MJR May29,2024
Tigst Assefa
Tigst Assefa

Tigst Assefa Tessema is an Ethiopian athlete specializing in long-distance races. She is the marathon female world record holder and the only woman in history to run a marathon in less than two hours and twelve minutes. She has competed in and won two top-tier World Marathon Majors both in Berlin.

Assefa who formerly specialized in 800 m is also the first woman to run the race in under two minutes. She won her first medal at the age of 16; a Bronze medal in 800 m at the 2013 African Junior Championships in Bambous, Mauritius.

Following her tremendous success, Assefa was in December 2023 awarded the World Athlete of the Year 2023 (Women’s out of stadia).

Age and Birthday

The marathon World champion was born on 3 December 1996 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is 27 years old as of 2024.


Tigst is approximately 1.68 meters (5 feet 6 inches) tall.

Tigst Assefa Career

Assefa’s potential in athletics was evident ever since she was young. She would always run rather than walk whenever she was send to the shop to get something. It was during a school competition while she was a student at Arada Misrak School when her sports teacher, seeing how good she was advised her to take athletics.

Junior level: 2009-2014

Tigst was not a marathon runner when she began her career. She was initially a 400 and 800 meters runner. Her first competition was in 2009 senior Ethiopian Athletics Championships where is won the Bronze medal in 400 m, crossing the line at 56.70 seconds. She was only 12 years old then.

Her first international competition came in January 2012 in France where she competed in 800 m for the first time. She however did not make it to the finish line. The same year, she represented Ethiopia in 400 m at the senior African Athletics Championships in Benin. Tigst set a personal best of 54.05 seconds in the heats.

In 2013, she began to specialize in the 800 m race becoming Ethiopian Junior champion after clocking a personal best of 2:01.25 in Bellinzona, Switzerland. She also won Bronze in 800 m and Silver in 4X400 m relay at the African Junior Championships in Reduit, Mauritius.

In 2014, Assefa attained her eternity best of 1:59.24 during the Lausanne Diamond League. Additionally, she finished fourth at the African Champions staged in Marrakesh, Morocco. She also finished fourth at the IAAF Continental Cup held in Morocco and won the ISTAF Berlin meet in Germany.

Senior level: 2015-present

The athletics superstar only participated in two races in 2015. The following year, she represented her country at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, USA and the Rio Olympic games in Brazil. She however did not make it beyond the initial rounds in both events. She was notwithstanding victorious at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix meet in Japan in between.

Struggle with injury and switch to marathon

After 2016 Tigst began having issues with her Achilles tendons which were intensified by running and training in track spikes. She was advised by doctors to stop track racing and this made her switch to road racing. She made her return in November 2018 after a two-year break when she debuted in road events, clocking 34:35 in a 10 km race in Dubai. Assefa would raise the bar in 2019, in Germany to 31:45.

She later made a debut in the 2019 Valencia half-marathon where she finished fifth in 1:08:24. Her dismissal performance was majorly influenced by her ongoing Achilles injury. Upon seeking medical assistance, she was at first advised by doctors to quit racing. Returning to Ethiopia, Assefa focused on her recovery and return to the road.

Comeback and third-fastest female marathon record: 2022

Tigst made her comeback and marathon distance debut at the 2022 Riyadh marathon, Saudi Arabia where she finished seventh in 2:34:01. It was clearly evident that she lacked the required fitness. She would then compete in two half-marathons and three 10 km races, emerging victorious in all and setting a personal bests of 1:07:28 in Herzogenaurach, Germany and 30:52 in Langueux, France respectively.

During the Berlin marathon in September 2022, Tigst set the then third-fastest female record when she cut the tape at 2:15:37 making over 18 minutes improvement on her personal best record. She as well won the Bahrain Royal Night Half Marathon in Manama, in December.

World marathon record: 2023

Tigst Assefa celebrates her world marathon record.

Again in the Berlin Marathon on 24 September 2023, Assefa set a new female world record of 2:11:53. She reduced the previous record of 2:14:04 set by Brigid Kosgei in 2019 Chicago Marathon by 2 minutes and 11 seconds. She consequently became the first woman to break the 2:14, 2:13 and 2:12 hour barriers in a marathon and the first Ethiopian woman to break a marathon world record.

Tigst Assefa Achievements and Medals


  • Highest ranking: First in marathon (2023).
  • Personal Best: 800 m- 1:59.24 (Lausanne 2014), Marathon- 2:11:53 World Record (Berlin 2023)


  • World Athlete of the Year 2023: Women’s out of stadia.


  • Africa Junior Championships: Bronze 800 m and Silver 4X400 m (Bambous)
  • World Marathon Majors: 2X Gold (2022, 2023)

Tigst Assefa Net worth

The world marathon champion has an estimated net worth of between $1 to $5 million as of 2023. Her major source of income is athletics.


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