For those who remember her as a baby-faced assassin, it’s hard to fathom that Tirunesh Dibaba has now reached veteran status at the age of 35.
The Ethiopian, who possesses one of the silkiest running styles and deadliest kicks in history (and subsequent biggest smiles), won three Olympic golds and nine world titles.
In terms of track world titles, Dibaba won the 5000m and 10,000m double in 2007 with respective last laps of 58.2 and 58.4, as well as winning the 10,000m title in both 2007 and 2013 and the 2017 10,000m silver.
Between 2005 and 2012, she won 12 successive races over 25 laps.
In the December issue of AW, Smythe looks back at five of her most memorable races, including her world 5000m record at the Bislett Games in 2008 and her London 2012 Olympic 10,000m win.
Voting for ‘The Greatest’ formed part of the 2020 AW Awards, with readers also asked to vote for their standout athletes from the past 12 months. Athletic Weekly