Q&A WITH… HABITAM ALEMU

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Country: Ethiopia

Profession: Athlete – 800m

Career Highlights

  • National Record- 1:56.71
  • 2018 World Indoor Championships – 4th
  • 2018 African Championships Bronze medallist
  • 2016 Olympian

Well done on a great indoor season! What are your plans for the outdoor season?

Well, thank you so much! Since we are in an Olympic year, I don’t have any plans to do a lot of outdoor races. I want to focus on training and preparing myself very well to do my best at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

What do you enjoy most about racing?

A lot of things are really great about racing, such as the hard work, the travelling, and the competition itself. But out of everything, what I enjoy the most, is Winning!

What was your favourite part about the Rio Olympic Games?

It was special in many ways, especially since it was my first Olympic Games. I made it through to the  semi-finals and that experience helped me to know my real potential and pushed me to work even harder to be where I am today.

You are from the Amhara region which has the most world heritage sites of any region in Ethiopia. What was it like growing up there?
It’s really a wonderful place to grow up, but my childhood was quite challenging. Our mother was the only bread winner in the family because my father had passed away when we were very young.

I had a lot of tasks to do to help my family besides my training and education. Although it was challenging, I fell it also made me tough, and a winner.

What talent (other than running) would you like to have?

I did enjoy playing volleyball before I totally shifted to athletics.

But for a talent…I like sketching, so I would wish to become a great painter.

What foods do you really not like eating?

I don’t like to eat food that is very spicy, and I also don’t eat junk food.

What is your favourite drink?

I love milk and coffee. It always refreshes me.

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