Elvan Abeylegesse

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Country: Turkey

About Elvan Abeylegesse
Elvan Abeylegesse (also formerly: Hewan Abeye (Amharic) and Elvan Can (Turkish)) (born September 11, 1982) is a Turkish middle and long distance track and field athlete, running in the disciplines of 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m, but also 10000 m, 2 miles and cross country. She was once ranked 7th in the world, and held the record for 5000m, at 14:24.68. She was born Hewan Abeye on September 11, 1982 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and raised with her seven brothers and sisters. She began her career running cross country. In 1999, Hewan started for the Ethiopian junior team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland and finished 9th. There, she was invited to a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Coming to Istanbul, she said that she liked it there very much. "I didn't get enough support from my federation in Ethiopia," she said. "My track club in Turkey gave me all the support I needed. So I decided to move to Turkey. The support was much better in Istanbul. I thought it would be easier to reach my goals in Turkey.” To get Turkish citizenship, she got married and became Elvan Can. Since then, she has divorced and is now called Elvan Abeylegesse. “As a youngster, my heroes were Ethiopian runners. I would follow the victories of Gete Wami particularly”, Elvan said. “I studied all their actions: how they slept, how they ate, how they trained, and how they competed.” Registered in the Enka Sports Club in Istanbul, she is coached by Ertan Hatipoglu, a former triple jumper of Turkish origin from Bulgaria. She still has a friendly relationship with other Ethiopian runners, but there is a problem with her former federation. “The officials don’t allow me to train in Ethiopia any longer”, Elvan Abeylegesse says. “I train now at high altitudes in Turkey as I think that some of my former compatriots see me as a threat. They are uncomfortable with me training in Ethiopia. But I, of course, remain friends with the individual Ethiopian runners.” Her 'defection' has remained an anomaly in the eyes of many Ethiopian athletic fans.

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Turkey Athletes Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Derya Büyükuncu 227535
2. Elvan Abeylegesse 23693
3. Koca Yusuf 9112
4. Halil Akkaş 7760
5. Kurtdereli Mehmet 6390
6. İpek Şenoğlu 3365
7. Naim Süleymanoğlu 3315
8. Yaşar Doğu 2164
9. Kenan Sofuoğlu 1341
10. Süreyya Ayhan Kop 1124

Athletes Ranking

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Rank Name Total
13. Virender Sehwag 31710
14. Novak Djoković 29963
15. Gustavo Kuerten 27430
16. Naif Hazazi 25167
17. Elvan Abeylegesse 23693
18. Monika Pyrek 22282
19. Syed Ibrar Hussain 21510
20. Nadia Comăneci 18074
21. Rahul Dravid 17233

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