Series19 Apr 2018

Samuel Tefera: I love running because...


Samuel Tefera wins the 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (© Getty Images)

Ethiopian teenager Samuel Tefera is one of the most exciting middle-distance talents in the world. Here the recently-minted world indoor champion and world U20 indoor 1500m record-holder talks a little about his journey in the sport and why he runs.

“My very first running experiences came at school. I was a grade eight student at the time and I finished second against runners much older and more experienced than me. It was to prove a big turning point in my life. I loved running at school. I ran with friends and I was not only good at the sport, but it was fun.

“That second place finish gave me the belief and encouragement I needed and I progressed from a zonal level to a regional level, where I won the 1500m title. By the time I was a grade ten student I had been picked up by a club and I started to train more seriously.

“I quickly became a real student of the sport. I am a huge admirer of Kenenisa Bekele (the three-time Olympic 10,000m champion and five-time World track champion). I like the way he runs and he inspires me. My dream is to be like him.


Samuel Tefera wins the 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018


“For me I run for several reasons; It allows me to live a healthy life, it is good for mental development and it has transformed my life by making me prosperous. It allows me to live the life I desire and earn good money. It allows me to travel across different cities and I also enjoy the pride I get from representing my country when competing.

“I always feel really happy when I train properly under the direction of my coaches and run well on the international stage. My life without running is nothing. I couldn’t think of my life without running, although because I was academic at school I think if I hadn’t chosen running as my career path, I could well be a doctor or an engineer.

“Running has given me so much and I hope one day to be a successful runner like Kenenisa Bekele and to fulfil my goals in the sport.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF