1. TIRUNESH AND GENZEBE DIBABA

Photo Credit: hubmesh.com
Photo Credit: hubmesh.com

Our No.1 spot goes to the pair of Tirunesh (31) and Genzebe (25) of the highly revered Dibaba dynasty in Ethiopia. Some even refer to the Dibabas as the fastest family on earth. These sisters claimed top position by virtue of their dominance in the middle and long distances, and are both World Record (WR) holders in their own right.

Their older sister Ejegayehu (34) is an Olympic Silver medallist in the 10,000m, while cousin Derartu Tulu became the first Ethiopian woman to win an Olympic GOLD medal, a feat she achieved in Barcelona ’92. The Athletics world has missed the presence of WR holder in the 5000m, Tirunesh, who took out time to have a baby after Moscow 2013.

Family of Champions (L-R): Ejegayehu, Genzebe, Tirunesh and Tulu. (Photo Credit: vogue.com)
Family of Champions (L-R): Ejegayehu, Genzebe, Tirunesh and Tulu. (Photo Credit: vogue.com)

In her absence, Genzebe held fort, ensuring that the Dibaba name continued to make headlines even as she set several Indoor and Outdoor records, especially in the 1500m where she holds both records. She also ended 2015 as the IAAF Athlete of the Year, an accomplishment that is yet to be achieved by Tirunesh.

That should not be surprising, considering that as far back as 2008, Tirunesh had said, “Genzebe is so young and talented. In time I expect she’ll become even stronger and quicker than me.” This came against the backdrop of the family’s historic run at the 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh where Tirunesh won the women’s senior title, and Genzebe, the Juniors.

Photo Credit: hubmesh.com
Photo Credit: hubmesh.com

And though a lot of fans would have been anticipating a Dibaba face off, this is not likely to happen in Rio where Tirunesh goes for the 10,000m, while Genzebe faces the 1500m. They might have squared off in the 5000m where Tirunesh has been listed as a reserve, but the younger Dibaba may not be equal to the task after failing to finish the only 5000m race she featured in this season.

Both sisters will be looking forward to a happy ending, but with compatriot Almaz Ayana handing Tirunesh her first ever defeat in the 10,000m in June, and Genzebe two defeats last year, the sisters will need to dig deep in order to bring home more silverware to the Dibaba clan.

Are there other Track and Field siblings competing in Rio that we missed out on? Why not add your list in the comments section!

Photo Credit: hubmesh.com

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