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No one believes this Ethiopian runner’s age; she claims to be 16

An Ethiopian runner has left many wondering what her true age is after claiming to be 16-years-old despite looking older.

Girmawit Gebrzihair has been embroiled in controversy after images of her performance at the World U-20 Championships sparked debates over her eligibility to take part in junior events.

Gebrzihair, according to IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) records, was born in November 2001.

She has since won a bronze in the 5,000m final, trailing her compatriot Ejgayehu Taye and Kenyan athlete Beatrice Chebet who took gold .


She has been under fire after internet users suspected a fraud claiming she doesn’t look like a 16-year-old teenager.

An online commentator posed; “Is there no other way of controlling these things apart from looking at a passport? It is hard to believe.”

Spanish sprinter Oscar Husillos, 24 tweeted a picture of Gebrzihair with the caption, in Spanish, saying: “Her children and grandchildren are in the stands to see her run in the World U20 Championships.”

Husillos has since deleted the tweet and posted a string of messages saying it was taken “out of context” and his words had been “misinterpreted”.

The IAAF which is in charge of checking the information provided by national federations has not yet commented on the controversy surrounding Gebrzihair, whose eligibility to compete has been called into question by many pundits.