Home > Running videos

VIDEO: Ethiopian falls, loses shoe and rebounds to qualify for Olympic final

Ethiopia's Etenesh Diro managed to qualify for the women's 3,000m steeplechase final at the Olympics despite falling and losing a shoe.

Etenesh Diro


A photo posted by NoLa (@nolajordan_) on

Ethiopian runner Etenesh Diro lost her shoe with 800m to go in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase heats on Friday and still finished the race. Diro qualified for the finals in the event despite being involved in the mid-race collision.

RELATED: Ashton Eaton responds to criticism for wearing Canadian hat in support of wife.

The incident took place at about the six-minute mark of the race, which has athletes hurdler barriers and clear a water pit every lap. The race, because it involves hurdling, often produces lots of falls because of mid-race jostling among athletes.


Diro was one of three athletes to go down on the track but she was the only one to lose her shoe. She failed at putting the shoe back on and persevered to finish. She only lost one of her spikes. Diro got a huge cheer from the crowd when she got up and continued.


Initially, the 25-year-old finished the race outside of a qualifying spot. The Ethiopian team filed an appeal afterwards, which was successful, meaning Diro now has a place in the final. Athletes can win appeals if the international governing body for athletics (IAAF) concludes that an athlete has done enough to warrant qualification if a collision happens.

Diro, who was sixth at the 2012 Olympic Games in the steeplechase, finished seventh in her heat on Saturday in 9:34.70.

RELATED: See our full story on Lalonde’s record.

She received medical attention after the race as she ditched both her shoe and sock. Running barefoot on a rubberized track is not an ideal situation but she is expected to be back to full health in the final, set for Monday. Sara Louise Treacy of Ireland and Jamaica’s Aisha Praught, both of who also fell, won appeals to get into the Olympic final.

Canadian Genevieve Lalonde was among the lead pack when the fall occurred. She was able to avoid the traffic and went on to set a new Canadian record to qualify for the finals out of the heats.