04 NOV 1998 General News Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A daughter for Derartu

Derartu Tulu striking gold in 1992, her first of two Olympic 10,000m titles (Getty Images)Derartu Tulu striking gold in 1992, her first of two Olympic 10,000m titles (Getty Images) © Copyright

Reuters

Ethiopian Olympic gold medallist Derartu Tulu on Wednesday announced that she had become a mother but still planned to take part in the 2000 Olympics.

While not as famous as her male counterpart Haile Gebrselassie, Derartu has enjoyed a huge public following in Ethiopia since she became the first black African woman to win Olympic gold in the 10,000 metres in 1992.

Pictured in an Ethiopian daily newspaper with her three-month-old baby girl -- whose birth had been a closely guarded secret -- she said she was already training for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, this time for the marathon event.

Derartu, 27, and a major in the Ethiopian police force, is credited with inspiring a generation of Ethiopian women athletes, including international middle-distance runners Fatuma Roba and Gete Wami.