Baku – Azerbaijani fans cheered on their local hero Hayle Ibrahimov, an Ethiopian-born runner who cleaned up the middle distance events by winning the 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000, all in the space of two days.

“It’s not impossible, but (running) three times is very hard,” said Ibrahimov, one of the few Olympic-standard athletes competing at the games, who won two of his races by more than 10 seconds. “I want to run good, for Azerbaijan, and for me, and for the people.”

Two other Ethiopian-born athletes won medals for Azerbaijan. Chaltu Belji won gold in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and Bontu Megersa got a bronze medal in the women’s 3,000m race.