After the war between the federal government and the TPLF has now somewhat deescalated, club athletes from Tigray region have joined up with the Olympic team in Addis Ababa. According to a statement from the Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC), the athletes have already taken COVID-19 tests and are residing in a hotel in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian long distance runners Letesenbet Gidey, Hagos Gebrehiwot and other athletes have joined up with the national athletics team.
Letesenbet, who set a world record time of 14:06.6 in the 5000m race in Valencia on October 7, 2020, was in Mekelle during the war between the central government and the TPLF. Another fellow athlete, Hagos, was also in his home town and was unable to join the Olympic team. Hagos, who has experience in international competitions, is expected to commence regular training alongside the Olympic team.
The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) held a trial competition on January 16 and 17 in Addis Ababa stadium. Following the trials, the EAF recruited 22 athletes eligible for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. However, there are expectations that the EAF will hold additional trials after taking into consideration the predicament of club athletes from the Tigray region who were unable to participate in the previous competition due to the conflict.
It can be recalled that during the war between the federal government and the TPLF, half a dozen football players were forced to relocate back to Addis due to security issues.
In related news, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics still remain in limbo. The Games were originally slated for July 24 to August 9, 2020, but were postponed to July 23 to August 8, 2021. However, there are rumors that the Japan Olympic Organizing Committee has reached an agreement to postpone the Olympics to 2032.