The 2022 World Athletics Championship is going to be staged in Oregon, US in a few days. Including the Ethiopian national athletics team, various countries are set to take part in the in the event that takes place on July 15 – 24, 2022.
Last held in 2019 in Doha, last year’s championship was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ethiopian athletics national team are preparing for the 18th edition of the championship. The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) announced the names of the athletes who will compete in various distances. The team is set to be led by Solomon Barega, Lemicha Girma, Letesenbet Gidey, Guadaf Tsegaye, and Tadese Worku.
Solomon is expected to repeat his achievements registered in the Tokyo Olympics where he won a gold medal. Tadese, who will be making his debut at the World Championships, will join Solomon after winning gold in the 3,000m and silver in the 5,000m races at the Kenya Under-20 World Championships.
After finishing in 26:45.91 in the 10,000m trail race, held in Hengelo, Netherlands, Tadese become one of those athletes that are expected to shine in the championship.
Ethiopia will also have representation in the 5,000 m races by Berihu Aregawi, Yomif Kejelcha, and Muktar Idris. Although Yomif and Muktar have a long way to go, they are still highly regarded for their experience.
However, the 5 km record holder, Berihu Aregawi, is among the current top long-distance runners that have managed to garner the attention of the athletics world. He finished fourth on his Olympic debut in the 10,000m race.
In addition to supporting the team to win gold in the 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, Berihu has won many individual events this year. He has represented Ethiopia in the Youth Olympic Games, World Junior Championships, and African Youth Olympic Games, and will be competing in the World Championships in Oregon for the first time.
One of the highlights of the tournament is the men’s 3000 m steeplechase race. In 2019 Lemicha Girma, who won the silver medal at the 2019 Doha World Championships and at the Tokyo Olympics, is the current top middle-distance athlete.
Recently, he managed to break the national record finishing at 7:58.68 in the 3000m meter steeplechase at the Ostrava Indoor Championships. Getnet Wale and Hailemariam Amare will also line up with Lemicha to represent Ethiopia.
Diribe Wolteji, Fereweyn Hailu, and Habtam Alemu, who have shined in various indoor and Diamond League competitions in the 800 m distance race are also expected to perform well.
Ejigayehu Taye, Dawit Seyoum, and Gudaf Tsegay are among the athletes who will lead team Ethiopia in the 5000m distance. In the 10,000 meters, Bosena Mulatte and Girmawit Gebre Egziabher are expected to feature.
Almaz Ayana, the 10000m champion at the Rio Olympics in 2016, is also on the waiting list. Almaz has been out of racing for years after she gave birth and had an injury.
In addition to women’s long-distance running, athletes Mekdes Abebe, Werkweha Getachew and Zerefe wondemagegn, will line up in the 3000-meter steeplechase race.
The national federation is yet to release the names of the coaches of the national team. The EAF Secretary-general Yohannes Engeda told The Reporter that the federation has selected the final coaches and will announce the names soon.
Ethiopia is ranked seventh in the world with a total of 85 medals, including 29 gold, 26 silver, and 30 bronze medals. In the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, Ethiopia won the first silver medal via Kebede Balcha in a marathon race.
More than 200 countries will be represented by 2,000 athletes, and Russia, has been banned from participating.