The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has selected a formidable 31-member squad to represent the East African nation in the mecca of middle and long distance running to compete at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
The athletes were selected based on international rankings, trial race results and individual competition performances. The team will feature in the 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, 10,000m and the marathon events.
According to EAF, each athlete practiced individually before the team announcement. The Federation also mentioned that rankings may be modified according to competition results for all events except for the marathon and 10,000m races.
Habtam Alemu and Diribe Walteji will line up in the women’s 800m distance race, while Efrem Mekonen will represent the men. The men’s 3000m steeplechase squad includes world record holders Lemicha Girma, Getenet Wale and Abraham Seme.
Defending champion Gudaf Tsegai will lead the women’s 5000m event. Yomif Kejelicha, Tilahun Hayle and Samuel Tefera are also among those selected in the preliminary lists.
After qualifying in Nerja, Spain last week, Gudaf won the women’s 10,000m trial race with the fourth fastest time of 29:29.73. Competing in the 10k for the second time, Gudaf improved her personal best by ten seconds. She hit the halfway mark in 14:40, well ahead of the field.
Ejgayehu Taye finished second in 29:57.45. Gudaf is highly regarded heading into the World Championships.
The women’s 10,000m is an event Ethiopia hopes to win a medal in.
Meanwhile in the men’s 10,000m, Berihu Argawi – fresh off winning silver at this year’s World Cross Country Championships – crossed the line in 26:50.66 to prove he has the pedigree for Budapest.
Solomon Barega, finished second in 26:51.81, confirming his place on the team heading to Hungary. Solomon, the 10,000m gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympics, is expected to defend his title at the World Championships.
Young talent Delu Yisma placed third in 27:08.85, recording the second fastest Under-18 time ever.
The national team’s regular preparations will begin once the athletes meet at their hotel.