East African athletes vie for championship title
Excitement is building as the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) reveals the highly anticipated 41st Janmeda International Cross Country Championship will showcase the talents of ten foreign athletes from five East African countries. On January 14, 2024, Addis Ababa’s Janmeda will transform into a battleground for runners seeking glory.
The event will feature athletes from Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Sudan, and South Sudan competing across various categories.
The championship guarantees a thrilling lineup of events, including a 6 km race for young women, a 10 km race for senior women, an 8 km race for young men, a 10 km race for senior men, a mixed relay, and an 8 km mixed relay. The diversity of these races ensures that the championship caters to athletes of different age groups and skill levels, providing a fair and electrifying experience for all participants.
A staggering total of 930 athletes, comprising 373 male and 118 female elite athletes, are set to grace the Championship. Among them, 219 male athletes under 20, 168 female athletes under 20, and 52 athletes participating in the mixed relay will vie for victory on the challenging course.
This championship also represents a unique opportunity for athletes from different regions, city administrations, clubs, and athletic training centers to come together and compete. By fostering unity and promoting healthy competition, the Federation aims to nurture the next generation of cross-country stars.
The stakes are even higher for the competitors. The champions will earn the privilege of representing their nation in two prestigious events: the African Cross-Country Championship on February 25, 2024, in Tunis, Tunisia, and the World Cross-Country Championship on March 30, 2024, in Belgrade, Serbia.
Recognition is given to those athletes who secure the first five positions in each gender category and will be directly chosen to participate in the events.
Age eligibility serves as a crucial factor in this championship. Athletes between 18 and 19 years old (born on December 31, 2005–2006) can compete in both the youth and elite competition categories, while athletes between 16 and 17 years old (born on December 31, 2007–2008) are eligible for the youth competition category exclusively.
Athletes aged 20 years or older (born before December 31, 2004) can exclusively participate in the elite competition category. Unfortunately, athletes under the age of 16 (born after December 31, 2008) are ineligible to participate in this event.
The men’s race will witness the presence of illustrious athletes who have made significant strides in their careers. Among them is Solomon Barega, a gold medalist in the 10,000m race at the Tokyo Olympics. Also competing is Berihu Aregawi, who clinched the silver medal in the 2023 Australian cross-country competition, proving his mettle on the international stage.
In the women’s event, all eyes will be on Medina Issa, the silver medalist in the 2022 world under-20 cross-country championship. Another notable athlete to watch is Axumawit Embaye, a formidable force on the track, having secured two silver medals in the 1500m world indoor championship.
The Federation has allocated a prize fund of 840,000 birr across all competition categories.