Over 1,100 athletes from across Ethiopia will battel it out on the track and field for the 53rd edition of the Ethiopian Athletics Championships. The country’s top runners will descend on the Ethiopian Sports Academy from January 30th to February 4th in what’s sure to be a championship filled with top performances, rising stars, and possible record-breaking runs.
Representing various regions, cities, clubs and institutions, experienced veterans and up-and-coming stars will compete in a wide array of track and field events. Sprints from 100m to 10,000m, hurdles, relays, as well as field events like javelin, pole vault, discus, and shot put will all feature over the week-long competition.
A key event returns as the 20km race walk is also included in the Championship.
Since its establishment in 1970, the Ethiopian Athletics Championship has been the breeding ground for legendary athletes, etching their names into the annals of sporting history. It continues to serve as a prominent platform for unearthing and nurturing new talents in Ethiopian athletics. The presence of internationally experienced managers, representatives, and coaches at the championship provides an invaluable opportunity to identify and develop promising athletes, ensuring a bright future for Ethiopian athletics.
Records have fallen frequently at this event. In 2022, Tadese Worku and Girmawit Gebregizhaber set new national standards in the men’s and women’s 10,000m.
Tadese shattered the men’s 10,000-meter record that had stood for an impressive 16 years, clocking in at a mind-boggling 28:11:92, while Girmawit broke the women’s 10,000 meters with a remarkable time of 31:21:48, surpassing the previous record held by Letesenbet Gidey since 2011. With competition so fierce, more breakthrough times are expected.
However, concerns have been raised over the aging infrastructure. Champions have struggled on the worn track at the Academy. Both athletes and the Athletics Federation are appealing for upgrades to facilities to better develop the next generation of champions.
As other African nations host international meets, Ethiopia hopes to join their ranks. But modernizing domestic events to meet global standards is crucial to establish the country as host. By ensuring that times recorded in national events are directly accepted by the global athletics community, Ethiopia can position itself as a strong contender for future international competitions, further bolstering its reputation in the world of sports.
For participants, the Championship holds the promise of not just glory but also the opportunity to represent Ethiopia on the global stage.
The winners of the Ethiopian Athletics Championship will earn the privilege of competing in esteemed international competitions, including the African Athletics Championship in Cameroon (June 19-23, 2023), the 13th African Games Athletics Championship in Ghana (March 8-23, 2023), and the highly anticipated Olympic Games in Paris (July 26-August 11, 2024).