Tuesday, July 23, 2024
SportIndoor glory beckons

Indoor glory beckons

  • Ethiopia’s Stars Hunt Medals in Glasgow

Just weeks away from the World Athletics Indoor Championships, many athletes are competing in qualifying events on the World Athletics Indoor Tour. This tour serves as an opportunity for athletes to earn spots at the upcoming championships.

The biennial World Athletics Indoor Championships represent the pinnacle competition for indoor track and field. First held in 1985, the event crowns global champions in this discipline.

Ethiopia first participated in 1989 after sitting out the initial two championships. The national team competed for three straight editions but left empty-handed each time.

However, at the 1997 Paris event, Haile Gebrselassie won Ethiopia’s first gold in the 3000 meters, lifting the country to 10th in the medal table. In the next championship held in Japan, Haile captured two more golds in the 1500 and 3000, while Million Wolde took bronze in the 3000. This gave Ethiopia sixth place overall with two golds and a bronze.

At the 2003 Birmingham championships, Ethiopia advanced to fifth place. There, Haile defended his 3000 title as BirhaneAdere and MeseretDefar won gold and silver respectively in the women’s 3000.

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Notable Ethiopian medalists in recent editions include GenzebeDibaba, who swept the women’s 1500 and 3000 golds twice from 2012-2018. Haile also won three gold medals in the 3000 meter and one in the 1500 meter distance. Meseret has an unmatched four golds, one silver and one bronze in the women’s 3000 meter event.

Ethiopian athletes also hold records from the event. At the 1997 event, Haile ran 7:34:71 in the men’s 3000. In Belgrade, Samuel Tefera set the 1500 record at 3:32:77. GudafTsegai established the women’s 1500 mark of 3:57:19 there as well.

Ethiopia enjoyed its most successfulWorld Indoor Championships in Belgradeyet, topping the medal table with an unprecedented haul of four golds, three silvers and two bronzes for a total of nine medals. The impressive performance saw Ethiopia claim number one in the world medal rankings at that time.

Athletes like DerbeWolteji, FreweiniHailu, GudafTsegai, LemlemHailu, and HirutShesha are waiting to compete at this year’s World Athletics Indoor Championships. While male stars LemechaGirma and Samuel Tefera are expected to lead the men’s team, Ethiopia may face gaps in male events.

Indoor meets across Europe are serving as qualifiers, where Ethiopia’s national team will be selected. The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) is anticipated to announce its roster soon.

Originally launched in 1985 as the World Indoor Games, it was renamed the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 1987 before adopting its current title in 2019.

As indoor racing allows athletes to sharpen speed and endurance, anticipation is high for the 2024 edition scheduled for March 1-3 in Glasgow, Scotland. The city is no stranger to major sporting events, having hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games with great success.

Competing will be over 700 athletes from more than 130 countries vying for 26 total medals across 13 men’s and 13 women’s events. Emirates Arena, built in 2012 to accommodate top competitions, will serve as the 5,500-seat venue. It has hosted major meets like the 2019 European Indoors as well as gymnastics and badminton.

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