Friday, April 19, 2024
SportBerihu Aregawi is targeting gold in Belgrade

Berihu Aregawi is targeting gold in Belgrade

Berihu Aregawi, the second-fastest man in history over 10km, will be among Ethiopia’s leading hopes for a gold medal at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Belgrade 24 on 30 March.

Berihu, from Atsbi Womberta, a small town in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, started sporting seriously at early age, leading to his talent quickly identified.

He made his international debut in 2018, taking 3000m gold at the African U18 Championships, then earning bronze over 10,000m at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, finishing behind Rhonex Kipruto and Jacob Kiplimo.

Berihu had a quiet but successful season in 2019, winning the Great Ethiopian Run in 28:23 – just a few seconds shy of the course record – and adding his name to an illustrious list of past winners that includes the likes of global champions Selemon Barega, Hagos Gebrhiwet and Tamirat Tola.

In 2021, his first year as a senior, Berihu placed fourth in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics. He ended his track season on a high by winning the 5000m at the Diamond League Final in Zurich. He then went on to break the world 5km record on the roads with 12:49 in Barcelona on 31 December.

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On the track, Berihu is yet to finish higher than fourth at a senior global championship; he placed seventh over 10,000m at the 2022 World Championships, then finished fourth over 10,000m and eighth over 5000m at the 2023 edition in Budapest.

But at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Berihu took his first senior global medal, taking silver in the senior men’s race. He now hopes to add to his medal tally when he competes at this year’s edition in Belgrade.

Speaking on his success to date, Berihu Aregawi said, “All of my races have been very interesting, useful, valuable and important. I’ve competed once at the World Cross Country and four times at the National Cross Country, and each time I performed well. I won a silver medal at the World Cross, and earned three gold medals and one bronze at the National Cross Country.”

On his experience at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships, he noted, “The course was difficult, but in the end, I won the silver medal and I was really happy about that. I worked hard because I knew there would be strong athletes, but with good work and training, I knew I could win a medal, which I did.”

He also reflected his start and preparations to the 2024 season saying, “The 2024 season started with strong motivation to achieve better results than before. I am preparing and improving my condition by training in Addis Ababa, following the instructions of my coach, Iirefu Birhanu.”

“My biggest goals for the 2024 season are to compete at the World Cross Country Championships and at the Olympic Games, where I am aiming for gold medals. I believe I can achieve them.”

“At the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, I expect to achieve a good result and finish the race on the podium. I am coming to Belgrade to do my best.”

Ethiopian athletics team members commenced preparations ahead of the 45th World Athletics Cross Country Championships which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, on March 30, 2024.

In Belgrade, Ethiopia will be represented by 14 women and 14 men in total with 28 athletes, Ethiopian Athletics Federation confirmed today.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation president, Derartu Tulu, and other senior officials of the federation observed the athletes’ preparations at the Ethiopian Sports Academy in Addis Ababa.


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