EAF awards cross-country athletics team
The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has awarded the Ethiopian World Cross-Country National Team following the results registered in the 43rd edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championship staged in Aarhus, Denmark. The EAF shelled out over 650,000 birr to award the athletes.
After the return of the Ethiopian athletics team from the championships, the EAF has awarded the participants according to the medals they have won in the competition. Ethiopia concluded the championship finishing on top of the leaderboard with five gold, three silver and three bronzes. The EAF gave 30,000 birr for gold medal winners, 20,000 birr for silver medalists and 10,000 birr for bronze medal winners, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian athletics governing body also awarded 6,000 birr and handed out certificates for athletes who have helped their fellow athletes in the race. Members of the team were also awarded for their overall achievement with the team.
Kenya has amassed two gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals in the same competition. The races were held on March 30, 2019 with 63 nations taking part.
The result is expected to motivate the national federation following their prior poor performances in different championships. Back in 2017, in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the Ethiopian national team managed to finish second with four gold medals, four silver medals and one bronze medal.
The IAAF World Cross Country Championships was an annual competition until 2011, with the IAAF changing it to a biennial event. It is well known that the men’s senior team race has been dominated by Ethiopia or Kenya every year since 1981. Ethiopian Mohammed Kedir was an icebreaker wining the first silver medal in 1981 Cross Country Championships. Afterwards, between 2002 and 2006, Ethiopian long distance runner Kenenisa Bekele was unbeaten; and in women’s race, Derartu Tulu and Tirunesh Dibaba won three times in the long course and once in the short race. Tirunesh was also once the junior women’s champion.