EAF bans women marathoners for three months
Taking place in Doha, Qatar, the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships saw several athletes suffer heat exhaustion during the competition. In light of the growing concerns over the health and fitness of athletes, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has banned Ethiopian women marathon runners from participating in any race for three months, after they dropped out of the race requiring medical attention.
The women’s marathon team was represented by Ruti Aga, Shure Demissie and Roza Dereje in the Championships. However, the athletes could not manage to finish the midnight race. From 68 starters, a record of 28 athletes dropped out of the race due to soring temperatures.
The race started at midnight with humidity at 73.3 percent and temperatures reaching 32.7 degrees. Including Ethiopian marathon representatives, many athletes also fainted and needed the aid of wheelchairs to leave the course. Following this, the EAF has decided to ban its athletes from participating in any race for the coming three months.
The EAF has stated that the decision has been made in consideration of the health of its athletes.
The highly anticipated event was criticized by the participating Federations, complaining about the atmosphere, the unbearable heat, and at the very least, the lack of spectators, which was apparent.
Following the marathon race in Doha, various veteran athletes across the world suggested that Qatar was not the right place for an athletics competition. Long distance veteran runner, Haile Gebreselassie told AP that “It was a mistake to hold the track and field world Championships in Qatar and those marathon runners could have died from the heat.”
However, Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich won the race with a time of 2:32:43, making it the slowest winning mark in the 36-year history of the championships.
Ethiopian Muktar Edris has defended his 5000m competition clocking in at 2:58.85 followed by Selemon Barega with a time of 12:59.70. On the medals board, Ethiopia is fifth with one gold and two silver medals so far.