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EAF unveils IAAF marathon team

The Ethiopia Athletics Federation (EAF) has unveiled the marathon runners who would take part-in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, scheduled to be held on December 27 to October 6, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

Several federations representing their respective nations have commenced in announcing the name of the athletes making up their national team.

The EAF has listed a total of 11 athletes, six men and five women, based on the IAAF races. The selection was made, taking into consideration, the athletes’ achievements in the IAAF’s major tournaments since September 2018 to April 2019. According to the EAF, certain athletes from both sexes will be used as substitutes.

Mosinet Giremew, Lelisa Disasa, Birhanu Legese and Tamirat Tola were named to lead the male’s team. Meanwhile, Ruti Aga, Workinesh Degefa and Shure Demessie are amongst the listed on the women’s side.

Mosinet, who started his career in cross-country running, is named in the Ethiopian male marathon’s team. He has won the 10k Paderborn Osterlauf in Germany finishing with a time of 27:53. He became the first person to win the Yangzhou Jainzhen international half marathon race twice, with a back to back win in 2015 and 2016. He has also registered a course record of 59:52 minutes, which was the fastest achieved in a Chinese race. He won this race again in 2017 and 2018. Recently, Mosinet came in second place behind Eliud Kipchoge in the 2019 London Marathon.

Another road-running specialist, Lelisa Desisa, has been named in the lineup for the championship. Lelisa represented Ethiopia in Moscow, Russia for the IAAF World Championship. At the time, he ended up winning silver in the marathon race. He has also achieved a gold medal in the Boston Marathon in 2013, 2015 and in New work City marathon in 2018.

The 2016 Rio Olympic 10k bronze winner, 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and 2017 World Championship silver medalist, Tamirat Tola, has also been chosen to represent Ethiopia for the coming championship.  Tamirat finished a stunning marathon debut registering a time of 2:06: 17 at the Dubai Marathon. He succeeded again in 2017, finishing with a time of 2:04:06.

Birhanu Legese, the 2019 Tokyo Marathon winner, is among the marathon runners.  Birhanu was the second fastest winner with a time of 2:04:48 in the Tokyo marathon.

Elsewhere, Ruti Aga, Worknesh Degefa and Shure Demisse will also represent Ethiopia on women’s marathon race. One of well-known Ethiopian marathon runners, Worknesh has several records to boast. She has won the Dubai marathon, and Olomouk Half Marathon in 2017 and Boston marathon in 2019.

The 2019 Tokyo marathon winner, Ruti Aga has registered the third fastest time finishing in 2:40.40. Ethiopian Shure Demisie, Roza Derje and Helen Tola have also been called upon for the upcoming championships. The Ethiopian athletics national team will commence pre-competition preparations in the upcoming weeks.  

With Kenya being the most successful nation in the IAAF World athletics championships history, in the marathon discipline, Ethiopia will be hoping to shift the tide. Kenya has won eight gold medals total (four in each division) while Ethiopia has six medals in the men’s race (the second highest after Kenya).

Ethiopia finished seventh in the 2017 championships medal ranking with two gold and three silver medals in the competition.