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Birmingham heroes receive warm reception

Ethiopian athletics team received a warm welcome after a successful 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, which was held in Birmingham last week. Ethiopians dominated in the 1,500m and 3,000m via world defending champion Genezbe Dibaba, Yomif Kejelicha and Samuel Tefera.

It was exceptional to see Ethiopian athletes dominate in middle-distance competition especially in indoor competitions. Mainly, Ethiopian athletics team is known for their dominance in long-distance running in various international athletics championships. However, many young athletes are now starting to participate in different short-distance and middle-distance races.

At the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, Ethiopian athletics team finished second with five medals: four gold and one silver behind the US, which ended with a total of 18 medals.

The 2015 world 1,500m champion, Genzebe, displayed a superb performance completing in a time of 4:05.27, and rounding it off with a double, the only second woman to complete a world indoor 1,500m-3,000m double.

Including the win in Birmingham, she has achieved a remarkable fifth individual world indoor title, winning the 1,500m in 2012, before a three-peat of 3,000m successes in 2014, 2016 and now 2018.

Following her double, she explained that she is very delighted by her success representing her country in the international arena. She was under a lot of pressure after she finished 12th and last in the 1,500m final at last year’s championships in London.

Meanwhile, Yomif Kejelcha comfortably defended his 3000m title with a time of 8:14:41 and finished his race in a tactical manner. His winning time is the slowest in the 32-year history of the championships by more than 10 seconds, but that mattered little to the Yomfi.  His compatriot Selemon Barega finished second behind Yomif with a time of 8:15:59. Both are promising talents for Ethiopian athletics in the coming years.

World U18 and U20 champion, Selemon captured his first senior international medal, in a season in which he has registered a youth world record of 7:47:16.

Elsewhere, the new face in Ethiopian athletics team Samuel Tefera, won the 1,500m in his debut competition. He is also the world Junior Record holder in the event, completing the race in 3:36.05 in Val-de-Reulli, France, January 27, 2018 the first time he had ever raced on an indoor track.

Ethiopian athletes Haile Gebreselassie, Meseret Defar and Gelete Burka were prominent in the course before turning to long-distance and track race.