World Cross Country championships short course Bronze medallist Teyiba Erkesso and African championships 10,000m silver medallist Abebe Dinkessa will respectively lead the Ethiopian women’s and men’s squads at the 13th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in New Delhi, India (October 3rd, 2004).
But there is no place in the Ethiopian team for Berhane Adere, who won silver behind Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in last year’s race, although the list released by the EAF is only a provisional one and subject to change.
Erkesso, who missed out on a place in Ethiopia’s star-studded Olympic team, returns to the championships and will be looking for better fortune in the Indian capital after finishing a disappointing 21st last year in Vilamoura, Portugal. Since then, however, Erkesso has experienced a resurgence in her career finishing second in the long course race at the 21st East African Cross country championships in Addis Ababa last January to qualify for the Worlds.
In Brussels 2004, Erkesso made more than a name for herself finishing fifth in the 8km long course race and then winning bronze behind Kenya’s Edith Masai and compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in the shorter 4km event.
In the men’s team, Ethiopia will be looking to avert the disappointment of last year when Tesfaye Tola became the highest Ethiopian finisher in 9th. This year, the country’s hopes will be pinned on Abebe Dinkessa, who finished second behind Kenyan Charles Kamathi in the 10,000m at the African Championships in Congo-Brazzaville.
Apart from Erkesso and Dinkessa, Ethiopia will be taking a very young and inexperienced team to New Delhi. Also included in the team is Eyerusalem Kuma, another of the country’s runners who came close to making the Athens team. The 22-year old comfortably won the 5000m title at the African Championships in Congo-Brazzaville in July and expects success after reverting back to the Half Marathon.
Elshadai Negash for the IAAF
Ethiopia’s team for New Delhi