29 FEB 2004 General News 29 February 2004 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia selects Bekele for Brussels without trial

Bekele wins in Seville - 'XXII Cross Internacional de Itálica (Rodelas D)Bekele wins in Seville - 'XXII Cross Internacional de Itálica (Rodelas D) © Copyright

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) announced yesterday that the reigning two-time double World Cross Country champion Kenenisa Bekele has been selected for the Ethiopian team for the 32nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium (March 20-21 2004).

No qualification race required 

However, the 21-year old Athlete will not be taking part in today's senior 12km race at the 21st East African Cross Country Championships, the qualifying tournament for the EAF to select its team for the World championships. It will give him the chance to rest and recoup before joining the rest of the Ethiopian team next week in training camp.

"I was very tired last week," Bekele said referring to the effort he expended in his World indoor record breaking 5000m performance in Birmingham on Friday, 20 February. "I will join the rest of the selected Athletes in training next week, but I continue my own training until then."

Undecided about which race in Brussels

There is no hint as to which event will Bekele contest in Brussels, but Dr. Woldemeskel Kostre, head coach of the Ethiopian Athletics Team has kept the options open. "We will have to see how he responds to the training load and then decide," he said. "We know nothing at this moment."