Ali Abdosh, Ethiopia (5000m, cross country)
Born: Harari region, Ethiopia.
Lives in Addis Ababa.
Manager: Mark Wetmore. Coaches: Tolossa Kotu, Melesse Feyissa.
Ali Abdosh burst into the spotlight in early 2006 at the extremely competitive Ethiopian Cross Country National Championships, where he scored an upset victory in the 4K over World 5000m silver medalist Sileshi Sihine, national 12K cross country champion Abebe Dinkessa and 2004 double World Cross silver medalist Gebregziabher Gebremariam.
Ali had previously recorded notable results on a national level at the May 2004 Ethiopian track championships, where he won the second-tier regional competition’s 5000m in 14:14.13 (at Addis Ababa’s 2300m altitude), representing the eastern region of Harari. The national title at the top-level competition between clubs was won by World 10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele in 13:34.03.
A year later at the May 2005 national track championships, Ali placed 5th in the first-tier club competition, representing the Defense Club (Olympic marathon champion Gezahegne Abera is also a member). Ali stayed with the leaders Gebregziabher, Dejene Berhanu and 2004 World Indoor bronze medalist Markos Geneti for the first eight laps, and finished in a personal best 13:51.7, ahead of more experienced runners such as Solomon Tsige and 2004 Great Ethiopian Run 10K runner-up Zenbaba Yegezu.
That November, Ali traveled to Chiba, Japan with the Ethiopian team for the international ekiden there, and won a 5000m track race between team reserves, running 13:56.92 to beat Kenya’s Philip Mosima.
Ali competed in the Ethiopian marathon relay championships in Nazret (Adama) in January, 2006, where his Defense Club placed second in 2:10:40, behind the Corrections Police team that was led to a 2:10:30 victory by Dejene.
But the breakthrough came the following month at Ethiopia’s World Cross trials. Ali remained in a lead pack of the 4K race, along with Sileshi, Abebe and Gebregziabher, until Sileshi took the lead with 500m to go and built up a margin over the next 200m, looking set for victory. It was then that Ali made his decisive move, surging past Sileshi to inflict a shock defeat, clocking 11:37 to Sileshi’s 11:39. His dramatic victory over repeat global medalists makes Ali one to watch closely in Fukuoka.
Personal best: 5000m 13:51.7 Addis Ababa 2005
A note on Ethiopian names: Ethiopians are customarily referred to by first name or first and second name together, the second name being the father's first name.
Prepared by Sabrina Yohannes for the IAAF. © 2006 IAAF.