24 SEP 2003 General News

Silver in Paris highlights Werknesh Kidane’s season

Berhane Adere and Werknesh Kidane celebrate winning gold and silver in the women's 10,000m (Getty Images)Berhane Adere and Werknesh Kidane celebrate winning gold and silver in the women's 10,000m (Getty Images) © Copyright

Ethiopia’s Werknesh Kidane talks about taking 10000m silver behind her teammate Berhane Adere in Paris and going home to an enthusiastic reception in Addis Ababa before continuing with her track season.

“The world championships competition was very good. The weather was good, too. We put up a good fight and prevailed, thank God.

“The Chinese runner really accelerated the pace, but that was good for us, because it gives you a better chance than if we had all remained bunched up.

“When Berhane took off with 200 metres remaining, since I know that she has a very good finishing kick and I’m not as strong, I knew she was going to win. At the end, the Chinese runner was also ahead of me, but I pushed and, with God’s help, I overtook her. I was just asking God to give me strength. Once there were just three or four of us left, I felt that if nothing else, I could earn second place. I am very happy with my results.

“When we arrived back home, it was very late at night, around 11pm, but people had sacrificed their sleep to sit and wait for us at Bole airport. They greeted us with songs and ululation. Then they took us to the hotel we had stayed in before the championships.

“The next morning, we were taken to the stadium, accompanied by honking car horns. The reception we got was really wonderful. It felt like all of the people of Ethiopia were expressing their joy. It was very special.

“After the championships, we didn’t do a lot of training before Monte Carlo. The weather was good in Monaco, and the competition was good, too, but for some reason, I didn’t break away in the earlier laps, so I regretted that a little. If I had led part of the way and then lost, I don’t think I would have thought anything of it. But I wasn’t able to lead, I don’t know why. But fourth is OK, especially since we hadn’t trained much.

“The season has been very good. I’m very happy. Even my feelings about the Monaco race are based on my not having taken the lead earlier, because apart from that, I’m even happy with that race. You have to accept whatever God gives you. Whether I run well, or I don’t run well, I’m always content.

“I am running the 5000m in Japan, and then I return to Addis Ababa. My plans after that are uncertain, but I will run the All Africa Games 10,000m.”

Werknesh