The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has announced that Kenenisa Bekele and Gelete Burka have been added to the team for the 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, which will be held on 24 March 2007. Final entries close by midnight (Monaco time) 12 March 2007.
Bekele, who had indicated that the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan last year would be his last, has overturned his decision and will compete in Mombasa - click here for previous story - while Burka is included in the team after the EAF technical committee reconsidered her appeal for selection.
Bekele’s u-turn delights EAF
The news that five-time double World Cross Country champion Kenenisa Bekele has changed his mind will boost the Ethiopian team’s chances in the senior men’s 12km race.
“We are absolutely delighted that he made the decision to run for the team,” commented EAF Technical Director Dube Julo. “This will definitely help our chances of regaining the senior men’s 12km title from Kenya. It will definitely strengthen the team.”
The older Bekele will now join his younger brother Tariku Bekele, reigning World Cross silver medallist Sileshi Sihine; Ethiopian 20km silver medallist Solomon Tsige; and trials’ winner Tadesse Tola in what looks like a formidable line-up.
Burka - recovered from injury and raring to go
After skipping the trials because of an ankle injury, World Cross short course champion Gelete Burka has now been included in the team based on her appeal for selection.
Burka, who was not in the original team of twenty-six released last week by the EAF - click here for previous story - has now been entered after making a successful recovery from injury.
“We have considered her application for inclusion in the team based on outstanding results over the cross country and her performance this year,” said Julo. “She is a talented runner and will help the team’s individual and team medal aspirations.”
Julo also added that EAF could add further reinforcements to the team in order to increase competitiveness for a final starting berth. “We will enter one athlete (more) per event later this week in order to help increase competitiveness in the squad,” he said. “We have come to realize that we need more reinforcements to tackle the heat in Mombasa and the strong competition from rival countries.”
Elshadai Negash for the IAAF
General Entry Information - click here for earlier press release
TEAMS AND RESERVES
Teams of no more than twelve (12) athletes can be entered in the race. Nine (9) athletes will be allowed to start in each race, six (6) of whom will score.
Junior Men, Senior Women, Junior Women
Teams of no more than eight (8) athletes can be entered in all races. Six (6) athletes will be allowed to start in each race, four (4) of whom will score.
Junior athletes (i.e. athletes who are 18 or 19 by 31 December 2007) can compete in any race. However, Junior athletes cannot compete in both Junior and Senior Races.
Youth athletes (i.e. athletes who are 16 or 17 by 31 December 2007) can compete only in the Junior Race.