Athletes in action in the steeplechase (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Assela, Ethiopia

New talents emerge at Ethiopian Junior Championships

More than 1000 athletes flocked to Assela for the Ethiopian Junior Championships, which drew to a close on Sunday (5).

With the event being used to select Ethiopia’s team for the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016, several medal contenders emerged across the four days of action.

Held in cold and wet conditions, no one in the women’s 5000m final was willing to take on the pace. Pre-race favourite Kalkidan Fente, who finished ninth in the junior race at the African Cross Country Championships earlier this year, lost her shoe after just three-and-a-half laps, but she carried on and led a breakaway trio alongside Ayantu Edosa and Yetaysh Mekonnen with just three laps left.

Fente outkicked her rivals to stop the clock at 16:26.11 ahead of Edosa (16፡27.65) with Mekonnen (16፡32.19) completing the podium standings.

“It wasn’t a tough race,” said Fente. “When I made the final move, I was fully confident of finishing it off.”

The men’s race was more competitive. After a nervy start and some early attempts at taking the lead, the field was reduced to just six runners going into the penultimate lap. The tight contest was settled when Solomon Bogale kicked at 200m to take victory in 14፡12.82 ahead of Yenew Biyazn (14፡13.50) and Abe Gashaw (14፡15.20).

Asmarech Nega dominated the women’s 3000m steeplechase, taking victory in a PB of 10፡04.89 with Getnet Wale taking the corresponding men’s title in 8፡45.95.

In the men’s 1500m, Taresa Tolosa showed a blistering finish to win a tight contest in 3:49.60 with Asres Guade (3:50.67) and Belete Mekonnen (3:50.92) following home in second and third respectively.

Adanech Ansa clocked 4:19.67 to lead a clean sweep of the women’s 1500m medals for athletes from the Oromiya region, while Beyenu Degefa took the women’s 3000m in 9፡47.65.

Elshadai Negash with the assistance of Bizuayehu Wagaw for the IAAF

Selected results

MEN

800m (3)
1 Tadesse Lemi 1፡48.07
2 Bacha Morka 1፡48.31
3 Aemiro Yile 1፡48.93

1500m (5)
1 Taresa Tolosa 3:49.60
2 Asres Guade 3:50.67
3 Belete Mekonnen 3:50.92

5000m (5)
1 Selemon Bogale 14:12.82
2 Yenew Biyazn 14:13.50
3 Abe Gashaw 14:15.20

10,000m (2)
1 Jemal Ymer 29፡29.30
2 Gizachew Hailu 29፡31.04
3 Fantahun Hunegnaw 29፡33.21

3000m steeplechase (5)
1 Getnet Wale 8:45.95
2 Kidanemariyam Desse 8:48.63
3 Tesfaye Driba 8:48.93


WOMEN

800m (3)
1 Tigset Ketema 2፡04.53
2 Foziya Nigusse 2፡05.08
3 Hiwot Mehari 2፡05.51

1500m (5)
1 Adanech Ansa 4፡19.67
2 Fantu Werku 4፡20.63
3 Medina Ibrahim 4:21.15

5000m (5)
1 Kalkidan Fente 16፡26.11
2 Ayantu Edosa 16፡27.65
3 Yetaysh Mekonnen 16፡32.19

3000m (5)
1 Beyenu Degefa 9፡47.65
2 Foten Tesfaye 9፡48.12
3 Aberash Menaleso 9፡51.32

3000m steeplechase (5)
1 Asmarech Nega 10:04.89
2 Agere Belachew 10፡08.62
3 Liyu Addis 10፡14.34