Ethiopians sure to give the hosts tough challenge

Bikila Tadese Takele

Ethiopia’s Bikila Tadese Takele competes in the men’s 3000m steeplechase heats at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 30, 2021.
 

Photo credit: Javier Soriano | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Ethiopia’s Bikila Tadese Takele will seek to retain the 3,000 metres steeplechase  title the country won in the 2018 edition of the games through Takele Nigate. Nigate won gold after timing 8minutes, 25.35sec ahead of Kenya’s Leonard Bett (8:25.39) and Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale (8:26.16).
  • Tadese competed in the Wanda Florence Diamond League, finishing second behind Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali.

Just like at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Kenyan athletes should expect stiff competition from Ethiopian opponents when the country hosts the 18th edition of World Athletics Under-20 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Ethiopia’s Bikila Tadese Takele will seek to retain the 3,000 metres steeplechase  title the country won in the 2018 edition of the games through Takele Nigate. Nigate won gold after timing 8minutes, 25.35sec ahead of Kenya’s Leonard Bett (8:25.39) and Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale (8:26.16).

Tadese competed in the Wanda Florence Diamond League, finishing second behind Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali. Tadese competed in the 2020 Olympic Games, finishing ninth in his heat. He won Ethiopian trials for the Olympics as well as the Ethiopian championships and has a Personal Best of 8:09.37.

Tadese will team up with Samuel Firewu against Kenyan duo of Amos Serem and Simon Koech on August 19.

Rather than defend the women’s 800m title, Ethiopia’s Deribe Welteji will compete in the women’s 1,500m race. She will team up with Hiwot Mehari.

Other Ethiopian athletes to watch out for include Wegene Addisu and Melkeneh Azeze (1,500m), Daniel Wolde and Ermiyas Girma (800m), Addisu Yihune and Mebrahtu Werkineh (5,000m) Tadese Worku and Ali Abdulmena (3,000m).

Ethiopia’s women’s team also has Mizan Alem and Medina Eisa (5,000m), Ayal Dagnachew and Mebriht Mekonen (800m), Emebet Kebede and Zerfe Wondemagegn (3,000m steeplechase), Melknat Sharew (3,000m), Nigist Getashew, Mihret Ashamo, Hana Tadesse and Emebet Kebede (4x400m relay).

From Uganda, Elphas Toroitich Ndiwa and Leonard Chemutai will compete in men’s 3,000m steeplechase.

Also in the Ugandan team is Tarsis Orogot (100m), Patrick Chebet and Dismas Yeko (3,000m) Dan Kibet and Rodgers Kibet (5,000m), Maru Kibet (1,500m), Prisca Chesang (5,000m).

Coach Peter Chelangat, who is in charge of the Ugandan team, said his athletes are in high spirits and are out to follow in the footsteps of their senior team which performed well at the Olympics.

“We have a good team and our prayer is to compete well. We have been training for the championship for some months now and we hope to do well,”  Chelang’at, who is also Jacob Kilimo’s coach, said. 

Christine Mboma, who won silver in the 200m in Tokyo in 21.81 to also break the world under-20 and Africa senior records, will also compete in Nairobi alongside her training mate Beatrice Masilingi in the race.

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