40-strong team in London for World Championships

14 Aug 2017

A 40-member team represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Championships in London from 4th – 13th August.

Notable athletes such as the Dibaba sisters (Tirunesh and Genzebe), Almaz Ayana, Muktar Edris, Mohammed Aman and other younger aspiring athletes took centre stage at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in front of a record number of spectators.

Held in the UK for the first time ever, 2,200 athletes from 203 nations travelled to London while fans from across Britain and the globe poured into the London Stadium and onto the capital’s streets to make history – The London championships has been awarded an official Guinness World Record for the number of tickets sold at any IAAF World Championships event.

Long-distance legend and current world and Olympic record holder in both 5,000m and 10,000m events, Kenenisa Bekele, excluded himself from the selection due to current form, saying “I’m not fit enough to compete at the event.”

Ethiopia’s medal haul kicked off with an Ethiopian 1-2 in the women’s 10,000m final, which saw Almaz Ayana secure the gold medal in style, finishing around 300 metres clear of her rivals, in what was her first race this year.

The 25-year old finished in 30:16.32 while compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, the former world and Olympic champion, took the silver with Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in third.

In a press conference after the race, Ayana said, “I am very happy to win this title, much more than when I won the Olympic gold because I have been sick this year and didn’t expect it. In fact, this was my first race of 2017.”

In the men’s marathon on 6th August, Tamrat Tola finished in second place behind Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui.

Tola, the Rio 10,000m bronze medallist and fastest in the field, required medical treatment after the race, finishing in 2:09:49 ahead of Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu in third place.

Tamirat Tola with his silver medal, left

“I am very happy and proud with my result, I do not feel like I lost the gold medal,” said Tola. “Although I was in pain I was able to finish the marathon…The course was difficult for me with so many curves and four laps, this makes it difficult for me. I have never run a course like this. Last time I took the bronze, now the silver, so I want to improve a lot next time. What is next for me will be to treat my leg, train hard and then get the gold medal.”

But the highlight of the 10-day tournament was perhaps the 5,000m final where 23-year old Muktar Edris ended Mo Farah’s dominance of the distance. The 2012 World Youth Champion produced a strong charge on the final stretch to lift his first ever major senior world title in 13:32.79, with Farah finishing in second place in 13:33.22. Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo of the United States took bronze in 13:33.30.

After the race, Muktar said, “I was highly prepared for this race and I knew I was going to beat Mo Farah…I am the new champion for Ethiopia…I did the Mobot out of respect as well as for him.”

Compatriots Yomif Kejelcha and this year’s U18 3,000m winner, Selemon Barega, finished fourth and fifth respectively.

On the last day of the Championships, Almaz secured a silver medal in the women’s 5,000m finals behind Kenya’s Hellen Obiri. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands finished in third place.

 

“Compared to Rio this is a bigger achievement,” Almaz said. “I’ve had many injuries this year so I am very happy with two medals. I have been injured for the whole season and haven’t been able to get over it. The pain came back after the 10,000m. I did my best today but Hellen was too good at finishing…I won’t give up going for 5000m and 10,000m. I won gold and bronze in Rio and now gold and silver, so this is a step up.”

Farewell to Bolt

Bolt pictured with Almaz Ayana and Tirunesh Dibaba earlier in the tournament

The last day of the athletics also featured a special tribute to Usain Bolt, who is retiring from athletics after winning a record 11 golds and a total of 14 medals. Bolt was presented with a framed piece of lane seven of the original track in the same arena, in which he won the second of his three Olympic 100m titles (in a Games record of 9.63) and 200m titles (in 19.32) in 2012, by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Team Ethiopia finished seventh in the medal table with 5 medals, two gold and three silver, behind the United Kingdom which secured 6 medals – 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. Ethiopia came in third place in the Championships from Africa, with Kenya first and South Africa second.

Upon their departure from the UK, the Embassy presented a certificate of appreciation to the Ethiopian Athletics Federation in recognition of the salient results obtained from the Championships and also for the remarkable role that the athletes have played in promoting Ethiopia’s image internationally.

Full coverage of events can be found on our Twitter and Facebook pages or search for #TeamEthiopia on Twitter.

Videos are also available on our YouTube page.

Latest News

Browse all
Dr Workneh chairs the meeting of the UN Security Council on Threats to international peace and security. The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2379 (2017), requesting the Secretary-General to establish an Investigative Team to support domestic efforts to hold the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da'esh) accountable.
22 Sep 2017
Dr Workneh chairs UN meeting on Threats to International Peace and Security
PM Hailemariam's statement following the adoption of the resolution on UN peacekeeping reform.
21 Sep 2017
PM Hailemariam highlights Ethiopia’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping
The UN Security Council unanimously adopt a resolution on peacekeeping reform, which was tabled by Ethiopia.
21 Sep 2017
UN Security Council passes resolution on peacekeeping reform
Mr. Jeremy Lefroy MP, will make his debut visit to Ethiopia as the new trade and investment envoy to Ethiopia. This will be the first visit by a newly appointed trade envoy anywhere in the world. His appointment reaffirms the UK’s commitment to strengthen its trade and investment relationship with Ethiopia.
21 Sep 2017
British trade and investment envoy to visit Ethiopia
Big day for Ethiopian Presidency of the UN Security Council as it chairs the High-Level Open Debate on UN Peacekeeping - an important priority for Ethiopia as one of the leading troop-contributing countries.
20 Sep 2017
Ethiopia to chair high-level open debate on UN Peacekeeping
PM Hailemariam reaffirms Ethiopia's commitment to the UN Zero-Tolerance Policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
19 Sep 2017
PM Hailemariam addresses the UN High-level Meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
A high-level delegation led, by PM Hailemariam, arrived in New York to participate in the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly. During his stay, the Prime Minister will participate in various side-line meetings ranging from peace and security to climate change and sustainable development matters.
18 Sep 2017
PM Hailemariam in New York for UN General Assembly
President of the UN Security Council and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, Amb. Tekeda Alemu, briefed members of the Security Council on the successful conduction the Council’s joint consultative meeting with the African Union in Addis Ababa from 5th – 9th September 2017.
13 Sep 2017
Ambassador Tekeda briefs Security Council on mission to Ethiopia
As Ethiopians at home and abroad usher in the New Year on September 11, Ambassador Hailemichael conveys his message of goodwill.
10 Sep 2017
Ambassador’s New Year Message
The weekly newsletter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia.
8 Sep 2017
A Week in the Horn
The 11th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AUPSC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will be held on September 7-8, 2017 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
5 Sep 2017
Ethiopia to host the 11th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting