KAMPALA, Feb 28 (NNN-NEW VISION) — Ethiopia has named experienced athletes Genet Yalew and Hunegnaw Mesfin to lead their team to the Africa Cross Country Championships to be held in the hilly Kampala suburb of Kololo on March 16.
Ethiopia, one of the dominant forces in long distance running, is aiming to end Kenya’s dominance in the continental event, which is in its third edition. Kenya dominated the first two championships.
Mesfin, although beaten by little known Yasin Hassen in the national selection trials, is being looked at for his experience to guide the Ethiopia men’s team to win the coveted Africa Cross Country gold medal over Kenya and hosts Uganda.
Yalew, who was a silver medallist in the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships junior race in Punta Umbria in 2012 and fifth in Bydgoszcz 2012, is set to combine with Hunegnaw Mesfin, another experienced cross-country runner, who has competed in four IAAF World Cross Country Championships from 2008-2011.
According to Beatrice Ayikoru, the Secretary-General of Uganda’s National Athletics Federation, their rivals look to be solid enough but Team Uganda is also training hard.
“They have been in camp for the last three weeks and the performance committee is doing everything possible to make sure that they are in good shape for the event,” said Ayikoru.
The Ugandan team also has Hassen Gemechu Ideo, Seboka Niguse and Atalay Yrsaw for the senior men.
Graduating Yalew, who won a silver medal in the junior women’s category at Punta Umbria last year will lead the women senior team with Ababel Yeshaneh, who finished fourth at last year’s Moscow World Championships 10000m event together with Tadelech Bekele, Konjit Tilahun, Ayatu Abera and Shito Wdesa.
The junior team has basically new names on the international scene with Hagos Gebrehiwot, Muhajr Hayredin, Moges Tiumay, Fantahun Hunegnaw and Hailemariyam Amare, making the junior men team.
The junior women’s team has Zerfe Limenh as well as Alemitu Haroye, Alemitu Hawi, Shure Demssie, Fonte Tesfay and Melkitu Workneh.
SOURCE: NEW VISION