Gebrhiwet makes amends for blunder as Ethiopia World Champs team takes shape

The 2019 Ethiopian Trials in Hengelo, Netherlands, saw fast times and a memorable debut

By Evelyn Watta ·

It's been a big couple of weeks for Hagos Gebrhiwet.

In the Diamond League 5,000m race in Lausanne at the start of July the Ethiopian made headlines for the wrong reasons.

With the finish line and no one else in front of him, the Olympic bronze medallist sprinted and stopped.

But it was a lap too early.

After realising his rookie mistake, the 25-year-old re-joined the race and eventually finished 10th.

On Wednesday (17th July) Gebrhiwet made no mistake in counting the laps at the Ethiopian Trials.

He won a super-fast 10,000m race to secure the first automatic slot for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Eight of the East Africans ran quicker than 27 minutes 2 seconds in Hengelo in the Netherlands, fast times that seem to support the decision by the Ethiopian Athletics to hold the trials at sea level in Europe.

Gebrhiwet finished ahead of Selemon Barega, a 2017 World champs finalist, and 2014 Youth Olympic champion Yomif Kejelcha.

The deeply talented trio are now the fastest men in the world this season, and could easily dominate the longest distance track event in Doha.

Gebrhiwet eying World redemption

Gebrhiwet, the Rio 5,000m Olympic bronze medallist, will be seeking to make amends at his fourth Worlds.

Two years ago, the former football goalkeeper was the top pick for the 2017 Championships in London, but an achilles tendon injury forced him to pull out.

Previously in Beijing and Moscow, he made the podium behind the six-time world champion Mo Farah.

With four-time Olympic gold medallist Farah now focusing on road running, could September's World Champs in Qatar be Gebrhiwet's best chance for gold?

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Road runners’ dominate

It was a similar parade of depth by the East African distance running powerhouse in the women’s 10,000m.

Letesenbet Gidey’s dominant run earned her first ticket to represent Ethiopia at a senior track global championship.

The double world cross-country champion was among a loaded field of mainly Ethiopian road racers, who clocked sub 31 minutes.

She now heads to the worlds as a strong favourite, and with a PB of 30:37.89.

That's a huge shift for the 21-year old, who was expelled from school for refusing to run at a physical education class.

World half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi also booked their automatic slots for Doha.

Letesenbet Gidey.

Strong steeplechase debut

Lemecha Girma had a memorable debut, winning his first run away from high altitude and slashing about 36 seconds off his lifetime best.

The 8:08.18 win over the 3,000m distance earned him top spot alongside Africa’s fastest junior Tadese Takele Bikila and Rio 2016 Olympian Hailemariyam Amare.

A formidable youthful pick that should provide a fresh challenge to Kenya’s dominance in the steeple race.

2018 Youth Olympic silver medallist Mekides Abebe also secured a place in the senior team for the first time after headlining the women’s steeplechase run.