by Haileegziabher Adhanom, Secretary General, ESJA
ADDIS ABABA, July 25, 2018 – Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) is targeting a much-improved result at the 21st African Athletics Championship in Asaba. Ethiopians disappointed at the previous championships in Durban, South Africa.
EAF Technical Director, Dube Jillo, told AIPS that, he firmly believes that Ethiopia will compete at the highest level for the ranks among Africa’s best talents in this championship. According to Mr. Dube, the EAF was going through an athletes and coaches selecting process to avoid previous grievances of the stakeholders at such events.
The EAF selected a very resilient squad that comprises young, talented and senior athletes, strong coaching staff with an amazing team spirit that will inevitably brought a huge success in the competition.
Moreover, it is the change of mentality in the athletes towards continental competitions that makes the technical director more and more optimistic about potential success in Asaba.
Ethiopia had an awful return of medals in Africa’s Biennial Athletics Championships two years ago. The Ethiopians came home with only six medals which included a single gold in the men’s 3000m steeplechase by Chala Bayou and two silver medals, resulting in eight spot on the continental ranking.
Besides that Ethiopia is a powerhouse in global athletics, the country has been a regular attendee and one of the challengers for top spot in this championships over the years, collecting 141 medals, among them 40 golds.
Superstars Genzebe Dibaba and Solomon Barega are some of the picks with a huge mission, among the 64-strong delegation accompanied by thirteen coaches, led by EAF Executive Committee member, Mr.Admasu Saji, to right the wrong that happened two years ago.
This year’s African athletics Championships will take place between August 1-5 at Asaba, Nigeria. The best Athletes in this competition will represent Africa at the IAAF’s Continental Cup in Ostrava next September.