Sunday, August 26, 2007

Osaka: Day Two - Solid Steeplechase Showing

The only event today in which Ethiopian athletes participated in was the Men's 3,000. After abandoning the race for over 20 years the Ethiopian Athletics Federation entered Tewodros Shiferaw in the 2004 Olympics. Tewodros finished 10th in his first heat and did not advance. In 2005 Tewodros finished 8th in the first round and again did not advance. This is not an easy event to crack.

This time around the Federation thinks that it has better representatives in Nahom Mesfin and Roba Gari. Nahom Mesfin grabbed a bronze medal in the African Championship behind Kenyan Olympic-champion Ezekiel Kemboi. In May, Roba Gari upset former World and Olympic 3000m Steeplechase champion Reuben Kosgei.

Today, these two athletes did not disappoint. Both qualified for the August 28 final. Nahom Mesfin finished a solid second in his heat while Roba Gari finished fifth and qualified based on his time. In the finals, Ethiopia, Kenya and Spain will be represented by two athletes each. This already places Ethiopia in a group of Elite counties in this event. These are encouraging results.

No comments: