Although listed, Kenenisa Bekele will not defend his title. That Tariku is not entered is a surprise. Tariku’s time this year is better than Abera Kuma and he has more connections to the federation than the relative new comer Abera . Tariku is a good runner but is not a big threat to medal. Giving an opportunity to a younger guy like Abera is not a bad idea.
This group has some characters.
Imane Merga runs very aggressively. He is known to use his elbows when boxed in and is also accused of causing runners to crash. Abera Kuma on the other hand got some fame when he had his leg grabbed and a punch thrown at him by an Eritrean runner. The Eritrean claims that Abera cause both of them to crash by using his elbow.
The One Shoe Man
The third runner Dejen Gebremeskel also got some fame when he lost one shoe 50 meters into the race and won the indoor 3000M race beating Mo Farah with just one shoe on.
This is what Mo Farah had to say about the one shoe man.
“I was trying to hold off and he tried to come inside around the bend, and then he just came right past me, had a different gear,” “He was running with one shoe, so fair credit to him. "Sounds familiar?
And Dejen Gebremeskel said…
“My foot was burning. After the race, it had blisters”
Sabrina Yohannes did a nice interview with Dejen Gebremeskel
This was not the first time he had ran barefoot:
“I’ve never trained barefoot, only with shoes. Tennis shoes, sneakers, regular shoes of some sort. I ran one competition barefoot. It was on the Addis Ababa track, a 5000 or 10,000, I don’t remember which, it was all the same to me then. It was maybe about five years ago. It was the regional competition at the Ethiopian championships.”
“It was my first time running on a proper track, and we were told we could only run on it with spikes. There were many of us in the same situation. So we ran barefoot.”
That’s really sad what Ethiopian runners have to go through to make it.