22 March 2023 – Tsige Gebreselama who last month finished 2nd to Beatrice Chebet over 8km at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia returns to action in Addis Ababa on Sunday when she attempts to win her second title at the WOMEN FIRST 5km race, having won her first title back in 2020.
Three years ago she scorched to victory ahead of Yalemzerf Yehualaw in a course record of 15 minutes and 20 seconds. Gebreselama has since lowered her own best time for 5000m on the track to 14 minutes and 43 seconds, as well as recording a time of 65 minutes and 46 seconds when finishing 2nd in the Valencia Half Marathon last October.
Her coach Tolera Dinka confirmed Gebreselama’s participation in Sunday’s race, saying that his athlete was in great shape and ready to attack the new course record of 15 minutes and 19 seconds set in 2021 by Fantaye Belay. Race organizers are offering an additional 50,000 birr bonus for a new course record this Sunday.
Sunday’s line-up, one of the strongest in the race’s 20-year history, includes two other athletes who have already run under 15 minutes for 5km on the road. World Junior 5000m Champion Medina Eisa makes her debut appearance in the race, having finished 2nd in the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Australia last month. Her best time of 14 minutes and 53 seconds was recorded 11 months ago when she finished 2nd to former WOMEN FIRST 5km winner Senbere Teferi.
Melknat Wudu who won the silver medal behind Eisa in last summer’s World Junior 5000m race in Cali has a best time of 14 minutes and 54 seconds for 5km on the road from the same race in Germany, set in 2021 when Teferi recorded a world lead of 14 minutes and 29 seconds.
Another late entrant who could surprise the favorites is former Great Ethiopian Run International 10km champion Foyten Tesfaye. Tesfaye who has a 5km road PB of 15:23 is back in good shape, having finished 5th in the 8km race at the World Cross Country Championships last month.
Other podium contenders for Sunday include 2023 Mumbai Marathon champion Anchialem Haymanot, Ftaw Zeray and Zerfe Worku.