Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega defeated a strong deep elite field in the 10,000m race at the Ethiopian Trials held on Monday (06) in Hengelo, Netherland.
The 21 year-old who moved to third place on the world indoor all-time list with his performance in Lievin last year, was too swift as he took on a more experienced field that included the 2019 World silver medallist Yomif Kejelcha, who was the fastest athlete on paper with a time of 26:49.34 that he got in Doha, the current world record holder in the 5km road race, Berihu Aregawi and the World U20 3000m Champion Tadese Worku.
Barega who is the fifth fastest runner in the 5000m race (behind Joshua Cheptegei, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Daniel Komen) in history with a time of 12:43.02 managed to hold the four top notch athletes from his country to cross the line a new personal best of 26:44.73 with Worku coming home in second also in a personal best of 26:45.91.
The 2018 World Junior bronze medallist, came home in third in a personal best of 26:46.13.
Kejelcha, who is a two time world Indoor champion, was forced to finish outside the podium in a season best of 26:49.39 with Milkesa Mengesha finishing in fifth place in a personal best of 27:00.24.
Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega will take on Diamond Trophy holder Berihu Aregawi in a deep elite field in the 5000m race at the fifth leg of Diamond League meeting that will be on 9th June 2022 in Rome, Italy.
Barega who is the fifth fastest runner (behind Joshua Cheptegei, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Daniel Komen) in history with a time of 12:43.02 that he got when winning the 2018 Diamond Trophy in Brussels four years ago.
The 22 year-old is a two-time 3000m World Indoor Championship medallist, taking a silver in 2018, and a gold in 2022 in Belgrade, will take on his compatriot, Aregawi who is reigning Diamond League champion.
Aregawi is the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000m silver medallist and he is also the bronze medalist in the 10000m race at the 2018 World Athletics U20 Champion.
The 21 year-old set the fifth fastest time of 7:26.20 in 3000m history at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe which was the first of this season’s seven World Indoor Tour Gold meetings.
Barega and Aregawi will be joined by the double World 5000m Champiom, Muktar Edris and Yomif Kejelcha, who claimed the Diamond League title in 2015 and set a 3000m Diamond League record of 7:26.25 in Oslo last year.
That time bettered the previous series record of 7:26.64 that had been set by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo a year earlier in the same city.
The 2019 World silver medallist, Yomif Kejecha took the honors in men’s’ 5km race with the third fastest time ever at the Road to Records Race that was held on Saturday (30) Herzogenaurach, Germany.
The 24 year-old who came to this race with a World mile record of 3:31.51 that he set in 2019 in Boston was on another level after a series of injury that have kept him out for sometime but proved that he is back in shape as he thrashed a strong field that included Olympic fourth finisher in 5000m, Nicholas Kimeli.
The 2016 World Indoor 3000m champion was too good for the Kenyan as he accelerated his speed with 300m remaining to cut the tape in a World leading time and a new personal best of 0.12:53 with the latter coming home in second three seconds later.
Only the World record holder Berihu Aregawi and Joshua Cheptegei have gone faster over 5km than Kejelcha.
Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew wrote history as he finished third with a new National Record of 0:13:07.
The Kidane Mihret Church in the Kotobe neighbourhood in Addis Ababa is busy most afternoons. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in the area often come to pray or give money and food to homeless who congregate around the church’s gates. Many wear gabi – a traditional white homemade cotton cloth – draped over their heads and shoulders.
Nearly every afternoon Berihu Aregawi can be seen walking, often in his orange and blue tracksuit, to his afternoon training session.
Kidane Mihret sits neatly at an important crossroads to get to the Yeka Forest in Addis Ababa, a small runner’s oasis reachable by a quick 15-minute walk from a bustling neighbourhood. Between 4-6pm dozens of Ethiopian athletes go to the forest to do their famous zig-zag jogs through eucalyptus trees, a tradition that’s well sedimented in the soil, with clearly-trodden paths.
Over the course of the past eight years, Aregawi has seldom missed one of these sessions. He made this daily journey long before he followed up a fourth-place finish at the Olympics with a Wanda Diamond League victory in Zurich in 2021. It was true leading up to his world 5km record on the final day of 2021 when he ran 12:49 in Barcelona. It was true before running his world indoor lead of 7:26.20 over 3000m in Karlsruhe. And it will continue to be true as the 20-year-old prepares for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and competitions moving forward.
Many Ethiopian athletes pursue long distance running to change their lives, and as soon as they come into some money, they start making investments to accrue more wealth and status. Aregawi is in no rush to do so.
“Not yet, not yet,” he commonly refrains, when asked about buying a home, a car, or even a television. “I don’t do much outside of training besides resting, but I do like to watch training videos and running content on YouTube.”
Aregawi uses his phone and has been inspired, amid a lot of running content, by the well-known Spartan lifestyle Eliud Kipchoge has become famous for. He’s watched many of the short documentaries where understanding English is not a prerequisite for getting a sense of the humility that some of the world’s top athletes share.
He also studies racing tactics by his Ethiopian role models, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebreselassie, and, notably, Hagos Gebrhiwet. Like Aregawi, Gebrhiwet is also from the Tigray region of Ethiopia – the northern most state in Ethiopia that has been embroiled in a civil war since November 2020. Aregawi grew up with five younger sisters and one younger brother in the countryside and began running in local competitions, much to the chagrin of his father, who viewed the pursuit as too risky of an endeavour. Sceptical of the athletic profession, Aregawi’s father wanted him to take a more traditional path and ensure he could help to take care of the family. But once he was offered a club position in Addis, his father’s mind gradually changed.
“When I was starting out I really wanted to be like Hagos,” Aregawi said, “He was really the first from my region and it’s easier to identify with someone that comes from the same place you come from.”
Not too long later, he became Gebrhiwet’s training partner, “Training with Hagos on the national team has given me big steps in my training. He’s also been a really good friend to me, and always offered me help when I have adversity.”
After training for two years in Addis Ababa, Aregawi was selected for his first national team in 2018, when he competed at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Aregawi finished third in the 10,000m, behind Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya and Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda.
“To represent Ethiopia for the first time and come in third was a really big deal,” he remembers of his first international trip. Finland in July could not have been more different to Ethiopia at that time of year. Ethiopia’s geographical position means the sun rises and sets at about the same time throughout the year, and July and August are characterised by heavy, sometimes torrential, rains. Mid-July in Tampere, by contrast, was sunny, temperate, and had only a few hours of darkness each day.
After his first podium finish in Tampere, Aregawi signed his first contract and returned to Ethiopia with the goal of representing the country at the Olympics. His incremental improvement has evidently been working, but until this past year, his progression has been overshadowed by some of his Olympic teammates, like Selemon Barega, who won the Olympic 10,000m title.
While many Olympians began to tire on the Wanda Diamond League circuit, Aregawi appeared to gain steam, culminating in a victory at the final 5000m held for the first time on the track built around Zurich’s city centre.
Since winning the Diamond League title, Aregawi has made some more changes relating to his training, returning to regular training with his club, Ethiopia Electric, and coach Melaku. His training partners are not big names, yet, but he’s enjoying working with Solomon Berihu and Haftam Abadi, two of several members of his club. Other changes in lifestyle can remain on the backburner.
“It’s important to stay humble and patient,” Aregawi said. “I don’t want to rush into the next stage of life because I still have big goals I haven’t accomplished.”
The changes appeared to have worked. In November, he thought he broke Joshua Cheptegei’s world 5km record when it appeared he finished under 12:50 in Lille, France, but the official results showed 12:52. One month later, on New Year’s Eve, he ran 12:49 in Barcelona to claim the record alongside Ejegayehu Taye, another Ethiopian rising distance talent.
Then, in January 2022, Aregawi claimed the world’s top indoor time over 3000m in Karlsruhe, Germany, running the second half of his race completely alone. His time of 7:26.20 puts him fifth on the world indoor all-time list and gives him the top time heading into the World Indoor Championships.
Due to the conflict in Tigray, Aregawi has had minimal conflict with his family members over the past two years. With phone and internet mostly disabled in Tigray, Aregawi has been running, and excelling, looking forward to a time when he can share his success his family.
Until then, when asked about lavish celebrations, Aregawi’s response is one of caution and gradualness. “Not yet, not yet,” he continues to say – an odd refrain beckoning for slowness from one of the world’s fastest runners.
Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi set the 5th fastest 3000m time in history at the 37th edition of the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe which is the first of this season’s seven World Indoor Tour Gold meetings, which was held on Friday, January 28 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Just a few weeks after his world record for the 5km on the road, Aregawi had replaced his tall compatriot Haile Gebrselassie as the meeting record holder.
The 20 year-old beat a strong field that included 2017 European Indoor champion Adel Mechaal and Jacob Krop from Kenya.
Aregawi took on the two with a mission as he trounced them when he cut the tape in a new personal best of 7:26.20 with Mechaal coming home in second in 7:36.57. Krop closed the first three podium finishes in 7:38.15.
Aregawi is the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000m silver medallist and he is also the bronze medalist in the 10000m race at the 2018 World Athletics U20 Champion
Aregawi finished fourth in the 10000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and won the Wanda Diamond League final in the 5000 meters in Zurich last year.
Tokyo Olympic Games 10000m champion, Selemon Barega is to return to race at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting, in Lievin on 17 February.
The 21 year-old moved to third place on the world indoor all-time list with his performance in Lievin last year, where he clocked 7:26.10 finishing second behind his fellow country-mate Getnet Wale who threatened Daniel Komen’s 24 years, long standing world record of 7:24.90. The World U20 bronze medalist Champion missed to break the record with nine seconds.
The world indoor silver medallist, will focus to attack the world indoor 3000m record in Lievein. Six men had bettered 7:30 for 3000m indoors. Now the figure stands at 10, with the fourth-place finisher in last year’s edition, Berihu Aregawi, also dipping under the mark with 7:29.24.
World indoor 1500m record holder, Gudaf Tsegay will also be returning to Lievin but this time he will be racing the mile.
The meeting will also include world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs and Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi ended the year in style as he broke the World 5k record at the at the Cursa dels Nassos event that was held on the New Year Eve (Dec 31) in Barcelona.
The 20 year-old had come within one second of Joshua Cheptegei’s world record in Lille last month, so was keen to take another crack at the mark before the year was out to ensure he could end 2021 on a high.
Aregawi won the Diamond League 5000m in Zurich in September, ran 12:49 to beat Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei’s world mark of 12:51 that he set in Monaco in February.
The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000m silver medallist, ran much of the way by himself as he finished 41 seconds clear of Peter Maru of Uganda who came home in second place as Mike Foppen of Netherlands was third and Mehdi Belhadj and Yohan Durand of France fourth and fifth.
The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics silver medallist in 3000m champion, Berihu Aregawi threatened the world 5km record at the Urban Trail Road Race that was held on Saturday (6) in Lille, France.
The 2018 World Athletics U20 bronze medallist Champion almost broke Joshua Cheptegei’s world record of 12:51 that was set in Monaco in 2020 by winning the race with a stunning time of 12:52 which is less two seconds of world record.
The 20 year-old won the race by more than 30 seconds as Hosea Kiplangat of Uganda was second in 13:25, four seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Yasin Haji.
Kenya’s Jacob Krop finished in third place at the Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League that was held on Wednesday night at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich.
The race was won by silver medallist at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000 metres Berihu Aregawi from Ethiopia who cut the tape in 12:58.65 taking his home his first DiamondLeague victory and first Diamond League title.
The second place went to Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew who took silver in a time of 13:01.27 with Krop closing the podium three finishes in 13:01.81.
Nicholas Kimeli from Kenya who was poised as a threat in this race could only manage to finish in fourth place in 13:02.43 with 2019 World silver medallist Champion Yomif Kejelcha from Ethiopia finishing a distant fifth in13:04.29
World 3000m Indoor Champion Yomif Kejecha was the highlight of the men’s 3000m race at the Goteborg Athletics Grand Prix, a European Athletics Outdoor Classic Permit Meeting that was held on Saturday (18) in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The 21 year-old Ethiopian produced one of the fastest race cutting the tape in a world leading time of 7:28.00 which is the World’s fastest time since 2011.
Kejecha was followed by his fellow country-mate Berihu Aregawi who pulled 7:42.12 to cross the line in second place with Australia’s Brett Robinson closing the top three positions in a personal best of 7:51.67.