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.
Reigning Wanda Diamond League champion Timothy Cheruiyot and Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will resume their rivalry in the men’s 1500m when they go head to head in the prestigious Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on May 28th.
Cheruiyot claimed his fourth career Diamond Trophy when he edged out Ingebrigtsen in the final in Zurich last year, just weeks after the Norwegian had beaten him to the gold medal in Tokyo.
Ingebrigtsen, 21, already has a rich history of success in the Bowerman Mile. At the 2017 Pre Classic Ingebrigtsen became the youngest to ever break the four minute barrier, running 3:58.07 at the age of 16. One year later he would lower his time to 3:52.28 and come back again in 2019 with a 3:51.30. In last year’s race, Ingebrigtsen captured his first Bowerman Mile victory, running the fastest time ever on U.S. soil, 3:47.24. After breaking the Olympic record in Tokyo last summer and taking down the indoor 1500 meter world record earlier this year, it’s clear the Norwegian is ready to cement himself further in the record books.
The budding rivalry between Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot will add another chapter at the Pre Classic in 2022. After winning the Bowerman Mile and claiming gold at the World Championships in 2019, Cheruiyot took silver at the Olympic Games last year. He would ultimately bounce back to beat the Norwegian in Zurich.
The third Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season will also feature a strong field in the men’s 5000m, with Canada’s Olympic silver medallist Mo Ahmed taking on home hero Paul Chelimo and 2018 Diamond League champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia.
Distance running legend returns to the roads of London and Manchester in May but what else does the summer of 2022 hold in store?
After signing up to race the Vitality London 10,000 on the roads of the British capital on May 2, Mo Farah has now announced he will be running the Great Manchester Run on May 22.
Despite turning 39 years old today (March 23) and enduring an injury-hit summer in 2021 which saw him fail to make the British Olympic team for Tokyo, there are signs he could be entering a surprisingly busy racing period.
After his disappointing season last year he talked about having one last hurrah – a big farewell race somewhere to mark the end of a career that has brought him, among other things, 10 global track titles. But there is now speculation he could be involved in this summer’s major championships on the track. Who knows, a return to the London Marathon in October could even be on the cards too.
Firstly, let’s stick to what we know. As Farah is racing 10km on the roads of London on May 2 and Manchester on May 22, this means we can pretty much rule him out of racing in the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21.
Farah does not seem afraid of putting his reputation on the line either, incidentally, as the Great Manchester Run is also set to feature Stewart McSweyn, the Australian who holds the Oceania record for 1500m, mile and 3000m in addition to having clocked 27:23.80 for 10,000m on the track.
In addition, Andy Butchart is set to race and has been in good shape recently after having run 27:36.77 for 10,000m in California this month to break Ian Stewart’s 45-year-old Scottish record.
So if Farah’s road races in May go well, what are his options? Surprisingly he has never won a Commonwealth title and with the event on home soil in Birmingham it must be tempting.
The consensus is that he would struggle on the track against the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Selemon Barega in the World Championships in Oregon in July. But Christian Malcolm, the head coach of the British team, has suggested it is “50/50”.
Speaking as last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade drew to a close, Malcolm said: “Sir Mo is working hard and training. We will see how he goes in the summer. But he’s at that age now where you have to take it week-by-week, month-by-month, see where you are at in training.”
On the chances of him competing in Oregon, Malcolm added: “It’s possible. We don’t know at the moment. It’s 50-50 if I am being honest with you. Hopefully we will know a little bit more over the next six weeks.
“Does he still have a talent? Yes, he does. So let’s see if his body can handle it. Like I said, over the next six weeks Mo will know a little bit more about where he is at.”
As for the Great Manchester Run, Farah last took part in the event in 2018 when he outkicked Moses Kipsiro to clock 28:27.
Farah said: “I’m pleased to say the injury problems I had last year are now behind me, training has been going well and I am happy with the shape I am showing.
“Any time I race in the UK it is exciting for me because I love running in front of my home fans and I want to give my best for them. I had an amazing reception in Manchester when I won the event in 2018 so I’m looking forward to racing on the streets of the city again later this year.”
It will be fascinating to see if Farah’s form during May is close to his best or whether there is little improvement on last year when he struggled at the British 10,000m Championships in Birmingham to clock 27:50.64 before barely improving three weeks later to run 27:47.04 in an invitation 10,000m at the Olympic trials in Manchester.
How will he fare, too, if he comes up against the rising force of Marc Scott, who beat Farah in Birmingham last year despite not being 100% fit himself and has since won the Great North Run, clocked 12:57.08 for 5000m indoors and on Saturday won bronze in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships?
Tokyo Olympics 10,000m champion, Selemon Barega stunned kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo at the 18th edition of the World Indoor Championships that is being held in the Serbian capital’s Stark Arena in Belgrade.
The world silver medallist took charge of the race with two laps remaining as he was pushed by his fellow country-mate Lemecha Girman who has beaten him twice in their previous two head-to-head races in Liévin and Torun as he forged forward with a powerful kick to leave Girma gasping for air and crossing the in 7:41.38 with the later coming home 0.25 seconds later.
Great Britain’s Marc Scott closed the first three podium finishes in a time of 7:42.02.
Ebenyo and Jacob Krop were forced to settle in fourth and fifth place in a time of 7:42.97 and 7:43.26 respectively.
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.
Tokyo Olympic 10,000m champion, Selemon Barega held off Lemecha Girma in the 3000m race at the Villa de Madrid Indoor Meeting which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold level meeting that was held on Tuesday (2) in Madrid, Spain.
The world silver medallist took charge of the race with two laps remaining as he was pushed by Mohamed Katir who broke three Spanish outdoor records in just 34 days in Diamond League meetings, but he could not sustain the pace of Barega.
Katir was later dropped as he was overtaken by Girma in the final 80m stretch but Barega had an avenging mission in his mind after the recent defeats by Girma, who won their previous two head-to-head races in Liévin and Torun. He held off the Girma to cut the tape in a new Meeting Record of 7:34.06 with Girma crossing the line in second place in 0.06 seconds later.
“After two times being second without any elite speed training, this week I was targeting a push from 150m out. After the Olympics it was just easy training, but I put in a hard month of training and the target now is to become world champion. I hope to double 1500m and 3000m at the World indoor Championships in Belgrade”, said Barega.
European indoor record holder Adel Mechaal from Spain passed Katir 20m to the finish line to take the third place in a time of 7:35.26.
Girma won the World Indoor Tour Standings with 27 points thanks to his wins in Liévin and Torun.
The Ethiopian trio, Lemecha Girma, Selemon Barega and Getnet Wale will be chasing time at the Villa de Madrid Indoor Meeting which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold level meeting that will be held on Tuesday (2) in Madrid, Spain.
The two times world and Olympic silver medallist has so far won two World Indoor Tour races in the 3000m this year in Liévin where he finished in a time of 7:30.54, which was the fastest at that race and in Torun where he clocked 7:31.09 beating Barega in both events.
Girma set his 3000m indoor personal best of 7:27.98 in Liévin in 2021.
Wale missed Daniel Komen’s record by just 0.08 setting the second-fastest time in history with a time of 7:24.98 in Liévin last year beating Barega, who clocked the third fastest time in history of 7:26.10. Barega went on to win the Olympic gold medal in the 10000m in Tokyo and started his 2022 season with two runner-up spots in Liévin in 7:30.66 and Torun with 7:31.39.
The three Ethiopians will face off with Spanish stars Adel Mechaal, who finished in fifth at the Olympics 1500m final in Tokyo and Mohamed Katir who broke three Spanish outdoor records in just 34 days in Diamond League meetings clocking 12:50.79 in the 5000m in Florence, 3:28.76 in the 1500m in Monaco, 7:27.64 in Gateshead.
Mechaal broke the European indoor record clocking 7.30.82 in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Staten Island. In his other two appearances in the World indoor Tour Mechaal finished second in Karslruhe in the 3000m in 7:36.57 and second in the 1500m in 3:35.30 in Birmingham moving up to fourth in the Spanish all-time time.
Olympic 10000m champion Selemon Barega, World and Olympics 3000m silver medallist Lemecha Girma and African Championships bronze medallist, Getnet Wale, have for the second time failed dismally to touch the World 3000m Indoor record of 7:24.90 that was set by Daniel Komen 20 years ago.
Wale, Barega and Girma respectively moved to second, third and sixth on the world indoor all-time list last year thanks to their performances. Among these top three athletes in world over the distance, Wale is the only one who missed Komen’s record by just 0.08 setting the second-fastest time in history with a time of 7:24.98 in Liévin last year.
In their first attempt Girma was the star of the day as he led an Ethiopian 1-2-3 podium finish beating the reigning Olympic 10000m champion Barega and Wale to second and third respectively.
In their second attempt Wale thrashed the two in Torun with a time of 7:31.09 with Barega holding same position of second in 7:31.39
The three Ethiopians target was to chase the time in the two different races (Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais and Torun) but it dawned to them that the record was way beyond their imaginations as on both occasions they have failed dismally and so they settled to compete amongst themselves for the podium.
Kenya’s Jacob Krop moved from his disappointing fifth place to take bronze in a lifetime best of 7:3190 beating Wale to fourth in 7:32.50.
Ethiopia’s trio of Getnet Wale, Selemon Barega and Lamecha Girma failed to live to the expectation of lowering the world 3000m record at the at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais that will be held on Thursday (17) in Lievin, France.
Wale was billed as the most favorite to chase the record after running the second-fastest indoor run in history of 7:24.98 which was just 0.08 shy of Daniel Komen’s long-standing world indoor record of 24 years. The record seems to be a tall ordre and remains standing.
World and Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Lemecha Girma was the star of the day as he led an Ethiopian 1-2-3 podium finish as he beat the reigning Olympic 10000m champion Barega.
The 21 year-old was too swift as he held Barega and the 2016 World U20 bronze medallist, Getnet Wale. He pulled away from them with a fire kick crossing the finish line 7:30.54 with Barega coming in second in 7:30.66. Wale closed the podium three finishes when he clocked 7:36.62.
Another Ethiopian Birhanu Balew finished fourth with a personal best of 7:31.77. Andreas Almgren improved the Swedish indoor record to 7:34.31 beating Jacob Krop from Kenya to fifth in 7:34.67 and Mohamed Katir from Spain finished in sixth in 7:36.62.
Ethiopia’s trio of Getnet Wale, Selemon Barega and Lamecha Girma will be after the world 3000m record as they line up at the at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais that will be held on Thursday (17) in Lievin, France.
Wale came out on top at the 2020 edition when he won the race with the second-fastest indoor run in history of 7:24.98 and just 0.08 shy of Daniel Komen’s long-standing world indoor record of 24 years.
Barega who is the World indoor silver medallist 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 Wale
The 21 years-old went on to win the Olympic 10,000m title while Girma won the silver in the 3000m steeplechase in Tokyo.
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.
Spanish multiple record holder in 1500m (3:28.76), 3000m (7:27.64) and 5000m (12:50.79) will also be on the start list and he will be targeting to break the European record of 7:30.82 set last week by compatriot Adel Mechaal.
Kenyan duo Nicholas Kimeli, Jacob Krop and Ethiopia’s Nibret Melak, Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew will also be on the start list.
Pace makers have been asked to cover the first 1000m in 2:28.5 before reaching 2000m in 4:57, with the expected finish time close to 7:25.