ADDIS ABABA – Another medal in the bag for Ethiopia as Letesenbet Gidey finishes third in the women’s 10,000m in Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Saturday.
The race had been a highly anticipated with world champion Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan pitted against Letesenbet, who broke the Dutchwoman’s world record in June.
Sifan tucked in just behind the leaders and with about 3,000 metres remaining, she increased her pace to sit second behind Letesenbet.
On the final turn, the 27-year-old Ethiopian born athlete surged past Letesenbet, who then faded further to take bronze after Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne passed her to get the silver, and won gold in 29:55.33.
Kalkidan, also Ethiopian-born, and Letesenbet finished the race in 29:56.18 and 30:01.72, respectively.
Letesenbet effort hailed
Many Ethiopians are disappointed with their Olympic Team’s overall underwhelming performance in Tokyo so far.
Athlete Letesenbet’s effort in today’s 10,000m race, however, brought her appreciation from every corner.
The athlete “won a bronze medal and many golden hearts,” wrote Dagim Gez on his Facebook page.
Siti wrote on twitter saying the Letesenbet “tried and gave it all she can. That was a truly remarkable run and I thank her for that”.
Letesenbet collected the bronze medal today in her first attempt in the Olympics.
Former journalist, Fisseha Tegegn, said the 23-year old athlete will go on to participate in many major competitions as she is still young.
“The bronze medal she won today is a major victory for her,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Roza Dereje finished fourth place in the women’s marathon race of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic held late on Friday while The other Ethiopian participants, Brehane Dibaba and Zeyneba Yimer, failed to finish the competition.
Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Ksgei won the gold and silver medals, respectively.