ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia won a gold and Bronze medals in the women’s 3000m title on the first day of the world indoor track and field championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
Athlete Lemlem Hailu finished the women’s 3000m with a composed performance on Friday night, crossing the line in 8:41.82, according Athletics Wold report.
Her victory meant the title came home for the ninth time in the last 10 editions. Her compatriot Ejgayehu Taye also finished third to win bronze for Ethiopia in 8:42.23.
USA’s Elinor Purrier St Pierre finished second to win silver in 8:42.04.
With a large field of 20 toeing the line for the straight final, there was unsurprisingly many clipped heels during a cagey opening kilometer, with Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyoum taking over from Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford on the fifth lap and passing 1000m in a relatively pedestrian 3:03.31.
Her teammate, Ejgayehu, took over at the halfway stage, towing the bunched field through 2000m in 5:59.09.
Slowly but surely, the gears began to shift among the main contenders, with Lemlem hitting the front with three laps to run. At the bell, Dawit surged up to Lemlem’s shoulder, but the 20-year-old quickly responded.
Purrier , who’d sat buried in the leading back for much of the race, then unleashed her surge with 150m to run, overtaking Ejgayehu for second and doing her best to chase down Lemlem.
But she couldn’t get to her, the US athlete having to settle for silver as Lemlem sealed a memorable win – her first global medal as a senior athlete.
“We were cooperating together and competing at the same time,” said Lemlem of her teammates, speaking to the World Athletics (WA).
“It helps us to achieve such performances. If I have the chance, I would like to say big thank you to my husband Jonas and my coach, who is here supporting me,” she said. “This medal belongs to them.”
Debues-Stafford was a close fourth in 8:42.89, with Dawit fifth in 8:44.55 and Australia’s Jessica Hull sixth in 8:44.97.
Featured Image Caption: Lemlem wins the 3000m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade (Photo Getty Images/WA)