Addisu Wins 5000m Gold, Tsiyon Grabs 3000m Silver at World U20 Championships

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Addisu Yihune took the men’s 5000m title on the opening afternoon of action at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia,  on Monday afternoon.

Addisu showed the vast range of gears synonymous with so many Ethiopian athletes when powering to gold in the 5000m in 14:03.05.

Eritrea took silver and bronze through Merhawi Mebrahtu (14:03.33) and Habtom Samuel (14:03.67).

The race began at a relative jog, with 3000m reached in 8:45.57 – comically slow for athletes of this calibre.

From there, things slowly started to heat up with pre-race favourite Yihune moving to the front and the fourth kilometre covered in a steady 2:45.27, as per the World Athletics.

The lead changed many times in the laps that followed and there were nine men in the front pack with just over a lap to run.

But the Ethiopian athlete simply had too much for his rivals when every one of them went for broke in the last 200m, avenging his fourth-place finish in last year’s world U20 5000m final in Nairobi.

“I spent all that time preparing for this… I was 100% sure I would win,” he told the WA.

Earlier, another Ethiopian athlete Tsiyon Abebe also took a Silver in the women’s 3000m, clocking 9:03.85.

Kenya’s Betty Chelangat produced a powerful display to take the first gold medal of the championships, crossing the line in 9:01.03 ahead of Tsiyon and another Kenyan athlete Nancy Cherop.

Tsiyon was pleased with her silver.

“This is the first time I’ve gotten to represent my country,” she said. “Of course, I wanted to get gold, which didn’t work out, but I am incredibly happy.”

Featured Image Caption: Addisu Yihune wins the men’s 5000m at Cali 22 on Monday afternoon (Photo © Oscar Munoz Badilla via WA)