Gudaf Tsegay leads an ethiopian medal sweep on the first day of the 2023 world athletics championships. (Photo WA Inside Track)

World Athletics Championships: Gudaf Leads Ethiopian Medal Sweep in 10,000m

Gudaf Tsegay stormed to the gold in 31:27.18 leading an Ethiopian medal sweep in the women’s 10,000m final at the world athletics championships Budapest 23.

Letesenbet Gidey and Ejgayehu Taye complete the all-Ethiopian podium, finishing second and third, respectively.

The sweep came after a dramatic final straight centered around Sifan Hassan’s fall just meters from the finish line.

Sifan, who raced in the 1500m heats this morning, bided her time at the back of the lead pack for most of the race.

The Dutch star started to kick on the final lap and moved into the lead with 200 meters to go, closely tracked by world 5000m champion Gudaf Tsegay.

But Gudaf drew level on the home straight, and as she did so, Hassan tried as best she could to defend her position. The jostling proved to be her downfall – quite literally – and Hassan crashed to the ground.

Gudaf went on to win in 31:27.18 as 2022 winner Letesenbet took silver and Ejgayehu Taye the bronze. Hassan got back up and jogged over the line in 11th place.

‘We’ve made our country proud’

After the race, Gudaf said: “I was ready for very fast finish, because I was not focused on time today, but only on the gold medal. I expected Sifan’s speeding up and I just waited for this moment being ready to respond to her moving.

“When Sifan tried to cross my line not far from the finish, I even did not pay attention to that. It happens often at different competitions because every one of us always fights for the leading position. 

“I just had in my mind, how to find the way to finish first and, probably, to make a historic finish for our country and to make the Ethiopian people proud of us. 

“Of course, in this final, we did very good teamwork. We discussed before the race what every one of us can do during the distance. Obviously, it paid out.”

Letesenbet too echoed Gudaf’s point saying: “We have done a lot of different work on our way to Budapest.  No matter what medal I took, it is more important that Ethiopians smashed all three medals. We made our country proud tonight.”

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