After an incredible week for Ethiopian athletes in which they took center stage, Guye Adola and Nestanet Gudeta have been listed to lead the half marathon race in the 2020 World Athletics half marathon championship set to take place in Gdynia, Poland.
Many sports competitions have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With sports making a return albeit in different settings, however, Shura Kitata’s and Litesenebet Gidey’s win has been taken as a wake-up call for many Ethiopian athletes across the country to perform better than they did before. The highly anticipated London Marathon competition and its mainstay Eluid Kipchoge were stunned by Ethiopian Shura Kitata.
Alongside Shura, fellow Ethiopians Mosinet Giremew, Sisay Lemma, Mule Wasihun and Tamriat Tola were lauded for their impressive team work. Letesenbet Gidey set a new 5000m women’s world record of 14:6.62 in Valencia taking off four seconds of the previous record held by her idol and fellow Ethiopian Tirunish Dibaba, which stood for the last 12 years.
The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020, set for today, will be another chance for Ethiopian athletes Guye and Netsanet to feature and put Ethiopia back in the lime-light in distance running. Guye, experienced in the road race events, is highly anticipated to win the half marathon championships, with his previous win in the 2014 Delhi Half Marathon and a personal best of 59:06. In his debut in the 2017 Berlin marathon, he finished second with a time of 2:03:46, the fastest marathon-debut ever.
Besides Guye, Andamalk Belihu and Berhanu Legese will also feature in the half marathon. Andamalak has a personal best of 59:10 set in New Delhi half marathon in 2019.
In the women’s half marathon race, Nestanet Gudeta, a world record holder in the world half marathon championships in 2018, in Spain, Valencia, clocking 1:06:11 and Ababel Yeshaneh, the reigning half marathon world record holder who registered a time of 1:04:31 in the RAK Half Marathon in Ras Al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates on February 2020, will feature.
The rescheduled World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 will be the first World Athletics Series event held since the pandemic hit earlier this year. Accordingly, it is tipped to become a template for future or upcoming races.
It can be recalled that the event, originally slated to take place on March 29 2020, was postponed to October 17 2020. Although cancellation of the event was a possibility, it was never the preferred option, according to the World Athletics Director of Competition and Events, Jakob Larsen.
According to the Entry lists for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020, 157 men and 126 women from 62 teams have entered the championships, the only World Athletics Series event on the global calendar in 2020.
Prizes will be awarded to the top six individuals and the top six teams in both races. The winner, individually, will get USD 30,000, second place will earn USD 15,000 and third place will get USD 10,000.