Yomif Kejelcha triumphs in thrilling finish at Ethiopian Olympic 10,000m trials


Yomif Kejelcha etched his name into Ethiopian athletics history with a breathtaking victory over Berihu Aregawi at the Ethiopian Olympic 10,000m trials in Nerja, Spain.

The 26-year-old sensation delivered a stunning performance, setting a world-leading time of 26:31.01, slashing 18 seconds off his personal best in a thrilling sprint to the finish.

From the outset, the race promised fireworks as the pace was set by skilled pacemakers on a perfect night for distance running.

The field, including Olympic champion Selemon Barega and emerging talent Biniam Mehary, surged through the halfway mark in 13:17, setting the stage for an epic battle in the closing laps.

As the last pacemaker withdrew just beyond the 5km mark, the race intensified with Aregawi making decisive moves to break away from the pack.

However, the relentless pace only managed to drop Mehary, leaving the trio of Aregawi, Kejelcha, and Barega to contend for the coveted spots on Ethiopia’s Olympic team.

With each stride, the intensity mounted. Barega, despite his Olympic pedigree, began to fade in the final stages, leaving Kejelcha and Aregawi in a head-to-head duel for victory. Aregawi, the world 5km record-holder, pushed hard in a bid to hold off Kejelcha’s late surge.

The tension peaked as Kejelcha mounted a fierce challenge on the last bend, refusing to yield even as Aregawi fought to maintain his lead.

In a climactic finish that encapsulated the spirit of Ethiopian distance running, Kejelcha’s relentless effort paid off as he surged ahead just meters from the finish line, securing his place at the forefront of the Ethiopian team bound for Paris.

Aregawi, who also clocked a remarkable 26:31.13, showcased his resilience and talent in a race that will be remembered for its intensity and record-breaking performances.

The evening’s drama wasn’t confined to the men’s race alone. In the women’s event, Fotyen Tesfay stamped her authority with a commanding victory in 29:47.71, positioning herself among the world’s elite over 10,000 meters.

Tsigie Gebreselama and Ejgayehu Taye followed closely, both setting personal bests and ensuring a competitive field for Ethiopia’s representation in Paris.

As the dust settled on Nerja’s track, the Ethiopian Olympic trials not only crowned champions but also heralded a new chapter in the nation’s storied athletic legacy.

Kejelcha’s triumph, in particular, marked a significant milestone, underscoring his readiness to take on the world’s best in pursuit of Olympic glory.

With such formidable talent on display, Ethiopia’s prospects at the upcoming Olympics look promising, driven by a new generation eager to leave their mark on the global stage.

Photo: X

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