Ethiopian marathoners face action for dropping out of Moscow race

By evelyn watta
Aug 13, 2013
  • Tiki Gelena(second left) during the London marathon race.

Moscow - It seems like the drama surrounding the women’s marathon for the world championships has rubbed on the Ethiopian camp.

As team Kenya sweated over Valentine Kipketer’s participation at the championships after she was ‘forgotten’ in her hotel room a day before fire gutted the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport in Nairobi causing massive travel delays,the Ethiopian Athletics Federation is grappling with a rather disappointing showing at the marathon which saw only one of the five runners finish the race.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation Emergency Committee have asked Olympic champion Tiki Gelana and 2013 Boston marathon runners-up Meseret Hailu and their local agents to submit written explanations on what caused their premature drop out from Saturday’s race barely 5km into the race, which messed their team tactics impacted their medal chances.

Aberu Kebede was the only finisher at 13th as Meselech Melkamu and Tadese Feysa dropped out after the 35km mark.

The federation held a meeting chaired by the President Alevachew Nigussie on Sunday in Moscow and agreed that the runners would not be cleared to race in any competitions until the receipt of their submissions.

However it is not clear for now what action the federation will take if there are no valid reasons that forced the athletes to drop out, just a year after all their three men failed to finish the London marathon races.

The federation feels the two marathoners may have dropped out to save themselves for big city marathons later in the year.