Ethiopia announces 2016 Olympic marathon team
Ethiopia has announced its marathon team of three men and three women for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the IAAF announced.
2016 Dubai Marathon champion Tesfaye Abera (2:04:24), 2016 Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu (2:04:33) and Feyisa Lelisa (2:04:52) will be the three male marathoners. Lelisa Desisa, the two-time Boston Marathon champion, Kenenisa Bekele, the three-time Olympic gold medalist and Adhane Tsegay have been listed as alternates.
None of the three Ethiopian male runners finished the Olympic marathon in 2012.
Bekele is a notable figure within the sport as he attempted to qualify for his fourth Olympics. He has not ruled out a return to the track to try and qualify in the 10,000 meters. He finished fourth in the 10,000 at the 2012 Olympics in London. Making the Olympic team on the track may be a tougher task as three Ethiopians, including world leader Leul Gebrselassie, are in the top 10 for the 10,000 in 2016.
Bekele holds the 5,000 and 10,000 world records but has not raced on the track since June 2013.
2015 world champion Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Aberu Kebede (2:20:30) and two-time Berlin Marathon champion Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31) have been selected as the women's marathon team.
Dibaba was the second Ethiopian woman across the finish line in London but a distant 22nd in 2:28:48 to Tiki Gelana's gold medal win. Mergia finished 41st at the 2012 Olympics in 2:32:03.
Tigist Tufa (2:21:52) and Tirfi Tsegaye (2:19:41) are the women's alternates.
Kenya has already named its Olympic team, which is headed by Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:03:01 last month to win the London Marathon.