Alemu, Wami out as Ethiopia names provisional Marathon squad for Helsinki

IAAF news report - Elfenesh Alemu (fourth at the Athens Olympic Marathon), Ethiopian National Marathon record holder Gete Wami are the surprise omission as Ethiopia announced its provisional Marathon squad for the 10th IAAF World Championships to be held in Helsinki, Finland (August 6-14 2005).

But two-time Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu is in line to make her major championship marathon debut after making the squad, while there are a lot of fresh talent throughout the men’s squad as Ethiopia begins life without its established stars.

National Marathon team coach Zelalem Desta said that the technical committee of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) decided to drop Alemu after she repeatedly turned down invitations to join the National team training.

Alemu, the fastest Ethiopian women marathoner in 2005 with her 2:27.03 for second place in Boston and one of the world’s top female marathoners, will therefore miss the chance to make her fourth appearance at the World Championships.

Asked whether the selectors would reconsider Alemu, Desta said, “It would be difficult because she run in San Diego and it would be too close to recuperate for Helsinki since we are moving to the final stage of our preparations.”

Former World 10,000m champion and national marathon record holder (2:22 in Amsterdam 2003) Gete Wami is another high-profile omission from the team. Wami has completed two Marathons in the last eight months since the National Marathon gathered to start preparations for Helsinki (2:30 over a 76m downhill course in San Diego and 2:32 in Tokyo), but achieved her San Diego time outside the Federation’s qualification deadline of 14 May 2005.

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