The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) will host its Tokyo Olympics track and field trials in the Dutch city of Hengelo in June.
EAF President Derartu Tulu Thursday announced that besides the track and field trials being held in the eastern Netherlands city, Ethiopia will also hold trials to pick its Olympic marathon teams in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 2.
The Hengelo trials will run on June 6 and 7 and will feature events from the 800 to 10,000 metres at the Blankers-Koen Stadium which will be hosting FBK Games, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.
Over 90 Olympic track probables, along with 20 coaches, have been in residential training in three different hotels across Addis Ababa from November 3 last year.
Golden Jubilee championships.
Before the Hengelo trials, these elite athletes will feature in the six-day, 50th Ethiopian national athletics championships to be held in Addis Ababa from April 6 to 11.
The Golden Jubilee national championships will have prize money and will be broadcast live as part of EAF’s Olympics countdown.
There has been a tug-of-war between Ethiopia’s athletics federation and the country’s Olympic committee over preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Reports from Addis Ababa indicate that the athletes will now move into one hotel, starting today, “so that it’s good for the team spirit.”
Sources within Ethiopian athletics yesterday indicated that EAF is expected to take over all the preparations “because the Olympic committee has failed to honour its commitments for the last four months.”
Zurich time trials
EAF’s highly-respected President Tulu is Africa’s first black female Olympic champion, winning gold in the 10,000 metres at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Ethiopia were initially scheduled to hold their marathon trials on April 4 at home, but the arrangements were met with protests from the athletes, prompting the switch to Zurich where a 35-kilometre time trial is planned instead of a full, 42-kilometre race.
Dutch sports management company Global Sports Communication organises the annual FBK Games in Hengelo.