Ethiopian Contingent Named For World XC Champs

Imane Merga and Tirunesh Dibaba headline the roster.

Imane Merga and Tirunesh Dibaba headline the roster.

Even though Kenya usually dominates the World Cross Country Championships, rival East African nation Ethiopia will be doing its best to take as many podium spots as possible next month in Poland.

Yesterday, Ethiopia provisionally named its squad. Headlining the men’s contingent is defending champion Imane Merga. Despite the fact that he dropped out of the Ethiopian trials last Sunday, Merga is the man to beat.

Joining him is the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 5,000m, Tariku Bekele. The other men on the roster include: Feyisa Lilesa, Mosinet Geremew, Abera Chane, and Mekashaw Eshete.

On the women’s side, four-time World Cross Country Champion Tirunesh Dibaba is at the top of the roster. Dibaba last ran a cross-country race in 2010 when she took fourth at the world championships. Her sister, Genzebe Dibaba, will also be running on the team. Genzebe ran the 1,500m at the Olympics, but didn’t advance to the finals.

Ethiopia hasn’t won the women’s title since 2008.

For More: IAAF