Ethiopian Senbere Teferi set for Agnes Tirop Memorial race
Ethiopia's Senbere Teferi has become the latest international athlete to confirm her participation to next month's Agnes Tirop Memorial World Cross Country Tour.
She joins compatriot world 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Letesenbet Gidey, who is currently training Eldoret and Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman.
Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will also take part in the race set for February 12 at Lobo Village in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Teferi is keen to compete in honor of her departed best friend Agnes Tirop, who was found murdered in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on October 13 last year.
The estranged lover of the 2015 World Cross Country Championships winner, Ibrahim Rotich, is in police custody after denying murder charges.
In an interview with Nation Sport during the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa over the weekend, Tefere said she was saddened by Tirop’s cruel murder.
She recalled how they became good friends in 2015 when Tirop beat her during the World Cross Country Championships in China where she bagged silver behind the Kenyan.
Since then and they would always talk over the phone for long periods and were both managed by Gianni Demaonna.
“I was touched by the death of Tirop who was my best friend and shared a lot with in terms of competition. Losing such a nice friend in such a manner was really sad and I hope her family will get justice.
I will be starting my season during the Memorial Agnes Tirop Cross Country Tour in Eldoret, Kenya and running there is special for me because I want to honor my departed sister.
We always had a good relationship when we competed because we came from one continent and when a Kenyans win we celebrate, the same way we would when an Ethiopian wins," said Tefere.
She is looking forward to meet some of her competitors when she lands in Kenya in the next few days.
“I have never been to Kenya but I’m looking forward to meet some of the athletes who train there and get to share their experiences. I hear it is a nice place to train,” she added.
She is hoping to use the race to prepare for the World Championships to be held in USA later this year.
“The race in Kenya will gauge my preparations this season but my target is to compete in the 10,000m race where I’m targeting to be in the podium after emerging in sixth position in 2019 during the World Championships in Doha, Qatar,” said Tefere.
During the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Tefere finished 10th in the 5,000m won by Dutch’s Sifan Hassan with Hellen Obiri settling for silver and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay winning bronze.
posted Tuesday January 25th
by Bernard Rotich