Souleiman does Djibouti and Africa proud as little-known Ethiopian Embaye left her mark in Sopot-Day Two
21 year old Ayanlah Souleiman secured Djibouti’s first medal at an IAAF World Indoor Championships when he triumphed in 1500m in Sopot Poland on Saturday (08 March).
Souleiman clinched Africa’s first gold medal at the championships in 3:37.52. He was followed by Ethiopian Aman Wote and Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider, thus securing an African podium sweep in men’s 1500m.
“I followed the race tactics my coach (Jama Aden) gave me and it worked. He is a wise man. I know there is a big celebration going on back at home in Djibouti ,” Souleiman told a post-race interview in Sopot.
Although Souleiman is also the world outdoor championships 800m bronze medalists, he confirms his focus in the coming outdoor season will not be in the two lap race. “I will run my specialty 1500m and step up to the 5000m,” Souleiman revealed.
Wote says although he had planned to win the race he is content with the silver medal. “I had a good race in the heats but my tactics in the finals failed me. It is good I have earned Ethiopia’s first medal at this championships. My plan is to compete in the 4x800m at the World Relay Championships in (Nassau Bahamas) in May,” says Wote.
Moroccan defending champions Abdelaati Iguider has to be content with a bronze medal this time. “I just did not run my race. Well with a bronze medal I have something to give me hope of better things to come in the season,” says Iguider.
Meanwhile little-known Ethiopian Axumawit Embaye is a surprise silver medalist in the women’s 1500m. A finalist at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Barcelona Spain, she admits she never expected to do so well.
“Even after my comfortable second place (4:09:46) in the semifinal I was not sure what to expect in the finals. So I just followed Abebe (Aregawi),” says Embaye. The race was won by Ethiopian-born Aregawi who now competes for Sweden.
SELECTED LEADING RESULTS
Results include only those who completed their contest in the final of their event.
PB denotes Personal Best
NIR denotes National Indoor Record
5 Gerald Phiri (Zambia) 6.52 PB/NIR
1Ayanlah Souleiman (Djibouti) 3:37.52; 2 Aman Wote (Ethiopia) 3:38.08; 3 Abdelaati Iguider (Morocco) 3:38.21; 8 Bethwell Birgen 3:40.66
7 Orazio Cremona (South Africa) 20.49
2 Axumawit Embaye Ethiopia) 4:07.12 PB; 4 Siham Hilali (Morocco) 4:07.62
AFRICAN MEDAL TABLES AT THE END OF DAY TWO (SATURDAY 08 MARCH)
NAME GOLD SILVER BRONZE
Djibouti 1 0 0
Ethiopia 0 2 0
Morocco 0 0 1