Winner of the national 10,000m championship last week and 2007 national 12km cross-country champion Tadesse Tola, talks about his ambitions for the future.
Q : How did you find your performance in the 36th Ethiopian Athletics Championships?
A: I am very happy with my victory in the 10000m. I knew that I was capable of victory from the beginning.
Q : You chose to lead the race while the others stayed back. Why did you choose this strategy?
A: I am never afraid to lead a race. Before this year, I liked pushing the pace because I did not have good finishing speed. This year, I am worked hard to improve my speed.
Q : You defeated an experienced runners like Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Ibrahim Jeylan. What do you feel?
A: I knew the Gebregziabher had the speed although we have never competed together. I have always had endurance. This year, I have been worked hard on my speed. I am happy that it has paid off.
Q : Can you tell us about how your upbringing and how you started running?
A: I was born on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. I started running in school as part of physical education classes. I enjoyed the sport and decided to take it seriously after winning a 5000m race in my school.
Q : What were your best results until Wednesday?
A: I finished second in the same race last year and also took part in the African championships 10000m where I finished fourth. In November, I finished second in the Great Ethiopian Run. This year, I won the senior men’s race in Jan Meda [Ethiopia’s world cross country championships trials]. I also finished seventh in Mombassa [world cross country championships].
Q : According to the IAAF results immediately after the race, you did not complete the race. Is this true?
A: Yes. Initially, I did not register a result. But later and after an appeal by the Federation, I was given 7th position [The confusion came following a technical defect in the transponder device during competition. The IAAF reinstated Tola based on video evidence.]
Q : Now that you have won the national 10000m, what are you immediate ambitions?
A: I will be running internationally in order to obtain the qualification minimum for the 5000m and 10000m. Depending on what I achieve, I hope to compete in the world championships or the All-African Games.