Faith Cherotich disappoints on overseas debut as Ethiopians dominate Suzhou Diamond League 5000m final

Faith Cherotich disappoints on overseas debut as Ethiopians dominate Suzhou Diamond League 5000m final

Mark Kinyanjui 14:53 - 27.04.2024

The reigning women's most promising athlete could only finish 14th although she managed to record a personal best time.

Faith Cherotich disappointed on her second ever senior 5000m race, as she had to make do with 14th place at the Shanghai-Suzhou Diamond League meeting that took place on Saturday, April 27.

Cherotich, who mostly specialises in the 3000m steeplechase, did however manage to record a personal best time of 15.03.78, and the race will enable her to know where she stands as she seeks qualification for the Paris Olympic games this August.

The race was a disappointing one for Kenyans as Cherotich's compatriot Teresiah Muthoni finished 15th on 15.03.82.

Caroline Nyaga secured fifth place, becoming the first Kenyan to cross the line in 14.37.80, while Edinah Jebitok finished ninth on 14.44.63.

Mekedes Alemeshete managed to win the race, clocking both a personal best and world-leading time of 14.36.70, and she led an all-Ethiopian podium swoop, with Ayal Dagnachew and Letesenbet Gidey taking second and third place respectively.

Another Ethiopian, Wubrist Aschal also finished fourth, before Nyaga became the first Kenyan to cross over the line in fifth place. 

"I feel happy, the race was good. The conditions were good. I am building up my preparations for the Olympic Games, which is the big goal,"  the 18-year old Alemeshete said as quoted on Wanda Diamond League after the race.

Who is Mekedes Alemeshete?

Mekedes embarked on her competitive athletics journey in 2021, initially participating in local Ethiopian competitions. Despite finishing 12th in the 1500m event at the Ethiopian Athletics Federation club competition, she showcased potential. 

In 2022, she competed in her first Ethiopian Athletics Championships, finishing 9th in the 1500m.

Signed to Spanish agent Juan Pedro Pineda de la Losa, Mekedes ventured into the international athletics circuit in 2023.

Notably, she achieved her first circuit win in the 1500m at the Meeting Desafio Nerja Restaurante Pulguilla Y Ayo, followed by winning her 5000m debut at the Meeting Jaén Paraíso Interior.

This success earned her invitations to the 2023 Diamond League meetings, where she consistently scored top-8 points.

In 2024, Mekedes competed at the Meeting Lieven, finishing 11th. Off the track, she is managed by Spanish athletics manager Juan Pedro Pineda, alongside Olympic medallist Gudaf Tsegay.

What next for Cherotich?

The reigning World 3000m steeplechase Faith Cherotich will look to put the disappointment behind her, with the primary aim of taking part in the distance being to boost her endurance with the ultimate goal being to do well at the Olympics in her specialist event.