Senait Getachew grabs surprise U-20 Women’s Gold in Bathrust


Ethiopian teenager Senayet Getachew upset the pre-race favourites to win a close and arduous U20 women’s race staged in searing 36C heat at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23.
Getachew, 17, who finished third in her national junior cross country trial, claimed gold in the rough-and-tumble 6km encounter.
Ethiopian compatriot Medina Eisa, 18, finished close on her teammate’s heels to snatch the silver. Just a breadth away in third was Kenya’s Pamela Kosgei, 15.
The podium times reflect the closeness of the race which featured steep downhill, mud and slush, taxing climbs and challenging mounds with Getachew clocking 20:53, Medina 21:00 and Kosgei 21:01.
Getachew credited her Ethiopian teammates with assisting her breakthrough victory.
The event was staged at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama, the spiritual home of Australian motor sport which hosts the annual Bathurst 1000, a 1000km annual race for touring cars, held each October. The site for the 2km loop course was chosen because of the rural setting and tough terrain.
For her part, Medina can add her silver medal to the 5000m gold she won at the 2022 World U20 Championships.
By claiming the medals, the top three finishers also honored history and previous champions as the last time an athlete outside of Kenya or Ethiopia made it on to the U20 women’s podium at the World Cross was 24 years ago, back in 1999.
What’s more, no athlete outside of Kenya or Ethiopia has won the U20 women’s world cross –country title for 28 years.
Predictably, in the team competition Ethiopia won gold (15) while Kenya scored silver (22). More surprisingly the United States snared the bronze (54), led by Ellie Shea.