Olin Hacker, Ahmed Muhumed and Futsum Zienasellassie named to U.S. team
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., September 19, 2023 – USA Track and Field has announced its roster for the upcoming World Athletics Road Running Championships to be held October 1 in Riga, Latvia and it includes HOKA NAZ Elite athletes Olin Hacker, Ahmed Muhumed and Futsum Zienasellassie. Hacker and Muhumed will compete in the 5k while Zienasellassie will run the half marathon.
The event, known primarily as the World Half Marathon Championships since 1992, will now include three distances—the mile, the 5k and the half marathon. Countries are allowed to send two athletes per gender in the mile and the 5k, and as many as four athletes in the half marathon. All told, 90 different countries are scheduled to be represented at the Championships where, in addition to the professional races, local organizers will also be hosting races for the masses at each distance as well as a half marathon relay.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “This is the first time we have staged an event that celebrates road running in all its guises, from the elite runners, to dedicated recreational runners, to runners who are just starting out, including the kids. With races over the mile, 5km and half marathon, this event showcases the great middle distance and endurance road runners of the world together for the first time, and features the primary entry points for a recreational runner’s journey. The great beauty of running is its accessibility and this event offers something for everyone, including plenty of inspiration for those who want to make running part of their lives.”
Joining the NAZ Elite crew on the U.S. men’s team will be Hobbs Kessler and Sam Prakel in the mile and Reed Fischer, Biya Simbassa and Jacob Thomson in the half marathon. The U.S. women’s team is led by Sara Hall in the half marathon along with Sarah Buchanan, Molly Grabill and Amber Zimmerman. The mile duo is Helen Schlachtenhaufen and Addy Wiley with Weini Kelati and Fiona O’Keefe comprising the 5k squad.
The NAZ Elite athletes are each heading to the Latvia from different spots in their training. Hacker is finishing up a long track season that goes all the way back to indoors where he set a personal best at 3,000 meters and finished third at the USATF Championships in the same event. Outdoors he set new bests in the mile (3:56.59), 3,000 (7:38.10) and 5,000 (13:09.94). He also scored wins at the HOKA Festival of Miles and the Portland Track Festival and finished seventh at the USATF Championships at 5,000 meters.
Muhumed, who joined NAZ Elite earlier this month, has already started his fall training block—having taken a break after ending his own track season with a win in August at the Ed Murphey Classic 3,000 meters in a personal best of 7:48.01. The Ed Murphey victory was an exclamation point on a year that also included PBs at 5,000 meters (13:16.09) and 10,000 meters (27:56.99), and an eighth-place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the 5,000.
Meanwhile, Zienasellassie will be getting on the plane to Latvia in the heart of his training for the TCS New York City Marathon scheduled for Sunday, November 5. He was fifth at both the USATF 7-Mile Championships in July and the 20k Championships on Labor Day. Originally scheduled to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon on October 1 as his final race effort before New York, he did not hesitate to accept the spot on the World Championships team when it was offered. Not only does the event fit perfectly into his marathon build, it will also be the first time Zienasellassie has represented the United States in international competition.
Check out some great links about the Championships from around the running world:
World Athletics: A Battle Royal Expected for World Champion Titles in Riga
World Athletics: The Courses