Sport in Eritrea

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Cyclists competing in the Tour of Eritrea in Asmara.

Football is the most popular sport in Eritrea. In recent years, Eritrean athletes have seen increasing success in the international arena.

Cycling is also a popular sport, and Eritrean riders have enjoyed success in local and world championships.[1] The Tour of Eritrea, a multi-stage international cycling event, is held annually throughout the country. Eritrea has produced a number of professional road racing cyclists. As of 2013, there were five Eritrean cyclists competing professionally: Daniel Teklehaymanot, Natnael Berhane, Ferekalsi Debesay, Meron Russom, and Jani Tewelde.[2] Teklehaymanot and fellow Eritrean Merhawi Kudus became the first black African riders to compete in the Tour de France when they were selected by the MTN–Qhubeka team for the 2015 edition of the race.[3]

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie became the first Eritrean to win a gold medal at the World Championships in Athletics when he took the marathon at the 2015 World Championships.[4] One of Eritrea's most notable sportsmen is Zersenay Tadese, a multiple winner of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, who also became the first Eritrean gold medallist at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships when he won the individual senior gold at the 2007 championships. He was also an Olympic bronze medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics, a silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, and set a half marathon world record at the 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon. Also of note is Meb Keflezighi, an Eritrean-born American athlete who won two World Marathon Majors (2009 New York City Marathon, 2014 Boston Marathon) and was a silver medallist in the marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Berhane could become the first Eritrean to ride the Tour de France". Cycling News. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  2. ^ McGrath, Andy (18 January 2013). "Eritrea's champions of the future". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  3. ^ Cummings, Basia (10 July 2015). "Daniel Teklehaimanot: 'I'm proud to be an Eritrean riding the Tour de France'". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  4. ^ "World Athletics Championships 2015: Eritrean teen Ghirmay Ghebreslassie wins men's marathon title". 22 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. ^ Sampaolo, Diego; Manners, John (14 October 2010). "Athlete profile for Zersenay Tadese". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 22 August 2015.