The African Continental Cycling Championship that starts today in Burkina Faso witnessed the extraordinary performance of the Eritrean National Cycling team that comfortably won the Team Time Trial (TTT) competition.
The Eritrean cyclists finished the 42.4 kilometers race in just 51 minutes and 49 seconds.
Today’s win was a show case of team Eritrea’s talent and the first taste of what is going to come in the remaining two competitions.
Neither Ouagadougou’s sweltering heat nor the participation of the continents finest cyclists can deter the Eritreans from garnering the available 4 Gold Medals of the day.
So far, from the previous two African Continental Cycling Championships that was held in Kigali and Asmara, team Eritrea won a total of 15 Gold medals . Today’s first four Gold medal wins in Ouagadougou makes it their 19th.
In today’s competition team Eritrea was represented by only four members of the team namely Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane, Frekalsi Debesai and Jani Tewolde.
Winning this edition of the African Championship will be a milestone for Eritrea. As a matter of fact, it is going to be its third consecutive win of the championship. That will undoubtedly place the country on the map as the most invincible cycling nation on the continent.
In today’s team competition, a total of 16 countries were participating. The Tunisia and Algerian national teams finished second and third. The host country Burkina Faso concludes its part in 4th place.
Meanwhile, one of South Africa’s top cyclists, David George, has been suspended from the 2012 African Championship competitions after testing positive to an illegal drug, erythropoietin (EPO).
That’s in fact music to the Eritrean riders, anyway.
Please listen to the following brief telephone interview the Eritrean National Television (ERI-TV) conducts with Team Eritrea coach Mr. Mussie Ashel from Ouagadougou, in Tigrinya language.