Biniam Girmay Hailu makes history at World Championships: This silver medal means a lot to Eritrea
Sep 25 2021 05:02 am CET

Biniam Girmay Hailu makes history at World Championships: This silver medal means a lot to Eritrea
Biniam Girmay Hailu makes history at World Championships: This silver medal means a lot to Eritrea
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Biniam Girmay Hailu (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) has become the firs Eritrean ever to finish on the podium of the World Championships by finishing second in the U23 road race of Flanders 2021.

The 21-year-old was very active during the last stretch of the 161.1-kilometre course between Antwerp and Leuven. He could avoid the crashes that happened on the first part of the race and finished the last cobble sector with a group of 40 riders that reeled the escapees back in.

The Eritrean followed all the moves in the last kilometres and, after the winner of the race Filippo Baroncini attacked on the final kilometre leaving all the competition behind, he also accelerated to claim the second spot of the final podium.

"It was a nervous race from the start," said Girmay Hailu. "I was attentive and tried to stay out of trouble as good as possible. I could rely on the support of my teammates, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. We realized that several nations took control of the peloton to organize a bunch sprint, so we chose to patiently wait for the final. We were confident for a sprint, because I performed well in this exercise the last couple of weeks. There was a tough positioning battle in the final kilometre, but I felt strong enough to keep calm and hide, taking the risk to be blocked.

"I'm very proud on what I just achieved, this silver medal means a lot to Eritrea, and also for Africa. I'm convinced that the future of my country is bright, because we have a great potential. We're working hard for several years already to develop it and with some additional experience more results like this will follow. I'm looking towards the future with hope, it would be a dream to go to Rwanda in 2025 with the ambition of converting this silver medal in a rainbow jersey. It is also an honour for me to achieve this result here, in Belgium, the home base of my team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. This structure offered me the opportunity to show myself on the highest level in international cycling. The team encouraged me and supported me from the first day. That's why I also want to thank them."
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