Eritrea competed at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, United States, from 15 to 24 July 2022. But now some of them appear to be missing. They are listed on the Oregon State Website.
Among them is Yemane Haileselassie (born 21 February 1998) is a steeplechase runner. He is the national record holder at 8:22.52 minutes and represented his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Another is Filmon Ande (born 10 February 1998) a long-distance runner.
Below is an article describing their situation. Hopefully they are safe and well.
Eugene, Ore. – It appears five men, from Eritrea, that took part in the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in Eugene, Oregon are now listed as missing with the Oregon State Police. All five were reported missing on the same day, from Lane County. July 24th. 2022. The last day of Oregon22.
Eritrea is under intense political upheaval, and athletes seeking asylum from unstable areas have historically used athletic tournaments, like the World Athletic Championships Oregon22, to leave their country. Possibly that is the case here.
Four of these missing men are athletes from the Eritrea National Team. The other may be a coach, or otherwise attached to the team.
We have reached out to the Eugene Police Department, and the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. They had no information on these men at that time.
We reached out to the University of Oregon Police, they verified that they are the agency that took the report of the five missing men from Eritrea. It appears there was no foul play involved. There was no other information available from them, at this time.
This is a developing news story. We will update when we find more information on this.
While this very well may have been a defection to the US to seek asylum, we have no information to verify that at this time.
HAILESELASSIE TEKLEHAIM YEMANE – 24
My country become hell, under the governance of the tyranic Isaias’s regime. No one wants to to serve the dictator of Eritrea. Though the solution is the otherway round, Please assist the athletes to grant asylum for their safety.