London 2012 Section

Running News: Mohammed Aman Wins in Berlin After Key Victory in Zurich

Ethiopian Mohammed Aman celebrates his victory over Kenyan David Rudisha in the 800m in Zurich on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Sabrina Yohannes | Running News

Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012

New York (TADIAS) World indoor champion Mohammed Aman ended an impressive 2012 season by winning the Berlin 800 meters on Sunday, three days after beating Olympic champion David Rudisha and setting an Ethiopian national record that ties the mark of the tenth-fastest 800m runner in history.

On Sunday, Aman ran one minute, 43.62 seconds to take the ISTAF Berlin 800 ahead of Kenya’s world junior silver medalist Edwin Kiplagat Melly, who finished in 1:44.36, and European championships silver medalist Andreas Bube of Denmark, who ran 1:45.12. Kenyan 2011 world youth champion Leonard Kosencha was fourth.

“This was a good race but I am not satisfied with the time,” said Aman, “I wanted to run a 1:42 time but the pacemaker was too slow. With this 400m time, I could not achieve a 1:42 time.”

On Thursday, Aman ran a personal best 1:42.53 in Zurich to defeat the world champion Rudisha of Kenya and improve the 1:43.20 Ethiopian record he had clocked at the London Olympics in sixth place. Aman also gathered the most points in the season-long IAAF Diamond League to lift the series title in the 800m in the Swiss city.

“It was the final Diamond League race and it featured the world record holder Rudisha, so it was a tough race,” Aman, who was well behind the tall Kenyan at the bell in Zurich but overtook him on the final straight, said in a telephone interview. “The pace was high so I was hanging back. My plan was to try to pull level with him with 100m remaining. I was feeling very good at that point, and the weather felt comfortable, even though it was raining.”

It was in similar rainy conditions in Milan that Aman became the only man to defeat Rudisha in the two-lap race last year, after becoming Ethiopia’s first ever 800m finalist at the world championships in Daegu. Aman also chased Rudisha hard in the last lap of the London Olympic final, running out of steam as the Kenyan went on to break his own world record and clock 1:40.91, with almost the entire field running personal bests in his wake.

Aman first broke the Ethiopian national record (Berhanu Alemu’s 2004 1:45.28) when he clocked 1:44.68 to take silver at the July 2011 world youth championships. He gradually lowered the mark to 1:43.37 by year’s end before improving it in 2012 in London and Zurich.

“This year, I was hoping to maybe break into the 1:41 range,” said Aman after the Swiss race. “My coach told me he thinks I can run a 1:41 or 1:42 time. I’m very happy I ran a fast time.” Aman is currently coached by Ethiopian national team trainer Negussie Gechamo.

In Zurich, where Ethiopian athletes ran with black armbands marking the passing of the nation’s prime minister Meles Zenawi the previous week, Aman’s finish equalled the time clocked in London by the bronze medalist Timothy Kitum of Kenya. The two athletes are now tied in third place on the 2012 world list and in tenth place on the list of history’s fastest 800m runners. The all-time list boasts luminaries past and present like Denmark’s Kenyan-born Wilson Kipketer, London 2012 Games chief Seb Coe of Great Britain, Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, Wilfred Bungei of Kenya and Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia.

“I was thinking that I had to win the race because it was the final Diamond League race and whoever wins it gets the trophy,” said Aman, who triumphantly punched the air with his right fist repeatedly on his approach to the finish line at the Weltklasse Zurich meet. “My victory delighted me. I knew I had beaten Rudisha twice, and I had taken first place in the Diamond League.”

The Diamond Trophy comes with a $40,000 prize, and as of 2012, the title also guarantees the winner entry into the subsequent world championships as a “wild card” entrant, in the same way that being a defending world champion does. A country can only enter one wild card entrant — either the defending champion or the Diamond race winner — in addition to three selected athletes, for a maximum of four in one event.

As Aman pointed out, that particular perk of the Diamond Trophy is potentially wasted on him.

“It’s great for events with three athletes, to allow a fourth,” he said. “Since I know I have the qualifying times, I am already confident of entry.”

In both Daegu and London, Aman was the solitary Ethiopian entrant in the men’s 800m, where there is a shortage of Ethiopian athletes at world class level, rather than a shortage of available slots on the championships team.

Ethiopia’s Abeba Aregawi also became a 2012 Diamond Trophy winner in Zurich in the women’s 1500, while in the inaugural 2010 and 2011 Diamond Leagues, Imane Merga won the 5000m title.

“It’s the first time the trophy has gone to Ethiopia in the 800, so I’m happy for my country and it’s a big deal for me too,” said Aman, who earned two 2012 Diamond League race wins, in Stockholm and Zurich, and one runner-up finish in Eugene – the same number of podium finishes in the league as Rudisha.

Along with Ethiopia’s Daegu women’s semi-finalist Fantu Magiso, who was a London contender before pulling out with injury, Aman has been an 800m trail-blazer in a land of long distance runners with lesser regard for the shorter distances.

“When you talk to people, they expect you to tell them you’re running 10,000m,” said Aman. “But I’ve accomplished good things, and as better results are achieved, people’s mindsets are also changing.”

Aman ends on a high note the year that began with victory at the indoor world championships in Istanbul in March. “My season is finished and I will fly home tomorrow,” he said in Berlin on Sunday. “I will celebrate our [Ethiopian] New Year in about 15 days.”

But he has his eyes set on continued 800m success at the 2013 world championships in Moscow and beyond. “I hope to accomplish better things still,” he said.

Related Running News
Catching Up with Tirunesh Dibaba
Ethiopian Olympic Athletes Feted

Catching Up with Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba talked about a variety of subjects – including her love for injera with doro wot and kitfo – in one of the cover articles of the September issue of Running Times magazine, which is on sale at newsstands like Barnes and Noble now. The interview took place in New York before the London Olympics. (Photo: Reuters)

Running Times

By Sabrina Yohannes, Published: September 2012 issue

Beijing double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia has found a few things to surprise her recently. Walking through New York City’s Times Square in June, she came across a sight that forced her to do a double take. A man — known locally as the Naked Cowboy — was strumming a guitar and posing for photographs clothed in nothing but his underwear, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. “I was shocked,” said Dibaba afterwards with a laugh. “In the city squares, there are many surprising things.”

While preparing to defend her 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles in London, Dibaba also found herself gaining a new perspective on her own achievements, especially after injury caused her to miss most of 2011 and a good chunk of 2010.

Continue reading at Running Times.

Ethiopian Olympic Athletes Feted

Seated from left to right: Yanet Seyoum Gebremedhin, Tirunesh Dibaba, Werknesh Kidane, at an event in London on Monday evening celebrating their success at the 2012 London games. (Photo courtesy of Sabrina Yohannes.)

Tadias Magazine
By Sabrina Yohannes

Updated: Friday, August 17, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian athletes at the 2012 Olympics received a hero’s welcome even before they left London when the Ethiopian embassy there hosted a gala dinner in their honor Monday night.

Ethiopia earned seven medals, three of them gold, in athletics in London. The nation’s largest haul ever was in Sydney in 2000, where four out of a total of eight medals were gold; while in Beijing, four out of seven medals were gold.

Ethiopia’s ambassor to the UK, Berhanu Kebede, praised the London team.

“They are first in Africa in athletics and 24th overall and achieved excellent results, and are capable of doing even better,” he said. “They have tremendous potential. … We feel great pride. They have changed the image of Ethiopia and many people have come to know about Ethiopia.”

The nation leads the continent and trails just the United States, Russia, Jamaica and the United Kingdom on the athletics medal table, in which the order of countries is based on number of golds followed by number of silvers and then bronzes.

Kenya follows Ethiopia with two golds, though the country’s overall medal count in athletics, 11, is greater than its East African neighbor’s.

Out of 33 countries that medaled in athletics, only those six took more than one gold, with the rest of the table consisting of those with just one title or only lesser medals.

After a poet referred to the athletes as jewels and another speaker told them they had left Ethiopians abroad “awash in feelings of joy,” gold medalists Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba and silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel briefly took to the stage and addressed the gathering at London’s Porchester Hall on Monday night. Wood paneling and red velvet drapes covered the walls and chandeliers hung from the ceiling in the room, which was filled to capacity by a 450-strong crowd decked out in traditional Ethiopian and formal wear.

“You have contributed to our success,” the 5000m Olympic champion Defar told the gathering, citing the reception given to members of the Olympic delegation upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport among other displays of support London-based Ethiopians had provided.

Defar went on to point out the greater success at the London Olympiad of Ethiopia’s female athletes. Five of the seven medals and all three golds were earned by women.

Her comments received general cheers and applause and ululations from some women in the audience, and prompted London 5000m silver medalist Gebremeskel to draw laughter when he felt the need to begin his remarks by stating that he was not necessarily speaking on behalf of the male athletes, but rather the whole team. The London women’s 10,000m champion and 5000m bronze medalist Dibaba echoed Defar’s comments.

The two women and former world cross country champion Werknesh Kidane were resplendent in traditional white Ethiopian dresses, while a wider array of national costumes was on display on members of the audience, a troupe that performed traditional dances, and models taking part in a fashion show of clothes inspired by traditional designs.

“We wished to express the respect we have for [the athletes],” said the ambassador, explaining the goal of the event. “And secondly, to celebrate Ethiopia as a nation of great athletes, past and present. Furthermore, we feel this allows those who don’t know Ethiopia to experience our culture, our dress, our way of life.”

The evening included many non-Ethiopian guests, some having some connection to Ethiopia, and a buffet dinner of Ethiopian and Western fare. The highlight for most in the room, however, was clearly the proximity to the star athletes, who untiringly obliged their requests for photographs and occasional autographs.


Seated from left to right: Werknesh Kidane and Meseret Defar. (Photo courtesy of Sabrina Yohannes)


Steeplechaser Nahom Mesfin (at right) and 1500m runner Dawit Wolde (not pictured) spontaneously escort London double medalist Tirunesh Dibaba, holding a banner Ethiopian flag behind her. (Photo by Sabrina Yohannes)

“I’ve run in London many times,” said Dibaba. “Many Ethiopians live here and they are always by our side, encouraging us. They left their work behind and came to the stadium to support us and their support means a lot to us. It gives me a morale boost and motivates me to run harder to please them.”

She also expressed pride in the female athletes’ performance in London, where Tiki Gelana won the women’s marathon and Sofia Assefa took bronze in the women’s steeplechase.

“It happens that way sometimes,” said national track coach Hussein Shibo on Tuesday. “The women’s performance has risen over the years.” He went on to enumerate the nine gold medals won by Ethiopian women at recent Olympiads since Barcelona in 1992 when Derartu Tulu became the first black African woman to win gold, and he compared that to the seven Ethiopian men’s golds in that time frame. (Ethiopia boycotted the 1984 and 1988 Games.)

“The numbers are close,” he said. “However, the women have shown growth and we are happy that they have come from behind and reached this level. In the 1500, if Abeba’s race hadn’t gone wrong and if Genzebe hadn’t been injured; and if [800m runner] Fantu hadn’t been injured, the women might have totally dominated the results. So perhaps we can say this time belongs to the women.”

Abeba Aregawi and Dibaba’s sister Genzebe were top contenders in the women’s 1500, but while Aregawi finished outside the medals, Dibaba was injured during the qualifying rounds. Injury also kept Fantu Magiso out of the women’s 800.

In many events, the competition is more fierce on the men’s side, while some countries’ cultures keep women out of sports. Ethiopian women have had the example of Tulu and 1996 Atlanta marathon champion Fatuma Roba to follow, augmented by the successes of Tirunesh Dibaba and Defar.

Injuries affected the men’s results in London too, with Beijing double champion Kenenisa Bekele making his way back from injury-filled years and the year’s second-fastest 5000m runner in the world, Hagos Gebrhiwet, having been injured in the lead-up to London, while Athens Olympics fourth-placer Gebregziabher Gebremariam suffered an injury while in London before the 10,000m race.

Bekele, who was fourth in that race, left London and headed back to Ethiopia a couple of days after it. His brother Tariku took bronze.

“The overall results are very good,” said London Olympic team leader Nega Gebregziabher on Monday, adding however, “We had expected a lot, and of those, we have achieved a few.”

“With some of the younger athletes, for example, in the 1500, the 800 and also the men’s 5000, in which we could have won, due to their youth and inexperience, we suffered losses,” he said. “We will assess our performance and guage what we must do going forward.”

Mohammed Aman was also widely expected to medal in the men’s 800.

“We have the world championships coming up [next year] and these youth are fully capable of being successful,” added Gebregziabher. “Ethiopians everywhere greatly encourage our athletes, and admire our athletes, and it’s important that they boost their morale and provide encouragement, and we are confident that they will.”

Meanwhile, an even younger athlete was taking in the proceedings at Porchester Hall with special appreciation. Ethiopia’s first ever female Olympic swimmer Yanet Seyoum Gebremedhin, 18, was seated next to Dibaba at the dinner.

“She’s a very strong athlete and a role model for us,” said Gebremedhin. “I’m so happy to be representing my country alongside her. I’ve always wanted to meet her.”

Her wish was granted when the athletics team arrived in London and Gebremedhin found herself staying on the same floor in the Olympic Village, and receiving words of encouragement from her and Defar and other team members.

“They all advised me to work hard and not give up hope,” said Gebremedhin, who watched their races with interest. “Swimming and running are very different, but I’ve learned many lessons,” she said. “They fight til the very end.”

Though not expected to medal, Gebremedhin had encouraging results of her own and hopes to inspire those who are younger still. “I improved my personal record, which is Ethiopia’s record,” she said. “I hope others will learn from my experience. I’ve competed for six years and to reach the Olympics in six years is very good, but I don’t have a coach and I work on my own. If we had coaches, we could do better and not just improve our own personal bests, but, I believe, make history.”

At the 2012 Olympics, Dibaba and Defar did make history. Tulu lost and then regained the 10,000 crown in 2000, but in London, the Beijing 2008 champion Dibaba became the first to successfully defend the title, while Defar became the only woman to win the 5000m twice, after she first won in Athens in 2004.

“It’s very pleasing that at this critical competition, at the Olympics, the whole team has performed this well,” said Defar.

Related:
Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar to Contest One Event Each at 2013 World Championships in Moscow

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Second Gold for Meseret Defar a Long Time In Coming

Ethiopia's Meseret Defar celebrates her win in the Olympic 5,000-meter final at the London Games on Friday, August 10, 2012 (AP)

Runner’s World

By Sabrina Yohannes, Published: August 11, 2012.

Meseret Defar crossed the finish line of the London Olympic 5000m with disbelief, relief and pain etched on her face, and she fell to her knees on the ground. Clutching, kissing and holding aloft an image of the Madonna and Child that she had hidden in her tank top, the Ethiopian Defar wept, repeating the Amharic words, “Amlake hoy! Amlake hoy!” (“My God! My God!”).

Defar had won the 5000 at the 2004 Athens Olympics and failed to defend it in Beijing four years later, when she took bronze behind her teammate and rival Tirunesh Dibaba and Turk Elvan Abeylegesse. In London, Defar prevailed in a last-lap sprint over her highly more favored competitors, the 2011 double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya  and the Beijing and London 10,000 champion Dibaba, who took silver and bronze, respectively, in the English capital.

“After eight years, for me to win gold here is a great achievement, and I feel as if I’ve been born again,” said Defar. “To win gold in your third Olympics is very difficult. I have passed through some difficult times. I have lost out at championships due to illness. This was a very critical Olympics for me because I might not contest another Olympics, so I thank God.”

Continue reading at Runner’s World

 

Related:
Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar to Contest One Event Each at 2013 World Championships in Moscow

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook

In The Footsteps of Derartu, Gete, Fatuma and Gezahegne: Tiki Gelana Was Ready For The London Olympic Marathon

Tiki Gelana sits on the ground after winning the women's marathon final on Sunday, August 5, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Runner’s World

By Sabrina Yohannes, Published: August 6, 2012

Tiki Gelana remembers watching the Olympics on television and being inspired by her Ethiopian countrywomen, years before she set an Olympic marathon record of 2:23:07 in London.

“I was really moved by the 10,000-meter race in Sydney where Derartu Tulu and Gete Wami ran,” she says. Like the two-time Olympic champion Tulu, Gelana hails from the vicinity of Bekoji in the Arsi area south of Addis Ababa, and it was in a hotel in the town that she joined others watching the 2000 Olympics. “I couldn’t even tell Derartu and Gete apart, and when they showed one of them on the screen, I kept asking, ‘OK, which one is she?’” adds Gelana. But before Tulu and Wami were done, with gold and silver medals in hand, Gelana knew running was what she wanted to do.

Read more at Runner’s World.

Two-time Olympic 10,000 Champion Tirunesh Dibaba Confirmed and Prepared for London 5000

Tirunesh Dibaba pictured after wining the gold medal in the women's final 10,000 meter race at the London Olympic Games on Friday, August 3rd, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Tadias Magazine
Running | London 2012

By Sabrina Yohannes

London (TADIAS) – Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia will run the first round of the 5000 meters at the 2012 Olympics on Tuesday just four days after defending her Beijing Olympic 10,000m crown in spectacular fashion in London.

“I’m very happy, this is my third gold,” said Dibaba Friday night after winning the 10,000 in 30 minutes 20.75 seconds ahead of Kenyans Sally Kipyego and Vivian Cheruiyot. “I’m ready to run the 5000, the decision is the federation’s.”

The Ethiopian athletic federation needed little persuasion. “She will run, 100%,” said the organization’s technical director, Dube Jilo.

The first woman to win the two events at one Olympiad when she accomplished the feat in 2008, Dibaba had been entered in the shorter event in London as a reserve, due to her having the fourth-fastest time for the distance this year among her compatriots. But with the federation also observing the fitness of the selected athletes during training, her potential double attempt had been anticipated.

Jilo praised the dominant fashion of her 10,000 victory. “To come from having being out with injury for two whole years and achieve this is a great accomplishment for her, and for us and for our country,” he said.

Dibaba returned to competition on New Year’s Eve after having suffered from injuries that kept her out of both the 2009 and 2011 world championships.

In the interim, she successfully defended her 2008 African 10,000m title in July 2010 in Nairobi defeating, among others, the hometown favorite Linet Masai, who had won the 2009 world championships race in the absence of Dibaba, then the defending world champion. The Ethiopian had also won both distance races at the 2005 world championships.

The 2009 world 5000 title went to Cheruiyot, who completed the double in Daegu in 2011, and coming into the London 10,000, the Kenyan was a favorite along with Dibaba.

“I wasn’t thinking about any individual athlete, I was thinking only about winning,” said Dibaba after her second straight Olympic 10,000m victory.

Prior to London, the Athens 5000m bronze medalist Dibaba had elaborated on her thoughts about Cheruiyot in an interview.

“Vivian has become much stronger than in the past,” she said. The two women did not race during the Kenyan’s red-hot 2011 season due to Dibaba’s injury layoff, but the Ethiopian pointed out that she had previously run against a rising Vivian Cheruiyot — and won.

“We raced in London,” said Dibaba, who won the 5000m in 14 minutes, 36.41 seconds to Cheruiyot’s 14:38.17 at the Crystal Palace on August 13, 2010, in addition to finishing ahead of the Kenyan at the world athletic final in Thessaloniki, Greece in September 2009. “She had just won the world championships 5000 when we raced. She was strong then too and she’s strong now.”

“We’ve run indoors as well as outdoors,” added Dibaba, who won the Edinburgh cross country and Birmingham indoor two-mile races in early 2010, over eight seconds ahead of Cheruiyot both times.

“I know Dibaba is a tough lady,” said Cheruiyot Friday night. “We are coming here to try our best because there is a time for everybody.”

“I’ve watched her race so many times and she can run really well, and she can close really well, and I respected that,” Kipyego, who took the lead at times in the race, said of Dibaba. “I tried to push the pace to try to make it painful for everybody. Unfortunately, it didn’t work on her.”

The three women will meet again in the 5000m in London, as both Cheruiyot and Kipyego are also doubling. That race will also include Dibaba’s teammate and rival Meseret Defar, the 2004 Olympic champion, whom Dibaba defeated over the distance in New York in June.

The Ethiopian women’s team entered in London comprised the nation’s three fastest 5000 runners of the year: Defar, former world indoor 1500 champion Gelete Burka and Genet Yalew. The event’s world record-holder Dibaba will replace the less experienced Yalew in the team.

“I will take a bit of a rest tomorrow and then I will prepare for the 5000 heats,” said Dibaba Friday. “I know I’ve trained well.”

The elimination round of the women’s 5000 takes place 10:55am on Tuesday morning, with the final set for 8:05pm Friday, August 10.

Sabrina Yohannes is reporting from London.

Ethiopian Athletics Team Set to Begin Departures for London Olympics

Double Olympic champions Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele are among the elite Ethiopian athletes expected to arrive in London this week. (Photo: File / agencies)

Tadias Magazine
Running News | London 2012

By Sabrina Yohannes

London (TADIAS) – The 2012 London Olympic Games are officially open as of the declaration during the July 28 opening ceremony, but the bulk of Ethiopia’s star athletics team will arrive in the English capital during the subsequent week, ahead of the athletics program that starts Friday, August 3rd.

Ethiopia’s opening ceremony flag bearer is swimmer Yanet Seyoum Gebremedhin, one of two swimmers making history as the nation’s first at the Olympics.

Of the athletics team led by 2008 double Olympic champions Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba, the first wave will leave Addis Ababa on Monday July 30; while the final batch, the men’s marathon runners, will depart a few days prior to that race, which is being held on the last day of the Olympics, August 12.

DISTANCE DOUBLE POSSIBLE

Dibaba’s 10,000-meter race is the first track final of the Games and takes place on the evening of Friday, August 3, when she will be joined by Belaynesh Oljira and former world cross country champion Werknesh Kidane.

Unlike at the athletics world championships, Olympic team reserve members will, for the most part, not travel to London, unless replacing an already-injured athlete, and only three athletes per race can be accredited to stay in the Olympic Village at any time. In the 5000m, though, the announced reserves are themselves members of the 10,000m team — and they are in fact the Beijing Olympic champions in both events.

In addition to leading the men’s and women’s 10,000 teams, Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba were named as reserves in the shorter event, so the possibility of both of them, Dibaba in particular, defending both titles remains.

Of the women on the 5000m team, the young Genet Yalew is significantly less accomplished than the runners she joined there, 2004 Olympic champion Meseret Defar and former world indoor 1500 champion Gelete Burka; and indeed, some athletes have referred to Yalew as the 5000m reserve.

If she contests the 5000, the former double world champion Dibaba will be tackling the first round heat in that event four days after her 10,000 final.

SELECTION BASED ON FAST TIMES

Contrary to media reports that referred to races in various European cities this summer as Ethiopian Olympic trials, selection to the nation’s Olympic team is based primarily on the fastest times run by athletes in their event this season, with their ongoing fitness also being taken into consideration. Typically, the year’s four fastest athletes in a given Olympic track event make up its roster of three runners and a reserve.

Dibaba contested just one 5000m track race this season, winning at the New York Diamond League in 14 minutes, 50.80 seconds, which is the fourth fastest among Ethiopian women this season, after the clockings of Defar, Burka and Yalew in Rome.

Similarly, Bekele ran the fifth-fastest Ethiopian men’s 5000m time of the year, 12:55.79, in Paris (while the fourth-fastest athlete, his brother Tariku, is contesting just the 10,000m). The fastest times in the entire world this year were those of Ethiopia’s 2011 world bronze medalist Dejen Gebremeskel and his compatriots Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew, who all ran under 12:50 in the same Paris race.

OTHER FINALS ON THE FIRST WEEKEND OF ATHLETICS

The first round of the men’s 1500m, with Mekonnen Gebremedhin tackling the favorites, also takes place on the first day of athletics in London, followed the next morning by the 3000m steeplechase heats with Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew.

The night of Saturday August 4 features the men’s 10,000m final, an event in which Ethiopia has taken gold at every Olympics since 1996, courtesy of Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. Former New York marathon champion Gebregziabher (Gebre) Gebremariam joins the Bekele brothers in London.

The women’s marathon final with 2009 world bronze medalist Aselefech Mergia and the women’s 1500m heats, featuring Dibaba’s world indoor champion sister Genzebe and newcomer Abeba Aregawi as contenders, round out the Ethiopian action in the first weekend of athletics.

While Ethiopia, historically a nation of long distance runners, has genuine 800m medal hopes this year in Fantu Magiso and especially Mohammed Aman, Bereket Desta is entered in the 400m having met the lower “B” standard of entry for the sprint event.
—–

Dates of London 2012 athletics finals with Ethiopian finalists anticipated:

Friday August 3rd:  9:25pm – Women’s 10,000m.
Saturday August 4th:  9:15pm – Men’s 10,000m.
Sunday August 5th:  11am – Women’s marathon; 9:25pm – Men’s 3000m steeplechase.
Monday August 6th:  9:05pm – Women’s 3000m steeplechase.
Tuesday August 7th:  9:15pm – Men’s 1500m.
Thursday August 9th:  8pm – Men’s 800m.
Friday August 10th:  8:05pm – Women’s 5,000m; 8:55pm – Women’s 1500m.
Saturday August 11th:  7:30pm – Men’s 5000m; 8pm – Women’s 800m.
Sunday August 12th:  11am – Men’s marathon.

Ethiopian athletes entered in London 2012 athletics events
(as previously announced, including, in italics, those reserves who will likely not travel to London):

400m
Men: Bereket Desta

800m
Men: Mohammed Aman
Women: Fantu Magiso

1500m
Men: Mekonnen Gebremedhin, Dawit Wolde, Teshome Dirirsa; Aman Wote (reserve)
Women: Abeba Aregawi, Genzebe Dibaba, Meskerem Assefa

5000m
Men: Dejen Gebremeskel, Hagos Gebrhiwet, Yenew Alamirew; Kenenisa Bekele (reserve)
Women: Meseret Defar, Gelete Burka, Genet Yalew; Tirunesh Dibaba (reserve)

10,000m
Men: Kenenisa Bekele, Tariku Bekele, Gebregziabher Gebremariam;
Lelisa Desisa (reserve)
Women: Tirunesh Dibaba, Belaynesh (sometimes spelled Beleynesh) Oljira, Werknesh Kidane;
Aberu Kebede (reserve)

Marathon
Men: Ayele Abshero, Dino Sefer, Getu Feleke;
Tadesse Tola (reserve)
Women: Tiki Gelana, Aselefech Mergia, Mare Dibaba;
Bezunesh Bekele (reserve)

3000m Steeplechase
Men: Roba Gari, Birhan Getahun, Nahom Mesfin
Women: Sofia Assefa, Hiwot Ayalew, Etenesh Diro;
Zemzem Ahmed (reserve)

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