Sports Section

Ethiopians Headline the Women’s and Men’s Elite Fields for the Boston Marathon

Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese and Mare Dibaba are among the star international female athletes competing in the upcoming 2021 Boston Marathon, while the men's elite category also includes Ethiopians Asefa Mengstu, Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Jemal Yimer. (Getty Images)

The Boston Globe

A pair of Ethiopian runners with the fastest men’s and women’s times in the field headline the elite runner entry list for the 2021 Boston Marathon that was announced Wednesday by the Boston Athletic Association.

Because of the pandemic, the race was postponed from April and will be run Oct. 11.

Nine women who have run faster than 2:22:00 will line up in Hopkinton, including Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese, whose 2:19:36 personal best ranks fastest in the field. Melese will have some tough competition from fellow Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist.

Dibaba has broken 2:20 twice, running 2:19:52 in 2012 and 2015, but she has not run that fast since. Also, Edina Kiplagat of Kenya, a two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist who finished second at Boston in 2019, will challenge for the top spot.

American Jordan Hasay is familiar with the course, finishing third twice. She is the third-fastest US woman in history with a personal best of 2:20:57.

On the men’s side, Ethiopian Asefa Mengstu has the fastest personal best and the 23rd- fastest marathon ever at 2:04:06. Fellow Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu Hayle, the 2015 Boston champion, and Dejene Debela, who has run a sub-2:06, will join him. Berhanu’s personal best is just behind Mengstu’s at 2:04:33.

After much success over the half marathon and in cross-country, Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton and Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer will make their marathon debuts. Barsoton earned a silver medal at the World Cross-Country Championships in 2017, and Yimer owns the Ethiopian national record of 58:33 in the half marathon.

Eight of the top 12 finishers from the US Olympic marathon trials will compete in Boston, including Abdi Abdirahman, who finished 41st at the Tokyo Games last week.

In the women’s wheelchair field, course record-holder Manuela Schär of Switzerland is the favorite, but she will be challenged by five-time Boston champion Tatyana McFadden. Team USA Paralympians Susannah Scaroni and Jenna Fesemyer also will compete.

The men’s wheelchair field features four former champions: Daniel Romanchuk, Marcel Hug, Ernst van Dyk, and Josh Cassidy, who have a combined 16 Boston titles. Aaron Pike, who will compete for Team USA in the Paralympic marathon, also will be in the field.

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Tokyo Olympics: Men’s Steeplechase Gold Medal Odds Favor Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale

Ethiopia's Getnet Wale is favored in the men's steeplechase odds at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The 21-year-old is set to make his first Olympics appearance and set his personal best time of 8:05.21 in 2019 while running at Doha in Qatar. (Getty Images)

FanDuel

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games are in full swing and sports fans are able to put in wagers on a number of different events on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Men’s track & field remains one of the most exciting sports on the Olympic schedule every year. Specifically, the 3,000m steeplechase competition made its debut at the 1920 Olympics. Athletes push their bodies to the limits in order to battle at the most elite level in the world.

Olympics Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase

Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale leads all competitors with odds set at +130 to take home the gold in this event, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The 21-year-old is set to make his first Olympics appearance and set his personal best time of 8:05.21 in 2019 while running at Doha.

Soufiane El Bakkali of Morroco follows closely behind with odds set at +155.

Here’s how the rest of the Olympics men’s 3,000m steeplechase Gold Medal odds are shaping up.

Olympics Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase Gold Medal Odds

1. Getnet Wale (ETH): +130
2. Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR): +155
3. Abraham Kibiwot (KEN): +700
4. Bikila Tadese Takele (ETH): +750
5. Leonard Bett (KEN): +1100
6. Benjamin Kigen (KEN): +1300
7. Hilary Bor (USA): +1600
8. Abrham Sime (ETH): +1800
9. Mohamed Tindouft (MAR): +3400
10. Djilali Bedrani (FRA): +3400
11. Ahmed Abdelwahed (ITA): +5000
12. Fernando Carro (ESP): +6000

Related:

Ethiopia at Tokyo Olympics: How to Watch Track and Field Live

On Twitter, Cryptocurrency Fans Cheer Ethiopia at Tokyo Olympics

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On Twitter, Cryptocurrency Fans Cheer Ethiopia at Tokyo Olympics

Flag bearer Abdelmalik Muktar of Team Ethiopia during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Team Ethiopia is receiving global cheers on social media that has gone viral after Twitter added Ethiopia's flag to the “ETH” hashtag in the lead-up to the Olympics. Interestingly, the support is coming from fans of the largest cryptocurrency next to Bitcoin, Ethereum. (Getty Images)

Crypto Briefing

Ethereum Community Backs Ethiopia Ahead of Olympics

The Ethereum community is rallying behind Ethiopia after Twitter added the country’s flag to the “ETH” hashtag in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Key Takeaways

  • Ethereum fans are showing their support for Ethiopia after Twitter added the country’s flag to the “ETH” hashtag in celebration of the Olympics.
  • A DAO called EthiopiaDAO has formed, while some community members have suggested sponsoring the country’s Olympic team.
  • The Olympics thanked Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the wider crypto community for their support.

    Ethereans are voicing their support for Ethiopia.

    Ethereum Forms Ties with Ethiopia

    Ethereum fans are backing Ethiopia ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

    Members of the second-ranked blockchain’s community began showing their support for the African nation after Twitter added national flag emojis for each of the teams appearing at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The social media platform added the Ethiopia flag to the hashtag “ETH,” which coincides with the name for Ethereum’s native currency.

    Ethereum enthusiasts quickly adopted the hashtag and united in showing support for Ethiopia. Many reposted the country’s flag, similar to how Bitcoiners and other crypto believers collectively adopted “laser eyes” on their Twitter avatars earlier this year. Since the flag surfaced on Twitter, a decentralized autonomous organization called EthiopiaDAO “centered around Ethiopia and blockchain education” has formed. A member of the DAO told Crypto Briefing:

    “While there isn’t a clear vision of exactly how EthiopiaDAO can help today, we have the tools and know how to coordinate capital globally towards whatever we decide to put our efforts towards. Currently there seems to be memetic alignment between communities and we’d like to capture that momentum towards funding communal goods that could have real world benefits to Ethiopia, and the Ethereum ecosystem at large.”

    Meanwhile, several community members have suggested supporting the country in other ways. Brantly Millegan, director of operations at Ethereum Name Service, reached out to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to suggest sponsoring the country in the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, Mike Demarais, co-founder of the Ethereum wallet rainbow, shared a similar proposal and suggested that Ethereum could “copy/paste el salvador strat but for vitalik coin.“ El Salvador made history when it adopted Bitcoin as legal tender last month, indicating that Demarais was most likely proposing a campaign to make ETH an official currency in Ethiopia.

    Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square founder and longtime Bitcoin evangelist, also joined in with the trend by posting the hashtag in a tweet. In the crypto world, Dorsey is best known for his ardent support for Bitcoin, though he’s been less enthusiastic about Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The official Olympics Twitter account responded to Dorsey’s post to say it was “great to see” him and the crypto community supporting Ethiopia’s athletes.

    Ethereum isn’t the only cryptocurrency project to show support for Ethiopia: earlier this year, Cardano’s IOHK partnered with the country’s government to develop a blockchain system focusing on student performance in schools. The deal will involve five million Ethiopian students having their digital identities stored on the blockchain.

    The Tokyo Olympics runs from today until Aug. 8. Representatives from the country are yet to respond to the Ethereum community, though ETH has enjoyed an overnight rise: it’s back above $2,000, up around 4%.

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  • The Pan-Africa-USA International Track Meet

    One year before Ethiopian Miruts Yifter won an Olympic bronze medal in Munich, Germany, and five years before he won two golds in Moscow, he miscounted laps in a race held in Durham, North Carolina [during the Pan-Africa – U.S.A. International Track Meet] in front of 52,000 fans. He would soon earn the moniker “Yifter the Shifter” for his ability to change speeds so rapidly in races. (Fansided)

    Fansided

    50 years ago, Duke University hosted the experimental Pan-Africa – U.S.A. International Track Meet, looking to change a legacy of structural racism.

    One year before Ethiopian Miruts Yifter won an Olympic bronze medal in Munich, Germany, and five years before he won two golds in Moscow, he miscounted laps in a race held in Durham, North Carolina. As a result, American distance running icon, Steve Prefontaine, took the title at the Pan-Africa – U.S.A. International Track Meet in front of 52,000 fans. Yifter irritated his competitors, shifting between positions throughout the race, before mistakenly using his final gear in the penultimate lap. He would soon earn the moniker “Yifter the Shifter” for his ability to change speeds so rapidly in races.

    After the race, a frustrated Yifter explained that he was accustomed to hearing bells, not a gun, to signal the final lap, and did not see the lap counter. Jean Claude Ganga, a Congolese sports administrator and the selected African team manager for this particular competition, explained further, “‘In some countries, it’s a gong, gong, in others, it’s a bing, bing, bing. Here it’s a boom. He did not know this.”

    This would be one of several moments of cultural reckoning 50 years ago, when athletes from across the continent were invited to North Carolina to compete at the Wallace Wade Stadium at Duke University on July 16-17, 1971.

    As sport is positioned to do, the Pan-Africa – U.S.A. International Track Meet was meant to disseminate ideas and feelings of cultural cohesion. But for many, using the Pan-African namesake to advertise the event just a few short years after Black students occupied a central Duke Administration building to make demands in response to the racism they felt at the newly integrated University, and with several African countries still under colonial rule, cohesion seemed like an obvious ruse.

    At the competition, Pan-Africanism had two opposing connotations. For some — namely the organizers and most spectators — it simply described the structure of the meet. Athletes from across the African continent competed as one team against athletes from the U.S. For others, most notably the Black activists who attended the meet to publicize racial oppression omnipresent in the South, Pan-Africanism was an ideology focused on uniting all people of African descent within and beyond the continent. It was, and is, an anti-imperialist and anti-racist way of organizing politics in the world. And it changed how some understood the different teams on the track and in the field.

    “We decided to create this huge scoreboard and the idea was any time any Black person won points whether they were from Africa or the United States we gave those points to Africa,” civil rights activist, academic, and education reform leader, Howard Fuller, told FanSided.

    Fuller, along with other students and members of the Malcolm X Liberation University (MXLU) that he helped found knew they would need to take advantage of the large staging of such an event to make a statement and espouse the values of Pan-Africanism. The University was created mostly in response to the discrimination Black students faced in Duke’s early years of integration, and the structural racism felt in Durham and beyond.

    “When we learned about the track meet the first thing we did was we met the people from Africa when they got off the plane,” Fuller explains. “We had made up these packets telling them about the oppression of Black people in Durham and North Carolina. And then with the score card we brought drums to the meet and were drumming the whole time. So we turned an athletic event into a political event.”

    Pre-meet dynamics around Duke University

    The meet was the brainchild of Dr. LeRoy T. Walker, the head coach of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black university founded in the early 20th century. Walker coached dozens of Olympians before and after his time at NCCU, and critically forged a close relationship with Duke’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach, Al Buehler, in order to find adequate facilities for his athletes.

    One of Walker’s athletes, Lee Calhoun, only had access to five hurdles and a poorly maintained track that could easily turn an ankle. Calhoun, who went on to win Olympic Gold Medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games, as well as other several would-be Olympians, would soon be snuck into Duke’s segregated campus to practice in safer conditions.

    Read more »

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    Olympic Talk: Letesenbet Gidey Breaks 2-Day-Old World Record in 10,000m

    On Tuesday letesenbet Gidey broke the 5000m world record at the Ethiopian Olympic Trials in Hengelo, Netherlands. (yes, the Ethiopian Trials are being held in the Netherlands). She took 5.79 seconds off Sifan Hassan’s record from Sunday. (Getty Images)

    Olympic Talk

    Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey lowered the women’s 10,000m world record, two days after Sifan Hassan broke it on the same track in Hengelo, Netherlands.

    Gidey, who on Oct. 7 broke the 5000m world record, clocked 29:01.03 at the Ethiopian Olympic Trials (yes, the Ethiopian Trials are being held in the Netherlands). She took 5.79 seconds off Hassan’s record from Sunday.

    Hassan, an Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman, brought the record down 10.63 seconds from Ethiopian Almaz Ayana‘s winning time at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    In total, 30.75 seconds have been taken off the world record starting with Ayana in Rio. Before that, the mark of 29:31.78 set by dubious Chinese runner Wang Junxia had stood since 1993, and nobody else had run within 22 seconds of it.

    All four men’s and women’s 5000m and 10,000m world records have been broken over the last 10 months. Runners have benefited from technology — new spikes and pacing lights on the track.

    In 2019, Gidey took 10,000m silver at the world championships. In 2020, she took 4.5 seconds off countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 12-year-old 5000m world record.

    Gidey, 23, was previously briefly expelled from school for refusing to run in physical education classes.

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    In Idaho, Athlete Rosina Machu From Ethiopia is The most Inspirational Story of 2021 Graduation Season

    Rosina Machu set a number of records through her years at Boise High School. (Photo by Michael Najera)

    Boise State Public Radio

    Meet Rosina Machu: Ethiopian Refugee, Idaho Track Phenom And New Boise High Graduate

    Rosina Machu may be the most inspirational story of Idaho’s 2021 graduation season. She barely survived Malaria at the age of 2 and spent much of her childhood in a refugee camp in the shadow of war-torn Ethiopia. She and her family were ultimately relocated to Idaho.

    As she remembers it, she wasn’t overly interested in athletics, but a Boise elementary physical education teacher insisted that she run around a track with the rest of her class.

    ”And at the time I was like, ‘OK, you can’t make me do sports. I don’t want to do it.’ So I just said, ‘OK,’ and I started running and I enjoyed it,” Machu said.

    Indeed, she would go on to become one of Idaho’s best track athletes in recent memory.


    Rosina Machu and her Boise High track teammates. (Photo: Boise High School/Courtesy Of Michael Najera)

    As she prepares to say farewell to Boise High School, in preparation of attending Gonzaga University, Machu and her Boise High track coach Aaron Olswanger visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about her past and her impressive dreams for the future.

    “It’s amazing, she’s so smooth, so strong just to see her progression over the last four years, it has been just remarkable.”

    — Aaron Olswanger

    Read the full transcript below:

    GEORGE PRENTICE: It is Morning Edition on Boise State Public Radio News. Good morning. I’m George Prentice. Indeed, this is graduation season and there is much to celebrate in the class of 2021. And we’re going to meet an exceptional high school graduate and hear a bit of her story. But first, let’s say good morning to the track coach at Boise High School. He is Aaron Olswanger.

    AARON OLSWANGER: Good morning. Thanks for having us on.

    PRENTICE: Well, first of all, congratulations to you and making it through a school year unlike any other. Quite an achievement.

    OLSWANGER: Thank you. It’s been a challenging year,

    PRENTICE: But you ended together: your students in class…in person.

    OLSWANGER: Yeah, it was nice getting everybody together in the last nine weeks of the school year and it almost acted like we were functioning normally again.

    PRENTICE: Coach, I’m going to ask you to do the honors and introduce us to a special guest short.

    OLSWANGER: This is Rosina Machu. She is, like you said, a senior graduating here. And she’s been a cross country and track and field runner for us for the last four years, at Boise High, and has basically done everything under the sun and more… and she’s more than just a tremendous leader in our program and a great role model for our younger kids.


    Rosina Machu and Boise High track coach Aaron Olswanger. (Photo: Boise High School, Aaron Olswange)

    PRENTICE: Rosina. Good morning.

    ROSINA MACHU: Good morning.

    PRENTICE: It’s my understanding that you spent some of your childhood in war-torn Ethiopia. What do you remember of those years?

    MACHU: I actually remember quite a lot like up until we left in June of 2007. I believe… a lot of my memories I can remember are…since we were in a refugee camp in a war torn country, I did get sick a lot. I was very young. I had malaria. And it hit my younger sister, too. We both had malaria. It was very bad for us. And something I remember was when I was sick, at the time, my mom had to take me to the doctor to get me checked up. And I remember she had to stick a finger down my throat to make me throw up and get rid of any bad things in my body, just to make me feel better. I remember that. Whenever anyone asked me something about Ethiopia and I was there in the refugee camp, the one thing my mind goes to is that…something I will always remember.

    PRENTICE: So my sense then would be that you are supersensitive to the importance of health and keeping fit, and how important it is not only for survival, but, well, to be a premium athlete, which you have become.

    MACHU: Yeah. Being healthy and just taking care of your body and yourself is one of the big things to being an athlete and just being a healthy person overall. So, I try to take care of my health as best I can.

    PRENTICE: Rosina… why do you run?

    MACHU: To be honest, growing up as a kid, I was never the most active or athletic kid. My dad would take me to soccer games because he’s a big soccer fan. And he tried to get me into sports, especially soccer. But I was never interested. Everyone took me to the soccer games. I’d go run off and like the other kids, do anything other than watch the game. Even when we came to the United States, I wasn’t an active kid. I never joined any sports teams like my dad wanted me to. And how I got into running was in third grade when we ran the mile for the first time. I never did sports… never did running ever in my life. Our PE teacher took us outside to our giant field, made us run for laps, and I guess I had a really good time for a little third grader. He’s said, “You know what, Rosina? When you’re in fifth grade and you can start doing track and like sports, you are going to join the track team.” And at the time I was like, “OK, you can’t make me do sports. I don’t want to do it.” So I just said, “OK,” and I started running and I enjoyed it.

    PRENTICE: Coach, what’s it like to watch Rosina run?

    OLSWANGER: Oh, it’s amazing, she’s so smooth, so strong just to see her progression over the last four years, it has been just remarkable. And I have so much confidence in my athletes and especially when I watch her run. Looking back to this past weekend at the state tournament…you just know she’s going to do great things.

    PRENTICE: You’ve probably lost count of how many personal bests and school bests and state bests… This is quite some athlete we’re talking to here.

    OLSWANGER: Yeah, she continues to improve, which is the remarkable thing. A lot of high school kids don’t… sometimes when they’re younger. Rosina has been the opposite. She’s gotten better every single year. And she ended with two of her lifetime bests at the state meet.

    PRENTICE: Let’s talk about college. You’re heading to Gonzaga, I hear.

    MACHU: Yeah, I am. I’m super excited to go up there and turn a new page in the book, inside a new chapter and make a lot of new friends and learn many more things.

    PRENTICE: Are you the first in your family to go to college?

    OLSWANGER: I’m the first kid in my family to go to college and hopefully my younger siblings will follow me and go to college as well.

    PRENTICE: Great. What do you want to do someday?

    MACHU: I wanted to be a doctor. But then I started watching some medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy. You know what? Maybe not a doctor, like a surgeon…I’m not going to school for fifteen years. And then I got into law and criminal justice and I took a class here at Boise High School. And I really enjoyed it. And it opened up my eyes to criminal law and justice. So that’s one of the things I want to maybe major in, along with social work or psychology. I took a class in psychology at Boise High. And I really enjoyed that as well.

    PRENTICE: I feel like tossing her the keys right now. It sounds like the world will be better off.

    OLSWANGER: Yeah, she’ll have she’ll have some tremendous opportunities at Gonzaga.

    PRENTICE: Congratulations on graduation… on everything that you’ve done at Boise High and everything you are about to do at Gonzaga. We can’t wait to read about all of your success there and hear about that. Coach, to you. Best of luck on another year, another season.

    OLSWANGER: Thank you so much.

    PRENTICE: Talk about class… the class of 2021.

    MACHU: Thank you so much for this.

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    How an Orphan From Ethiopia Became a U.S. Air Force Academy Soccer Signee

    Kobey Stoup, who is adopted from Ethiopia, came to America when he was five years old. This year he was recruited  by the U.S. Air Force Academy as a Soccer player. (Photo: courtesy of Mary Stoup)

    Montgomery Advertiser

    How an orphan from Ethiopia who lived in Montgomery became an Air Force Academy soccer signee

    One of the things Kobey Stoup remembers about his childhood in Ethiopia is the process of picking up new dialects. He and his mom bounced across the region and had to quickly learn. Even then, he had a tendency to hang back and watch, his mom pressing him to be more vocal.

    But he adjusted and adapted.

    “I’m kind of used to moving around,” Stoup said.

    His childhood gave him perspective, even if he didn’t realize it at the time. It helped him when he was a 5-year-old orphan who was adopted by Mary and Mark Stoup and moved to the United States. Mark, a retired Air Force colonel and a civilian working at Maxwell Air Force Base, and Mary have four biological daughters and one adopted son, but Mary realized she wanted another after a trip to Ethiopia. They now have three adopted children.

    They’ve always been impressed with how Kobey has handled new locales as the military family moved repeatedly through the South. Through it all he’s had soccer, playing originally on a concrete court at his orphanage with crumbled trash shaped into a ball. Now, Stoup is preparing for his next step with the Air Force Academy, where he’ll play right back.

    “I may have understood (the move) at the time,” Kobey said. “It’s hard to explain. It just felt right. I don’t really remember.”

    One of his first memories of the U.S. was seeing the bright lights from the plane in the airport hangar. He’s learned English from his siblings. Playing sports allowed him to narrow his focus…


    Kobey Stoup, who is adopated from Ethiopia, came to America when he was five years old. This year he was recruited by the U.S. Air Force Academy as a Soccer player.

    He played in the Olympic Development Program and spent some time with the Montgomery Streaks, now known as Alabama FC South. The MLS club Atlanta United contacted him for its developmental academy in Georgia, and Kobey stayed with a host family the last four years.

    In a pro environment, though, Kobey noticed things he didn’t like. Some coaches preferred some players over others and the business aspect of sports — injuries, trades, new signees — took his future out of his control.

    So he pivoted to college options, earning looks from multiple Division I programs.

    Read the full artcile at montgomeryadvertiser.com »

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    SPORT: Gudaf Tsegay Makes 10000m Debut With Crazy 29:39.42

    In Portugal this past weekend the 24-year-old Gudaf Tsegay became the first woman in history who in her 10000m debut broke the 30-minute barrier. Tsegay's 29:39.42 puts her in fifth place on the world all-time list. (Watch Athletics)

    Watch Athletics

    Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay ran an amazing 29:39.42 10,000m debut on Saturday at the Fernanda Ribeiro Gold Gala in Portugal.

    The world indoor 1500m record holder (3:53.09), ran 14:55 for the first 5000m and then accelerated to 14:49 for the second half to win the race in 29:39.42.

    Behind Tsegay finished Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne who returned to racing since 2018 and amazingly clocked 29:50.77. Meanwhile, Uganda’s Doreen Chesang took third place in 32:09.82.

    The 24-year-old, Gudaf became the first woman in history who in her 10000m debut broke the 30-minute barrier. Tsegay’s 29:39.42 puts her in fifth place on the world all-time list.

    In the men’s 10000m race Kenya’s world championships bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto clocked 27:11.01 for the win. He finished miles ahead of compatriot Shadrack Koech (27:59.19).

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    SPORT: Ethiopia Prepares For Tokyo Olympics – Results From Marathon Trials

    Ethiopian runners booked their tickets to the Tokyo Games after a 35K qualifying race near Addis Ababa on Saturday. Shura Kitata wins Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials in sprint finish, Tigist Girma wins women’s race. (Photos: FloTrack and via Twitter)

    Running Magazine

    Shura Kitata and Tigist Girma won the Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials on Saturday in Sebeta, a city just outside the nation’s capital of Addis Ababa. The 35K qualifying race saw a thrilling finish in the men’s event, with Kitata, the 2020 London Marathon champion, edging out two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa in a sprint to the line. Girma’s win was much more comfortable, and she crossed the line 22 seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor. As things stand now, the top three men and women from Saturday’s race will represent Ethiopia in the Olympic marathon this summer.


    The women’s race

    With a PB of 2:19:52, Girma, the 2019 Ottawa Marathon champion, owns one of the fastest marathon results in history, and she ranks 14th among Ethiopians all time. She ran this result at the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, where she finished second. While Girma doesn’t have any big wins on her resume, she has recorded several top-10 finishes at competitive races, and along with her run onto the podium at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2019, she posted fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the Tokyo and Valencia marathons in 2020.

    Girma’s win on Saturday is perhaps the biggest of her career so far, not because it was a major event (it wasn’t), but because it gives her the opportunity to race at the Olympics for the first time. Her 1:59:23 finish in the 35K trial race in Sebeta put her on pace for a 2:23:56 marathon.

    Second place went to Birhane Dibaba in 1:59:45. Dibaba owns the sixth-fastest marathon result in Ethiopian history, with a PB of 2:18:35, which she ran in her second-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon in 2020. Dibaba has run to multiple podiums at World Marathon Major events, including a pair of wins in Tokyo in 2015 and 2018. Like Girma, the Tokyo Games will be Dibaba’s first time racing at the Olympics.

    Roza Dereje won the third and final spot on the Ethiopian marathon team headed to Tokyo this summer, crossing the line in 2:00:16. Dereje’s marathon PB of 2:18:30 is the third-fastest ever run by an Ethiopian and 10th-best in world history. She, too, has never raced at the Olympics.

    The men’s race

    Kitata has tremendous momentum going into the Tokyo Games. In October, he won the London Marathon in a sprint finish, crossing the line in 2:05:41, just one second in front of Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba. Similarly on Saturday, Kitata’s finishing kick lifted him to victory, and he beat Desisa by one second, stopping the clock in 1:46:15 (which was on pace for a 2:08:06 marathon). With a two-race win streak in a pair of competitive races, Kitata is likely brimming with confidence, and he will be riding a huge wave of momentum as he works toward his first Olympic race.

    Desisa went home disappointed on Saturday, but he has still guaranteed himself a chance to race in Sapporo, Japan, where this year’s Olympic marathon will be held. While Desisa also hasn’t raced in the Olympics before, he is no stranger to big events. Along with his two Boston Marathon victories in 2013 and 2015, he won the New York City Marathon in 2018, and he has five other podium finishes at the two races. He is also the reigning marathon world champion, as he won the world title in Doha, Qatar in 2019.

    Sisay Lemma finished in third, just as he did in London when Kitata also won the race. Lemma crossed the line in 1:46:19, just a few seconds behind Kitata and Desisa. Although his ticket is booked for the Tokyo Games on paper, Lemma can’t celebrate his run just yet, as it has been reported that Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele has challenged the qualification decision of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.

    Bekele opted not to race the trials, saying that the run is too close to the Olympic marathon race date on August 8 and that he wouldn’t have time to fully recover. He has also said he is unhappy with the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, as officials originally said the marathon team would be selected based on who ran the fastest times in the qualifying period. After the pandemic hit, officials changed the qualification process and added the trials race instead.

    Bekele ran his PB (and the second-fastest marathon result in history) of 2:01:41 in September 2019, and he assumed that would guarantee him a spot on the Ethiopian Olympic team. As things stand now, however, he will be left off the start list in Tokyo. However, if Bekele’s appeal with the national federation is successful, then he will be added to the team and Lemma will likely be let go, seeing as he was the last man to qualify in Saturday’s race.

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    WATCH: Habitam Alemu Meet Record 1:58 800m | 2021 World Indoor Tour Madrid

    Ethiopia's Habitam Alemu wins the Indoor 800m race at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021. (FloTrack)

    FloTrack

    Updated: February 24th,2021

    Habitam Alemu drops an impressive 1:58​ at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour Madrid Meeting.

    Related:

    WATCH: 19-Year-Old Lemlem Hailu Beats World Champion In Fastest 3K of 2021

    FloTrack

    Feb 18, 2021

    19-year-old Lemlem Hailu showed her Lievin victory wasn’t a fluke and sprinted away from steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech on the final lap of the 2021 World Indoor Tour Torun Meeting in a 2021 world leading 8:31.24 3,000m.

    Video: 19-Year-Old Lemlem Hailu Beats World Champion In Fastest 3K of 2021


    Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu wins the 3,000m race at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour in Torun, Poland, on Thursday, February 18, 2021. (FloTrack)

    Related:

    Watch: Habitam Alemu dominated the women’s 800m | 2021 World Indoor Tour Torun

    FloTrack

    Feb 19, 2021

    Habitam Alemu dominated the women’s 800m at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour Torun Meeting. After going through the first 400m in 57.63, she finished in a meet record of 1:58​.19. It would have been an Ethiopian indoor record, had Gudaf Tsegay not ran 1:57​.52 a week earlier.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    WATCH: 19-Year-Old Lemlem Hailu Beats World Champion In Fastest 3K of 2021

    Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu wins the 3,000m race at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour in Torun, Poland, on Wednesday. (FloTrack)

    FloTrack

    19-year-old Lemlem Hailu showed her Lievin victory wasn’t a fluke and sprinted away from steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech on the final lap of the 2021 World Indoor Tour Torun Meeting in a 2021 world leading 8:31.24 3,000m.

    Video: 19-Year-Old Lemlem Hailu Beats World Champion In Fastest 3K of 2021


    Ethiopia’s Lemlem Hailu wins the 3,000m race at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour in Torun, Poland, on Thursday, February 18, 2021. (FloTrack)

    Related:

    Watch: Habitam Alemu dominated the women’s 800m | 2021 World Indoor Tour Torun

    FloTrack

    Habitam Alemu dominated the women’s 800m at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour Torun Meeting. After going through the first 400m in 57.63, she finished in a meet record of 1:58​.19. It would have been an Ethiopian indoor record, had Gudaf Tsegay not ran 1:57​.52 a week earlier.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    WATCH: Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay Smashes 1500m World Record

    Gudaf Tsegay (left) celebrates winning the women’s 1500m in Liévin, France and setting an indoor world record time of 3min 53.09sec. The 24-year-old’s time not only broke the previous best set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 but – understandably – the resolve of Britain’s Laura Muir. (Reuters photo)

    The Guardian

    Ethiopian records 3min 53.09sec to shatter record

    Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia demolished the women’s 1500m indoor world record by more than two seconds on an astonishing night that will fuel yet more talk about how new track spike technology has become a gamechanger for the sport.

    The 24-year-old’s time of 3min 53.09sec at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Liévin, France not only broke the previous best set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 but – understandably – the resolve of Britain’s Laura Muir.

    Muir is one of the world’s finest middle-distance runners, but she was unable to keep up with Tsegay as the pacemaker led the field through the first 400m in a lightning quick 58.97.

    The gap only grew and Muir could do little as she finished more than six seconds back in 3:59.58. Her time was still good enough to break the British record.

    “My training did that,” said Tsegay, the 2019 world bronze medallist, who was running in new Adidas spikes. “The pace is my friend. I have been training really hard and I am so happy.”

    Two world records that have stood for a generation almost fell during an incredible two hours. The 20-year-old Ethiopian Getnet Wale – who is better known as a steeplechaser – produced an astonishing final kilometre to come within 0.31sec of the indoor 3,000m record that has been held by Daniel Komen since 1998.

    Read more »

    Watch: Guduf Tsegay Sets WORLD RECORD 1500m 3:53.09

    Related:

    Another Ethiopian Victory at 2021 World Indoor Tour As Getnet Wale Wins 3000m

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Video: Another Ethiopian Victory at World Indoor Tour As Getnet Wale Wins 3000m

    Ethiopia's Getnet Wale wins the 3000m race at the 2021 World Indoor Tour in Lievin, France on Tuesday. Although he missed the world record by .08. seconds, Getnet's time was the fastest in the world, indoors or out, in over 21 years. (Photo: FloTrack YouTube)

    Lets Run

    Getnet Wale of Ethiopia, best known before today as the 2019 Diamond League steeplechase champion, ripped a 7:24.98 in the 3000m, and missed the world record by .08. In the process, he led four men under 7:30 for the first time ever indoors. Wale’s time was the fastest in the world, indoors or out, in over 21 years. Only Daniel Komen (7:20.67) and Hicham El Guerrouj (7:23.09) have ever gone faster under any conditions.

    Video: Getnet Wale of Ethiopia wins 3000m | 2021 World Indoor Tour Lievin, France


    Getnet Wale ran a 7:24​.98 in the 3000m, and missed the world record by only .08 seconds and four men broke 7:30​ for the first time ever indoors at the 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour Lievin meeting. (FloTrack)

    WATCH: Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay Smashes 1500m World Record


    Gudaf Tsegay (left) celebrates winning the women’s 1500m in Liévin, France and setting an indoor world record time of 3min 53.09sec. The 24-year-old’s time not only broke the previous best set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 but – understandably – the resolve of Britain’s Laura Muir. (Reuters photo)

    The Guardian

    Ethiopian records 3min 53.09sec to shatter record

    Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia demolished the women’s 1500m indoor world record by more than two seconds on an astonishing night that will fuel yet more talk about how new track spike technology has become a gamechanger for the sport.

    The 24-year-old’s time of 3min 53.09sec at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Liévin, France not only broke the previous best set by Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 but – understandably – the resolve of Britain’s Laura Muir.

    Muir is one of the world’s finest middle-distance runners, but she was unable to keep up with Tsegay as the pacemaker led the field through the first 400m in a lightning quick 58.97.

    The gap only grew and Muir could do little as she finished more than six seconds back in 3:59.58. Her time was still good enough to break the British record.

    “My training did that,” said Tsegay, the 2019 world bronze medallist, who was running in new Adidas spikes. “The pace is my friend. I have been training really hard and I am so happy.”

    Two world records that have stood for a generation almost fell during an incredible two hours. The 20-year-old Ethiopian Getnet Wale – who is better known as a steeplechaser – produced an astonishing final kilometre to come within 0.31sec of the indoor 3,000m record that has been held by Daniel Komen since 1998.

    Read more »

    Watch: Guduf Tsegay Sets WORLD RECORD 1500m 3:53.09

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: How Ethiopian Soccer Referee Lidya Tafesse Made African History

    Ethiopian Soccer Referee Lidya Tafesse Abebe. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: January 29th, 2021

    New York (TADIAS) — Last week Ethiopian Soccer Referee Lidya Tafesse Abebe made African history when she led the first ever all-female officiating team refereeing the men’s African Nations Championship quarter-finals game in Cameroon between Namibia and Tanzania.

    Lidya, who is a former professional basketball player, “gave a flawless performance as Tanzania edged Namibia 1-0 in Cameroon city Limbe,” AFP reported, noting that Lidya was joined by her assistants, Malawian Bernadettar Kwimbira and Nigerian Mimisen Iyorhe, during the landmark match that was fully controlled by women referees.


    Lidya Tafesse was also the first ever woman FIFA centre referee from Ethiopia. (Photo via cafonline)

    According to AFP:

    Tafesse exuded confidence in every decision she made, was extremely fit and tolerated no foul play as she yellow-carded three Tanzanians within 10 minutes during the second half.

    African male footballers often dispute decisions against them, but most accepted without hesitation the rulings of Tafesse at the Stade Omnisport in the southwestern coastal resort.

    CAF referees manager Eddy Maillet from the Seychelles was overjoyed as the trio created history eight days into the sixth edition of the Nations Championship.

    Below is a profile of Lidya Tafesse courtesy of CAFOnline.com, the official website of the governing body of African Soccer, Confederation of African Football:

    From basketball to top level refereeing


    “It was very difficult when I started because sometimes, some people would ask why I decided to go into refereeing as a woman when there were no any other women doing the same” — Lidya Tafesse (cafonline)

    Starting off as a professional basketball player, not many thought Lidya Tafesse Abebe would trade the rims and bounces for the whistle, and not in basketball, but football. The 40-year old has been on a 20 -year journey of refereeing, becoming the first ever woman to officiate a men’s top flight game in Ethiopia.

    She was also the first ever woman FIFA centre referee in the East African nation.

    “I started off in Jimma while still playing basketball. I played football in school but basketball was my first sport. I was interested when I met one of the instructors doing some courses and some of us from the basketball team were invited. I liked how he was teaching and I got interested more,” Tafesse says.

    The seed planted in her soul by the FIFA/CAF instructor Shiferaw Eshetu continued to germinate and grow as the days went on.

    When she moved to the capital Addis Ababa to continue her basketball career and pursue a course in Pharmacy, the interest continued and soon, she started building on with more courses and when it became apparent that she had found some new love, dumped the old one; basketball.

    “I was part of the female referees project and I started off by doing the Under-15, 17 games, the local tournaments as well as some Federation tournaments. I got more certification and I started doing the Men’s Premier League as an assistant referee and in 2005, I became a centre referee,” narrates Tafesse.

    The journey, though satisfying hasn’t been easy for the mother of one. When she started, there were no women referees and when she officiated men’s games, there was even more difficulty.

    But her resilience and desire to make a mark in Ethiopian football drover her passion.

    “It was very difficult when I started because sometimes, some people would ask why I decided to go into refereeing as a woman when there were no any other women doing the same. But my family supported me and I am grateful for them,”

    “Also, I came from a sports background and the fact that while playing basketball we trained and played against some men teams gave me confidence and it wasn’t so difficult for me at times, even when I did men’s games,” explains Tafesse.


    Lidya Tafesse (cafonline)

    She also remains grateful to the Ethiopian Football Federation who gave her and her colleagues confidence to continue and even handed them Premier League matches to boost their confidence. She vividly remembers the influence former vice president Tihaye Egziaber had on her.

    “He would talk to us as women referees and really encouraged us. He gave us so much support,” she states.

    Her impressive performances earned her a first ever international assignment in 2006 when she officiated an Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and Liberia in Abuja and that opened the floodgates for her to grow.

    “I will not forget that match because it was so different. The stadium was bigger than what we are used to here in Ethiopia, the crowd was amazing and the level was definitely good,” Tafesse remembers.


    (cafonline)

    She has gone on to progress, doing the All Africa Games in 2007 and 2011, before going on to do the Total Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) four times in a row in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

    On top of that, she has officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019, did the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2016 as well as the Under-20 in 2018.

    But in between all those wonderful assignments, she faced a challenge that nearly slowed down her sailing career. In 2013, she conceived her first born child who will be turning seven years old in October. But, the aftermath of her return seven months later was full of challenges.

    “Physiologically as women, we have so many body changes after pregnancy and I was not different. I gained so much weight and I had to work very hard to get back in shape. I worked a lot and eventually I was better and in 2014, I got a chance to go for the Cup of Nations,”

    “But while training there, I got injured and in my mind, it was all over for me. I tried to do some tests and see whether I could go on but I had decided I would go home. However, the director came and told me ‘Lydia you are not going. Just try and see whether you can recover’. I started treating the sprain on my ankle everyday and ultimately, I got better,”

    “I did a match in the semi-final, Cameroon vs Côte d’Ivoire which went up to extra time. Surprisingly, I was stronger and fitter than both teams when the game went to 120 minutes. I was so pleased,” Tafesse remembers.

    This is one of her most memorable matches. The other one was in 2012 when she officiated another semi-final pitting Nigeria and South Africa, a match that the Banyana Banyana won 1-0.

    “It was such a great game to officiate because both of them are brilliant teams. Also, it was very hot and I remembered hoping it would not go to extra time,” jokes Tafesse.


    (cafonline)

    Despite the stoppages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tafesse has continued to train on her own and has also use the time off competitions to give back to the community.

    She is using her background as a pharmacist and knowledge in medicine to raise awareness on the virus and help the community keep themselves safe from contracting and spreading the virus.

    “I have been doing education on social media and in radio and TV stations just trying to tell people on the dangers of the virus. I also go to the communities and teach them how to wash hands and keep hygiene. Also, I have been giving back to the community by helping the vulnerable who have not had a chance to get food and basic commodities,” she states.

    On her training, Tafesse admits that it has been tough but notes she has not had a reason to put the feet off the gas. “I train outside three times a week and also indoors where I have tried to put up my own small gym. We have a system where we have to make reports daily as well as GPS trackers to ensure we are training.”


    Lidya Tafesse (cafonline)

    As a woman, Tafesse says it has been great balancing between her family and refereeing, a career she has given her full attention to. The support from her husband and the motivation of her seven-year old keeps her going, Tafesse says.

    And now, she hopes she can influence the next generation of women referees in Ethiopia and the continent at large to take up the career. She hopes that after her active years, apart from continuing with her profession as a pharmacist, she will switch to become an instructor as she looks to get more and more following her path.

    Her hopes to continue getting high profile games and getting the chance to officiate at a CAF men’s tournament for the first time finally became true in the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), Cameroon 2020.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SPORT: Yalemzerf Yehualaw Runs Second-Fastest Women’s Half Marathon Ever

    Yalemzerf Yehualaw crosses the finish line with the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history to win the women's 2020 Airtel Delhi half marathon in New Delhi, India. (AFP photo)

    Reuters

    (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history on Sunday, completing the 21.09-kilometre course in New Delhi in one hour, four minutes and 46 seconds.

    The 21-year-old, whose previous personal best was 1:05:19 set during the world half marathon championships in Gdynia last month, shaved one minute and 14 seconds off the event record at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

    She won $27,000 in prize money and an additional $10,000 as an event record bonus.

    The overall women’s half marathon record of 1:04:31 was set by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh at Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates in February.


    Yalemzerf Yehualaw celebrates with her gold medal at the podium during the medal ceremony of the women’s 2020 Airtel Delhi half marathon in New Delhi on November 29, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

    Yehualaw’s compatriot Amdework Walelegn won the men’s race in the Indian capital on Sunday with a time of 58 minutes and 53 seconds, the third-fastest time of the year and also an event record by 13 seconds.

    More than 60 professional runners took part in the race, while several hundred enthusiasts ran in other cities on routes of their choice, using a mobile app to post race timings, organisers said.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SPORT: Soccer Legend Maradona Dies

    Diego Maradona, who was considered one of the greatest soccer players in history, alongside Pelé, has died. He was 60. “There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength,” Pelé said. “One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.” (Photo: Diego Maradona holds up his team's trophy after Argentina's victory over West Germany at the 1986 World Cup final soccer match in Mexico City/AP)

    The Associated Press

    “You took us to the top of the world,” Argentine President Alfredo Fernández said on social media. “You made us incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all.”

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great who scored the “Hand of God” goal in 1986 and led his country to that year’s World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, has died. He was 60.

    Maradona’s spokesman, Sebastián Sanchi, said he died Wednesday of a heart attack, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.

    The office of Argentina’s president said it will decree three days of national mourning, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter.

    One of the most famous moments in the history of the sport, the “Hand of God” goal, came when the diminutive Maradona punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. England said the ball went in off of Maradona’s hand, not his head. Maradona himself gave conflicting accounts of what had happened over the years, at one point attributing the goal to divine intervention, to “the hand of God.”

    Ahead of his 60th birthday in October, Maradona told France Football magazine that it was his dream to “score another goal against the English, this time with the right hand.”

    Maradona also captivated fans around the world over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.

    Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolized in soccer-mad Argentina as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”

    “You took us to the top of the world,” Argentine President Alfredo Fernández said on social media. “You made us incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all.”

    The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pelé, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time.

    The Brazilian said in a statement he had lost “a dear friend.”

    “There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength,” Pelé said. “One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”

    Bold, fast and utterly unpredictable, Maradona was a master of attack, juggling the ball easily from one foot to the other as he raced upfield. Dodging and weaving with his low center of gravity, he shrugged off countless rivals and often scored with a devastating left foot, his most powerful weapon.

    “Everything he was thinking in his head, he made it happen with his feet,” said Salvatore Bagni, who played with Maradona at Italian club Napoli.

    A ballooning waistline slowed Maradona’s explosive speed later in his career and by 1991 he was snared in his first doping scandal when he admitted to a cocaine habit that haunted him until he retired in 1997, at 37.

    Hospitalized near death in 2000 and again in ’04 for heart problems blamed on cocaine, he later said he overcame the drug problem. Cocaine, he once said famously, had proven to be his “toughest rival.”

    But more health problems followed, despite a 2005 gastric bypass that greatly trimmed his weight. Maradona was hospitalized in early 2007 for acute hepatitis that his doctor blamed on excessive drinking and eating.

    He made an unlikely return to the national team in 2008 when he was appointed Argentina coach, but after a quarterfinal exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was ousted — ultimately picking up another coaching job with the United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.

    Maradona was the fifth of eight children who grew up in a poor, gritty barrio on the Buenos Aires outskirts where he played a kind of dirt-patch soccer that launched many Argentines to international stardom.

    None of them approached Maradona’s fame. In 2001, FIFA named Maradona one of the two greatest in the sport’s history, alongside Pelé.


    AP photo

    “Maradona inspires us,” said then-Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, explaining his country’s everyman fascination with Maradona at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “He’s our idol, and an idol for the people.”

    Maradona reaped titles at home and abroad, playing in the early 1980s for Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors before moving on to Spanish and Italian clubs. His crowning achievement came at the 1986 World Cup, captaining Argentina in its 3-2 win over West Germany in the final and decisive in a 2-1 victory against England in a feisty quarterfinal match.

    Over the protests of England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, the referee let stand a goal by Maradona in which, as he admitted years later, he intentionally hit the ball with his hand in “a bit of mischief.”

    But Maradona’s impact wouldn’t be confined to cheating. Four minutes later, he spectacularly weaved past four opponents from midfield to beat Shilton for what FIFA later declared the greatest goal in World Cup history.

    Many Argentines saw the match as revenge for their country’s loss to Britain in the 1982 war over the Falkland Islands, which Argentines still claim as “Las Malvinas.”

    “It was our way of recovering ‘Las Malvinas,’” Maradona wrote in his 2000 autobiography “I am Diego.”

    “It was more than trying to win a game. We said the game had nothing to do with the war. But we knew that Argentines had died there, that they had killed them like birds. And this was our revenge. It was something bigger than us: We were defending our flag.”

    It also was vindication for Maradona, who in what he later called “the greatest tragedy” of his career was cut from the squad of the 1978 World Cup — which Argentina won at home — because he was only 17.

    Maradona said he was given a soccer ball soon after he could run.

    “I was 3 years old and I slept hugging that ball all night,” he said.

    At 10, Maradona gained fame by performing at halftime of professional matches, wowing crowds by keeping the ball airborne for minutes with his feet, chest and head. He also made his playing debut with the Argentinos Juniors youth team, leading a squad of mostly 14-year-olds through 136 unbeaten matches.

    “To see him play was pure bliss, true stardom,” teammate Carlos Beltran said.


    Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armando Maradona cheers after the Napoli team clinched its first Italian major league title in Naples, Italy, on May 10, 1987. Diego Maradona has died. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He was 60. (AP Photo)

    Maradona played from 1976-81 for first division club Argentinos Juniors, then went to Boca Juniors for a year before heading to Barcelona for a world-record $8 million.

    In 1984, Barcelona sold him to Napoli, in Italy. He remade its fortunes almost single-handedly, taking it to the 1987 Italian league championship for its first title in 60 years.

    A year after losing the 1990 World Cup final to West Germany, Maradona moved to Spanish club Sevilla, but his career was on the decline. He played five matches at Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys in 1994 before returning to Boca from 1995-97 — his final club and closest to his heart.

    Drug problems overshadowed his final playing years.

    Maradona failed a doping test in 1991 and was banned for 15 months, acknowledging his longtime cocaine addiction. He failed another doping test for stimulants and was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

    In retirement, Maradona frequented Boca matches as a raucous one-man cheering section and took part in worldwide charity, sporting and exhibition events. But the already stocky forward quickly gained weight and was clearly short of breath as he huffed through friendly matches.

    In 2000, in what doctors said was a brush with death, he was hospitalized in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este with a heart that doctors said was pumping at less than half its capacity. Blood and urine samples turned up traces of cocaine.

    After another emergency hospitalization in 2004, Maradona was counseled for drug abuse and in September of that year traveled to Cuba for treatment at Havana’s Center for Mental Health. There he was visited by his friend, Cuban President Fidel Castro.

    In Cuba, Maradona took to playing golf and smoking cigars. He frequently praised Castro and Argentine-born revolutionary “Che” Guevara, who fought with Castro in the Cuban revolution — even sporting a tattoo of Guevara on his right arm.

    Maradona said he got clean from drugs there and started a new chapter.

    In 2005, he underwent gastric bypass in Colombia, shedding nearly 50 kilograms (more than 100 pounds) before appearing as host of a wildly popular Argentine television talk show. On “10’s Night,” Maradona headed around a ball with Pelé, interviewed boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood celebrities, and taped a lengthy conversation with Castro in Cuba.

    In retirement, Maradona also became more outspoken. He sniped frequently at former coaches, players — including Pelé — and the pope. He joined a left-wing protest train outside the Summit of the Americas in 2005, standing alongside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to denounce the presence of then-President George W. Bush.

    His outsider status made it all the more surprising when he was chosen as Argentina coach following Alfio Basile’s resignation.

    He won his first three matches but his tactics, selection and attention to detail were all questioned after a 6-1 loss to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying equaled Argentina’s worst-ever margin of defeat.

    Victor Hugo Morales, Argentina’s most popular soccer broadcaster, said Maradona will ultimately be remembered for a thrilling style of play that has never been duplicated.

    “He has been one of the great artists of my time. Like great masters of music and painting, he has defied our intellect and enriched the human spirit,” Morales said. “Nobody has thrilled me more and left me in such awe as Diego.”

    Diego Maradona: Argentina legend’s career in pictures (BBC)


    Diego Maradona – displaying the World Cup in 1986, during a training session, and with his ex-wife Claudia and their daughters Dalma and Gianina. (BBC)

    Colourful doesn’t really do him justice. Diego Maradona was a genius on the football pitch and a controversial figure off it.

    From his homeland of Argentina to success in Italy, World Cup glory and his drugs downfall, here’s a look at his life in photos.


    Starting out: Maradona made his World Cup finals debut for Argentina at the 1982 tournament in Spain, but really made his mark four years later… (Getty Images)


    Calm before the storm: Handshake with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton before the World Cup quarter-final in Mexico in 1986. (Getty Images)


    Ridiculous to the sublime: The ‘Hand of God’ goal against England, followed by the ‘Goal of the Century’ (Getty Images)


    World class: Maradona was named player of the tournament after inspiring Argentina to victory in 1986, and helped the side reach the final four years later. (BBC)

    Read and see more photos at BBC.com »

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    SPORT: Letesenbet Gidey Makes History, Breaks the 5,000-Meter World Record

    On Wednesday, October 7, the Ethiopian shattered the world record, which previously stood for 12 years, at the NN Valencia World Record Day in Valencia, Spain, by running 14:06.62. Her performance improved on the previous world record of 14:11.15 set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008. (Runners World)

    Runners World

    The previous record, set by Tirunesh Dibaba, stood for 12 years.

    One year after finishing second in the 10,000 meters at the 2019 IAAF World Championships, Letesenbet Gidey became the fastest woman to ever run 5,000 meters on the track.

    On Wednesday, October 7, the Ethiopian shattered the world record, which previously stood for 12 years, at the NN Valencia World Record Day in Valencia, Spain, by running 14:06.62. Her performance improved on the previous world record of 14:11.15 set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008.

    “This is a long time dream and I’m very happy by this competition,” Gidey told race organizers. “It is very big for me.”

    From the start, Gidey was in the ideal position to achieve the mark. With guidance from Wavelight technology—a new innovation that uses colored lighting set up along the inside rail of the track to enable athletes to target a specific pace—pacemakers Esther Gurerro and Beatrice Chepkoech brought the 2019 world cross-country bronze medalist through 1,000 meters in 2:38 and 3,000 meters in 8:31.85

    In the five remaining laps, Gidey ran alone, maintaining a consistent pace with her metronomic racing style that kept the world record within reach. With 400 meters to go, the 22-year-old unleashed her kick and carried the momentum into the finish line of the historic performance for a 17-second personal best,

    The world record was Gidey’s second race of 2020, which has seen numerous race cancellations and meets adjusted for COVID-19 restrictions. Her first race of the year was a runner-up finish to Hellen Obiri in the 5,000 meters at the Diamond League Monaco meet on August 14.

    By breaking the 5,000-meter world record, Gidey continued the legacy of Ethiopian runners holding the fastest times. Dibaba is also from Ethiopia. In 2008—the same year she broke the world record in the 5,000 meters—Dibaba won gold in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the Beijing Games.

    After Gidey broke the 5,000-meter record, Joshua Cheptegei followed with a record of his own. The Ugandan distance runner shattered the world record in the men’s 10,000 meters with a time of 26:11.00.

    Related:

    Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata Wins a Thrilling London Marathon


    Shura Kitata wins the London Marathon on Sunday, October 4th, 2020. (Getty Images)

    Reuters

    Shura Kitata beats Vincent Kipchumba to win thrilling London Marathon

    Ethiopian Shura Kitata outsprinted Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba to win a thrilling London Marathon on Sunday as a stunned world record holder Eliud Kipchoge faded late in the race to suffer his first defeat since 2013.

    In cold, wet conditions, 24-year-old Kitata edged clear in the final metres to win by one second over Kipchumba in a relatively slow two hours, 05.41 minutes.

    Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia was third in 2:5.35, with Kipchoge, the hot favourite, who in his last race a year ago became the only man to break the two hour mark for the distance, eighth in 2:06.49 having suffered cramp and a blocked ear.

    In the absence of injured Kenenisa Bekele, Kipchoge was widely expected to lift a fifth London crown but was never able to impose his usual speed in the relentless cold rain.


    Shura Kitata overcame favourite Eliud Kipchoge to win the men’s London Marathon. (Reuters)

    He was in a pack who went through halfway in just under 63 minutes — very pedestrian in relation to his recent races, not least his official world record of 2:01.39 set in Berlin two years ago.

    Ethiopians Lemma and Tamirat Tola, both sporting woollen hats to stave off the cold, took up the running as the field began to realize that, perhaps, Kipchoge was struggling.

    They were right. The favourite, whose face never usually gives any indication of suffering, was showing the occasional grimace and he lacked his usual smoothness.

    At one point the leaders clocked a five minute mile, a virtual jog at elite level. Then, as never previously seen during his all-conquering career, Kipchoge, 35, broke, dropping back from a pack of six with just over three miles to go.

    As the pace eventually picked up it was down to three, shoulder to shoulder, as they entered The Mall in a finish more like an 800m race than a marathon. The tall Kipchumba looked as if he would do it as he edged ahead, but Kitata fought back magnificently to take the tape.

    Kitata, who finished second in London in 2018, thanked his missing compatriot for his victory. “Kenenisa Bekele was helping me for this race and he advised me how to run,” he said. “I trained for the same course, I am very happy to win.”

    Kipchoge had won 12 of his 13 previous marathons – the blip being a second place behind a then-world record in his second outing over the distance in Berlin in 2013.

    “I’m really disappointed, I had a problem with my right ear after it blocked, and then I really cramped and had problems with my hip from about the last 15 km,” he said.

    “It’s really cold but I don’t blame the conditions and I’m still there to come back again.”

    Earlier, Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei was a comfortable winner of the women’s race in 2:18.58 as American Sara Hall produced a great finish to snatch second from Ruth Chepngetich.

    The races, originally postponed from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were run over almost 20 laps of a fenced-off course in a “controlled secure biosphere” around St James’s Park.

    Although there was no mass field this year, around 40,000 people are running the distance at venues of their choice through the day.

    They will receive official finisher’s medals and raise millions of pounds for charities hard hit by the cancellation of the April race.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata Wins a Thrilling London Marathon

    Shura Kitata wins the London Marathon on Sunday, October 4th, 2020. (Getty Images)

    Reuters

    Shura Kitata beats Vincent Kipchumba to win thrilling London Marathon

    Ethiopian Shura Kitata outsprinted Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba to win a thrilling London Marathon on Sunday as a stunned world record holder Eliud Kipchoge faded late in the race to suffer his first defeat since 2013.

    In cold, wet conditions, 24-year-old Kitata edged clear in the final metres to win by one second over Kipchumba in a relatively slow two hours, 05.41 minutes.

    Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia was third in 2:5.35, with Kipchoge, the hot favourite, who in his last race a year ago became the only man to break the two hour mark for the distance, eighth in 2:06.49 having suffered cramp and a blocked ear.

    In the absence of injured Kenenisa Bekele, Kipchoge was widely expected to lift a fifth London crown but was never able to impose his usual speed in the relentless cold rain.


    Shura Kitata overcame favourite Eliud Kipchoge to win the men’s London Marathon. (Reuters)

    He was in a pack who went through halfway in just under 63 minutes — very pedestrian in relation to his recent races, not least his official world record of 2:01.39 set in Berlin two years ago.

    Ethiopians Lemma and Tamirat Tola, both sporting woollen hats to stave off the cold, took up the running as the field began to realize that, perhaps, Kipchoge was struggling.

    They were right. The favourite, whose face never usually gives any indication of suffering, was showing the occasional grimace and he lacked his usual smoothness.

    At one point the leaders clocked a five minute mile, a virtual jog at elite level. Then, as never previously seen during his all-conquering career, Kipchoge, 35, broke, dropping back from a pack of six with just over three miles to go.

    As the pace eventually picked up it was down to three, shoulder to shoulder, as they entered The Mall in a finish more like an 800m race than a marathon. The tall Kipchumba looked as if he would do it as he edged ahead, but Kitata fought back magnificently to take the tape.

    Kitata, who finished second in London in 2018, thanked his missing compatriot for his victory. “Kenenisa Bekele was helping me for this race and he advised me how to run,” he said. “I trained for the same course, I am very happy to win.”

    Kipchoge had won 12 of his 13 previous marathons – the blip being a second place behind a then-world record in his second outing over the distance in Berlin in 2013.

    “I’m really disappointed, I had a problem with my right ear after it blocked, and then I really cramped and had problems with my hip from about the last 15 km,” he said.

    “It’s really cold but I don’t blame the conditions and I’m still there to come back again.”

    Earlier, Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei was a comfortable winner of the women’s race in 2:18.58 as American Sara Hall produced a great finish to snatch second from Ruth Chepngetich.

    The races, originally postponed from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were run over almost 20 laps of a fenced-off course in a “controlled secure biosphere” around St James’s Park.

    Although there was no mass field this year, around 40,000 people are running the distance at venues of their choice through the day.

    They will receive official finisher’s medals and raise millions of pounds for charities hard hit by the cancellation of the April race.

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: Ethiopian Sports Journalist Fekrou Kidane Reflects on 60th Anniversary of Abebe Bikila’s Rome Victory

    Abebe Bikila celebrating after his historic victory at the Summer Olympics in Rome on September 10th, 1960. (Photo: Wikimedia)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: September 10th, 2020

    Los Angeles (TADIAS) — This week marks the 60th anniversary of Abebe Bikila’s legendary victory at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where the Ethiopian athletics icon became the first African Olympic gold medalist.

    “The day was Saturday, September 10th, the eve of Enqutatash (Ethiopian New Year),” recalls veteran journalist Fekrou Kidane — the first Ethiopian sports reporter who started his career in 1957 and who now lives in Paris. “The Ethiopian marathon team included Abebe Bikila and Abebe Wakgira who finished seventh.”

    Fekrou vividly remembers the sentiment from spectators and the international media who, as far as they were concerned, had perceived the African athletes as an afterthought. “Nobody noticed their presence until about 20 kilometers into the competition when Abebe Bikila and the Moroccan long-distance runner Rhadi Ben Abdesselam, who finished second, emerged as frontrunners.”

    “To make things even more interesting Abebe was running barefoot, further astounding the audience,” Fekrou shares in a recent letter he wrote to Tadias, reflecting on the 60th anniversary of Abebe Bikila’s Rome victory.

    “When the runners reached Piazza di Porta Capena and Abebe noticed the Axum Obelisk, that was looted from Ethiopia by Mussolini’s troops less than two decades earlier during world War II, something hit him and he just bolted leaving everyone behind.” The rest is history.

    According to the World Athletics Federation Abebe’s milestone victory “remains, arguably, one of the most significant landmark moments in [sports]. When Abebe Bikila – running barefoot – became the first black African to win an Olympic marathon gold medal on the streets of Rome it was without doubt one of the most iconic moments of the 1960 Games.”


    Ethiopian journalist Fekrou Kidane, who is affectionately known as Gashe Fekrou, is pictured at his home in Paris, France. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ethiopian Sports Journalists Association (ESJA) in 2018. (Photo by Arefe via AIPS media)

    As Fekrou recalls, the following day was Enqutatash and Abebe’s historic victory gave Ethiopia a double celebration — a new year and a hero’s welcome home that culminated with a parade and the Order of the Star of Ethiopia awarded to Abebe by Emperor Haile Selassie among other gifts.

    Abebe Bikila passed away on October 25th, 1973 at the young age of 41 following deteriorating health from a car accident a few years prior, but his place in history as the first African Olympian gold medalist continues to inspire generations of runners from his native country and beyond.

    Watch: Abebe Bikila’s victory at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome on September 10th, 1960 (IOC)

    https://youtu.be/zvCDJL1Php0

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Spotlight: Liverpool Signs Ethiopian Striker Melkamu Frauendorf From Germany

    Melkamu Frauendorf, an Ethiopia-born German national, has confirmed that he has been recruited to join UK's famous Liverpool soccer team. Melkamu confirmed the news Wednesday on social media. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: August 26th, 2020

    New York (TADIAS) — UK’s world-renowned soccer team Liverpool Football Club have signed an exciting up-and-coming talent by the name of Melkamu Frauendorf from Germany.

    Melkamu, who was born in Ethiopia, first confirmed the news on Wednesday by changing his Instagram profile to indicate that he is headed to Liverpool, generating a social media buzz among soccer fans around the world.

    According to The Liverpool Echo the team “have completed the signing of 16-year-old German youth international from Hoffenheim. The ECHO understands a deal was approved by the Football Association and Premier League inside the last two weeks. And the attacking midfielder has now penned a scholarship agreement at Anfield.”


    Melkamu Frauendorf. (Getty Images)

    The soccer news website HITC noted: Melkamu “was born in Ethiopia but represents Germany, with six caps to his name at Under-15 and Under-16 levels. Primarily an attacking midfielder, [Melkamu] has been backed for a bright future, and it seems that the teenager will now be calling Anfield home.”

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Burke Girma: A Week in the Life of a 16-year-old Ethiopian Student Athlete

    Burke Girma is a 16-year-old student who lives in Bekoji, Ethiopia with her mother, sister and three brothers. She is an Athletic Scholar with the Girls Gotta Run Foundation. (Photo: Courtesy of Sosi Moss)

    Assembly — The Malala Fund newsletter

    Assembly’s Game Changers series features female athletes around the world who defy convention on and off the field.

    BURKE GIRMA WRITES ABOUT TRAINING WITH THE GIRLS GOTTA RUN FOUNDATION AND HELPING HER MOTHER OUT AT THE MARKET.

    MONDAY

    Today was a normal day. I woke up and washed my face and hands and changed my clothes to get ready for school. I made breakfast for my siblings and me. We had tea and bread. I walked to school and studied with my friends. It takes me about an hour to walk from my house to Bekoji High School. We have half days of school and each month it changes whether they are in the morning or afternoon. This month we have school in the morning and next month we will have school in the afternoon. After school I had lunch with my teammates. Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) provides lunch for our team every school day. In the afternoon I went to athletics training and walked back home to study.

    TUESDAY

    Tuesday is market day in Bekoji. My family and I live on a small farm just outside of the town of Bekoji. We started to raise animals on our farm and trade goods at the market twice a week. On market days, I wake up early to help my mother bring items to the market to sell before I go to school. We take a garee (a horse-drawn carriage) to town because we have heavy goods to bring. We usually sell eggs, produce, traditional homemade alcohol and sometimes livestock. The market can be really busy but it’s a nice time to see my mom’s friends and other families. I help my mom set up her little shop and then I go to school. After lunch, I return to help her sell any final items before the market closes. Then I go to running practice and head home. It’s been a long day but market days are usually the longest.


    (Courtesy of Sosi Moss)

    WEDNESDAY

    We had a fun practice today at the track. We do our trainings in different locations: the track, the forest, a large field. I enjoy the variety. Our track practice today included some speed drills and a few games that I enjoy. It makes me feel strong when we do speed drills, I can see the improvement I am making. I really love training with Coach Fatia. Our coach is female and she is like our second mother. We have a good relationship with her and I have learned a lot from her. Our team is all girls. It’s the first of its kind in Bekoji and it makes me proud to be part of a team like this. We play together and eat together and even study together after school. I have made many friends by being part of this program.

    Read more »

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    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    NYC Marathon Cancelled Due to COVID-19

    The New York Road Runners (NYRR), in partnership with the mayor’s office, said the decision to cancel the world’s largest marathon was made due to novel coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers and staff. (Reuters)

    Reuters

    The New York City Marathon, one of the most prestigious events on the global running calendar, has been cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, race organisers said on Wednesday.

    The New York Road Runners (NYRR), in partnership with the mayor’s office, said the decision to cancel the world’s largest marathon was made due to novel coronavirus-related health and safety concerns for runners, spectators, volunteers and staff.

    The race was scheduled to take place on Nov. 1.

    “Canceling this year’s TCS New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective,” said NYRR Chief Executive Michael Capiraso.

    The 26.2-mile race (42km), which traverses all five boroughs of the city, routinely attracts over 50,000 runners and more than one million spectators.

    Former New York City Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi said the race held a special place in his heart and he was sad to hear that this year’s edition had been cancelled.

    “These decisions are never easy, but keeping people healthy and safe is always the right call. I will see you in NYC for the 50th running in 2021!” Keflezighi said on Twitter.

    Runners who signed up for this year’s marathon, which would have celebrated its 50th anniversary, can either receive a full refund or choose to run the race in any of the next three years.

    “As the latest U.S. major on the calendar for the year, this one stings,” former Boston Marathon winner Des Linden wrote on Twitter.

    “It also offers clarity for season goals and allows for patience and intelligence in mapping the way forward. It’s the right call.”

    Of the six World Marathon Majors, three have been canceled this year due to the virus with the Boston Marathon and Berlin Marathon also opting to shelve plans for their 2020 races.

    The Boston Marathon, originally due to be held in April and then postponed until September, was cancelled this year for the first time in its 124-year history.

    The Tokyo Marathon went ahead on March 1 with elite runners only, London was postponed to Oct. 4 from April 26 and the Chicago Marathon is currently scheduled for Oct. 11.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    REUTERS’ Birthday Shoutout To Kenenisa

    Kenenisa Bekele after winning the men's 10,000m athletics competition final in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 17, 2008. (REUTERS)

    REUTERS

    SPORT-ON THIS DAY: Born June 13, 1982: Kenenisa Bekele

    NAIROBI — Ethiopia’s three-time Olympic and five-time world champion Kenenisa Bekele is one of the African continent’s finest athletes but he still wants to seal his golden legacy by becoming the fastest marathon runner of all time.

    He holds world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters and came within a whisker of posting another one last September at the Berlin marathon in one of the sport’s greatest comebacks.

    In a gutsy race, Bekele came from behind to win but fell two seconds short of his rival Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

    “I still can do this (world record). I don’t give up. It is encouraging for the future,” Bekele said at the time.

    The mouth-watering prospect of another crack at the world mark could have come last April at the London marathon, where he would have competed against Kipchoge.

    However, that race fell victim to the novel coronavirus pandemic and has been rescheduled to Oct. 4. It is far from certain if it will take place, in what form and whether the two superstars will be on the start line if it does.

    The 38-year old Bekele is one of the most dominant distance runners in the sport. He boasts three Olympic and five world championship golds over 10,000 and 5,000 meters not to mention a stunning 11 cross-country world championship golds.

    His switch to road races in 2014 began with a bang as he won in Paris on his marathon debut, breaking the course record.

    But he was then hit by injuries and it seemed like his best days were over before his marathon success in Berlin last year.

    The second of six children, Bekele was born in Bekoji, in the central Ethiopian province of Arsi Province, a part of the country famous for producing great runners.

    However, his life has not been without tragedy.

    In 2005, while running with his 18-year-old fiancee Alem Techale on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, she fell ill and died soon after. “It’s a loss that will always stay with me,” Bekele told Reuters that year.

    Two years later, he married Ethiopian actress Danawit Gebregziabher and they have three children.

    While the coronavirus pandemic blocked the race that may have settled the debate over who is the best between him and Kipchoge, fans still hope to discover who will come out on top.

    Bekele believes he can beat his great rival.

    “He (Kipchoge) is human. If someone is well prepared and strong enough, why not? It’s a race,” he told the Olympic channel in April.


    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopian Athletes Raise Funds to Fight Virus in Virtual Run (AP)

    Tirunesh Dibaba and and Kenenisa Bekele. (Getty Images)

    AP

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Tirunesh Dibaba ran in an empty stadium and Kenenisa Bekele inside his own home as the former Olympic champions raised funds Saturday for Ethiopia’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

    The Ethiopian athletes were joined by amateur runners from across the world. Participants ran on treadmills or on the spot inside their homes, or around their gardens.

    The event was streamed live online and runners connected on Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube in a virtual fundraiser.

    Dibaba, who’s won three gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, ran at an empty National Stadium in Addis Ababa with sisters Genzebe and Ejegayehu, also top athletes. Bekele, also a three-time Olympic champion, ran inside his home with members of his family seen in the background on his video stream.

    Organizers said money raised will be donated to two Ethiopia-based non-profit organizations that are helping the country’s efforts against the virus.

    Grand African Run, an annual fun run usually held in the United States, and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation combined to organize the event. It attracted runners from across the globe, mostly Ethiopians. There was no specified distance or duration for the participants to run.

    Derartu Tulu, the 1992 and 2000 Olympic champion in the 10,000 meters and the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, also took part from her garden.

    “I long for the day this pandemic is over and I run with you all,” she said. “I hope that won’t be too far away.”


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    Kenenisa: ‘Corona taught us to be humble’

    The London Marathon battle between Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge was widely anticipated. But the London Marathon is not going to happen - at least, not this April. Coronavirus has taken over.(BBC)

    BBC Sport Africa

    Kenenisa Bekele : ‘Coronavirus has taught us to be humble’

    Kenenisa Bekele was more than ready to line up this Sunday for the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

    “I was in a very good position and I felt comfortable,” Ethiopian Bekele, the world’s second-fastest marathon runner, says.

    As part of his build up to London, the Ethiopian had won the London Big Half on 1 March – posting a new course record of one hour and 22 seconds.

    But the London Marathon is not going to happen – at least, not this April. Coronavirus has taken over.

    Nevertheless, Bekele is not so much affected by the postponement of the race, as by the worldwide coronavirus crisis – and the feeling of how vulnerable human beings are.

    “I worry about the future. I worry about the famine that follows. We are in a lockdown in Ethiopia, but staying inside is a luxury that many cannot afford,” Bekele says.

    “But I believe we will survive this storm. Humanity has done it before and overcome many great disasters before. But it will not be easy.”

    Ethiopia is one of the countries in Africa affected by the virus. At the moment the East African country has recorded 116 positive cases.

    It is something that has made Bekele not only speak out, but act. One of Ethiopia’s most decorated athletes – he has three Olympic gold medals, two in 10,000m and one in 5000m, and holds the world records in both events – has given out his hotel in Sululta, 25 minutes outside Addis Ababa, to be used for coronavirus patients.

    “I hope people can use the rooms that I have in my hotel in Sululta; I have space there,” he explains.

    “I want to offer them on my costs to help out in this highly contagious and still mysterious virus that is harming the health and lives of people greatly.”

    Read more »


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    2020 Olympics Rescheduled for July 2021

    The IOC postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8 in 2021

    TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

    Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

    “The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

    Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

    There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

    Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.

    “We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify,” Mori said.

    After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.

    The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

    The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back.

    “The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer.”

    Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.

    “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IOC said. “The new dates … also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs.”

    Both Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive” — local reports estimate billions of dollars — with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.

    Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.

    “Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”

    Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.

    Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.

    The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion, according to organizing committee documents. The IOC’s contribution goes into the operating budget.

    IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called the Tokyo Olympics the best prepared in history. However, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso also termed them “cursed.” Aso competed in shooting in the 1976 Olympics, and was born in 1940.

    The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were canceled because of World War II.

    The run-up to the Olympics also saw IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, who also headed the Japanese Olympic Committee, forced to resign last year amid a bribery scandal.


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    Haile Donates to Ethiopia Covid-19 Fund

    Haile Gebrselassie is one of Ethiopia's best-known figures. (BBC)

    BBC Sport Africa

    Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie has donated nearly $50,000 to a committee set up to fight the spread of coronavirus in his homeland.

    The Covid-19 National Resource Mobilisation Committee was launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday in Ethiopia, where there are currently 21 reported cases.

    “It’s not time to profit but to save lives,” said Haile. “We need to support the government at this crucial time and support one another.”

    “This is a very different time we are win. Everything’s locked down and sporting events have been cancelled all over the world, so we have to be able to support our community.”

    Haile donated one million Ethiopian birr ($30,213) from a range of his businesses while half a million birr (USD 15,106) came from the Great Ethiopian Run, which was founded by the two-time Olympic champion.

    The Mobilisation Committee is tasked with gathering funds and materials to assist with emergency preparations to fight the pandemic in Africa’s second most populous nation, with over 100m inhabitants.

    “Such periods require the effort and contribution of each individual,” Prime Minister Abiy, who has donated a month of his own salary to the committee, stated earlier in the week.

    “Our collective and concerted efforts to help one another in times of great need will be the only way we overcome.”

    Read more »


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    Kenenisa Bekele Breaks Mo Farah’s London Half-Marathon Record

    The three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele won the London half-marathon on Sunday, March 1st, 2020. Kenenisa broke last year's course record held by British distance runner Mo Farah, finishing the race in one hour and 22 seconds. (Photo: @OfficialBigHalf/Twitter)

    AFP

    LONDON — Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah’s course record as he won the London half-marathon on Sunday in a time of one hour and 22 seconds.

    Bekele took 1min 18sec off the record set in 2019 by British distance great Farah, who missed this year’s edition with an Achilles injury.

    Britain’s Christopher Thompson finished second, with Jake Smith third.

    Sunday’s event served as a warm-up event for the full London Marathon on April 26. That race is set to see Bekele go up against Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion from Kenya, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time meet in the British capital.

    “The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn’t focused on time today, I just wanted to win,” Bekele, three times an Olympic gold medallist on the track, told the BBC.


    Related:

    The Vitality Big Half 2020: Kenenisa Bekele breaks Mo Farah’s course record (BBC)

    Kenenisa Bekele to face Eliud Kipchoge in London Marathon for the ages (The Guardian)

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    World Athletics: Ababel Yeshaneh Breaks Half Marathon Record

    Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia smashed the world record by 20 seconds on Friday winning the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah half marathon at the World Athletics Gold Label road race in UAE. (Photo via worldathletics.org)

    Reuters

    Athletics: Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh smashes half marathon world record by 20 seconds

    Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the half marathon world record by 20 seconds on Friday to win the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) event in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

    Yeshaneh crossed the finish line in one hour, four minutes and 31 seconds at the World Athletics Gold Label road race, eclipsing the previous record of 1:04:51 set by Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017.

    Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei finished second, and her time was also two seconds inside Jepkosgei’s mark.

    Both Yeshaneh and Kosgei were wearing a version of Nike’s Vaporfly shoes, which have featured in several other track and road records in the last three years.

    Some earlier models of the shoe were banned by World Athletics last month, but the latest one launched by Nike complies with the rules to limit carbon plate usage and sole thickness for elite races.

    “I didn’t imagine this result,” said Yeshaneh, whose previous best of 1:05:46 had stood as the Ethiopian record for five months between 2018 and 2019.


    Related:

    Yeshaneh breaks half marathon world record in Ras Al Khaimah (World Athletics)

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    World Athletics ‘Deeply Saddened’ by Death of Ethiopian Runner Abadi Hadis

    Distance runner Abadi Hadis in action at the World Championships London 2017. According to reports the 22-year-old athlete died on Tuesday from unspecified illness while being treated at Ayder hospital in Mekelle. (Getty Images)

    World Athletics

    Ethiopian Runner Abadi Hadis Dies at 22

    World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Ethiopian distance runner Abadi Hadis died on Tuesday at the age of 22.

    A regular competitor on the international track and road circuits, Hadis made his big breakthrough in 2016. Clocking PBs of 13:02.49 and 26:57.88, he was the fastest U20 athlete in the world that year at both 5000m and 10,000m. He also represented Ethiopia at the Olympic Games in Rio that year, finishing 15th in the 10,000m.

    In 2017, while still a teenager, he finished third in the senior men’s race at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, leading Ethiopia to the team gold medal. He went on to finish seventh in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London later that year.

    Hadis went on to record a 5000m PB of 12:56.27 in 2018 and followed it with a half marathon best of 58:44. He replicated that half marathon time at the start of 2019 and followed it with a 26:56.46 10,000m PB in Hengelo. His last competition was the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, where he exited in the heats of the 5000m.

    He is one of just five men in history to have bettered 13 minutes for 5000m, 27 minutes for 10,000m and 59 minutes for the half marathon.


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    Ethiopian Duo Win Houston Marathon

    Left: Kelkile Gezahegn celebrates his win in the 48th running of the Houston Marathon. Right: Askale Merachi breaks the tape to win the women's race. (Photo: Houston Chronicle)

    Houston Chronicle

    If it’s a Sunday morning in January and Houston’s streets are swarming with runners, it’s a safe bet Ethiopians will be leading the pack, then leaving town with brand-new cowboy hats. They went 2-for-2 this year for the 10th time in the last dozen years.

    Kelkile Gezahegn reclaimed the men’s crown in the Chevron Houston Marathon on behalf of his East African homeland — which took a one-year hiatus from winning — with his 2:08:36, breaking away from his only challenger, countryman Bonsa Dida. Askale Merachi extended what’s now a 14-year run of Ethiopian dominance among the women with a 2:03:39, only 15 seconds shy of the course record.

    The 23-year-old Gezahegn is the eighth different male champion from the East African nation since 2009, while Merachi, a decade older at 33, is the 10th different Ethiopian female to prevail since 2007.

    Both made their respective Houston debuts memorable, winning $45,000 and those prized Stetsons. Note that Merachi admitted, speaking through a translator, that with all due respect to our proud Texas heritage, “the 45K was the most important goal.”

    She did add that the hat was “very lovely.”

    Such is the depth of talent in Ethiopia, however, that neither Gezahegn nor Merachi is assured of making their Olympic team for the Tokyo Games this summer. Gezahegn, who ran a personal-best 2:05:56 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 2018, said “it’s up to my manager” as to whether he’s even in the conversation. Yet despite his youth, he has eight career marathon victories, winning at least once in each of the past three seasons with triumphs in Frankfurt, Germany, and Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

    Gezahegn followed Kenya’s Albert Korir atop the podium (another Kenyan, Dominic Ondoro, won in 2017) but didn’t come close to threatening Tariku Jufar’s course record 2:06:51, set in 2012.

    Although also largely unknown to local crowds lining the streets from downtown to the Galleria area, Merachi showed herself to be the favorite early and, despite fading a little late as a cold, blustery wind picked up — everyone’s pace slowed markedly because of it — was able to easily block countrywoman Biryukayit Degefa’s bid to become the first runner, male or female, to collect a fourth championship.

    However, by placing second with a 2:24:47 that was faster than two of her winning times, Degefa secured a podium finish for an unprecedented sixth consecutive year — after a fourth-place showing in 2014. She’s one of three Ethiopian women to win at least twice. It was Dire Tune who began Ethiopia’s reign with a back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.

    “I finished like I started,” Merachi said. “My goal is always a single one: just winning.”

    She admitted she was aware of what Degefa was hoping to accomplish — two Kenyan men, David Cheruiyot (2005-06, 2008) and Stephen Ndungu (1998-2000), are the only other three-time champions in Houston since the inaugural marathon in 1972 — but said, “I just did my part.”

    Read more »


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    Kenenisa vs. World Record Holder in UK

    The three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will take on the world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya at the 2020 London Marathon in April. (Photo: Kenenisa Bekele won the Berlin marathon last September in the second fastest offical time in history/Getty Images)

    The Guardian

    Kenenisa Bekele to face Eliud Kipchoge in London Marathon for the ages

    Kenenisa Bekele has agreed to race Eliud Kipchoge in a London Marathon for the ages in April – and said he is not surprised Mo Farah is swerving the race in favour of returning to the track.

    Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who has won 17 world titles over cross-country, track and road, roared with laughter when asked what he thought of Farah’s decision to leave the marathon and then added: “I am not surprised. Of course if you see Mo Farah’s races in marathons, he’s struggling – it’s not easy to get good results over a marathon. You need experience. It’s a different course, a different racing mentality.

    “But it is really hard for all of us. You need to learn how to run it and also the training is different. I think it’s harder, not only for Mo, but for all of us – even I struggled.”

    However the Ethiopian, who ran the second fastest marathon time in history in Berlin in September, two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s official world record of 2hr 01min 39sec, said Farah is still good enough to win a medal in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

    “I’m sure we’ll see Mo doing better things on the track. If he focuses and concentrates like before I’m sure he will be in the medals in the 10,000. I’ve no doubt about that.”

    Bekele still holds the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, which were set in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and insisted he was capable of claiming Kipchoge’s marathon best even at the age of 37.

    “My training is going well and I feel well,” he said.“Before last year I was struggling with injury. Everyone knows I’m a strong athlete from 15 years on the track. When we came to the marathon I’ve struggled maybe to achieve good results but of course this is because of injury, not a lack of training or my personality. I was a bit behind but my health came back and now I’m doing a lot better in the marathon.”

    Bekele also admitted the sight of his great Kenyan rival running a sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna in October, albeit in an event that was not recognised by World Athletics, has spurred him on.

    Read more »


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    Olympian Derartu Tulu Joins the Bikila Barefoot Challenge in Toronto

    The annual Bikila Barefoot Challenge hosted by the Bikila Award organization in Toronto, Canada is held in support of the establishment of an Ethiopian Studies Program at the University of Toronto.

    Tadias Magazine

    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: July 25th, 2019

    New York (TADIAS) — The annual Bikila Barefoot Challenge is set to take place at the University of Toronto in Canada this coming weekend.

    Organizers share that the honorary guest is no other than the celebrated long-distance athlete Derartu Tulu, whom like her male counterpart the legendary marathoner Abebe Bikila, is the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

    Derartu Tulu who is currently visiting the U.S. also took part in the 1st Annual Grand African Run in DC on Sunday.

    The annual Bikila Barefoot Challenge hosted by the Bikila Award organization in Toronto, Canada is held in support of the establishment of an Ethiopian Studies Program at the University of Toronto.


    If You Go:
    Bikila Barefoot Challenge and Family Fun Event at Varsity Stadium (U of T), 299 Bloor Street West (Bloor and St. George) (Map), Saturday, July 27, 2019, starts at 3:00pm.

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    U.S. Wins Women’s World Cup

    The Americans celebrate a fourth Women's World Cup title. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    U.S. wins Women’s World Cup with 2-0 defeat of Netherlands

    The United States remained supreme in women’s soccer Sunday, repeating as World Cup champions and winning for the fourth time by defeating the Netherlands, 2-0.

    In the Americans’ most difficult test of the month-long competition, Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute after video replay overruled the referee’s initial decision.

    There was no controversy eight minutes later. Rose Lavelle, the Washington Spirit midfielder who at age 24 enjoyed a breakout tournament, doubled the lead with an assertive run and 17-yard shot before a pro-U.S. sellout crowd at Stade de Lyon.

    This championship adds to a portfolio of glory featuring world crowns in 1991, ’99 and 2015, and Olympic gold medals in 1996, 2004, ’08 and ’12. Germany is the only other country to win multiple Women’s World Cups.

    A victory parade is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday on the streets of Manhattan.

    The Americans have won 13 straight matches and are unbeaten in 16 since losing a friendly at France in January.

    Read more »

    Watch: Fans in New York reacted to the U.S. women’s national soccer team beating the Netherlands in the World Cup on July 7. (The Washington Post)


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    Ethiopia Repeats Sweep in Colorado Race

    Hiwot Yemer (20) wins the women's professional Bolder Boulder 10K at the University of Colorado's Folsom Field on May 27, 2019, in Boulder. (Photo: The Denver Post)

    The Associated Press

    Ethiopia repeats sweep in 41st BolderBoulder race

    BOULDER, Colo. — Ethiopia repeated a sweep in the men’s and women’s team competitions at the 41st annual BolderBoulder 10-kilometer road race Monday.

    Kenya’s Benard Ngeno won the men’s race in 28 minutes, 29 seconds, well ahead of Terefa Delesa, who was runner-up in 28:59 but paced the Ethiopians to their 10th team win with 20 points. Tanzania was second with 22 points and Eritrea was third with 29.

    The Ethiopian women won for the 13th time overall and for the 10th time in the past 11 years with a 1-2-5 finish for eight total points. Hiwot Yemer edged teammate Meseret Tola for the title, winning in 32:49, six seconds ahead of Tola.

    Led by Aliphine Tuliamuk’s third-place finish (33:00), the U.S.A. placed second in the women’s race with 24 points, ahead of Kenya’s 29 points in third place.


    Related:
    In drama-filled final sprint, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Yemer wins Bolder Boulder women’s professional race

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    NYT on Farah & Haile’s Ugly Public Feud

    An ugly feud between Mo Farah, a Somalia-born British runner, and his former childhood hero, Haile Gebrselassie, an Ethiopian runner who set 27 world records over his career, spilled into public this week. (Photo: Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie/Getty Images and Reuters)

    The New York Times

    Olympic Athletes’ Feud Goes Public, With Claims of Hotel Theft and Gym Attack

    They’re track-and-field legends who have competed around the world, at events including the Olympics and the London Marathon. They have run in stadiums packed with thousands of screaming fans, racing for medals and the glory of being crowned No. 1.

    But an ugly feud between Mo Farah, a Somalia-born British runner, and his former childhood hero, Haile Gebrselassie, an Ethiopian runner who set 27 world records over his career, spilled into public this week.

    According to news reports and the athletes’ public statements, the dispute revolves around claims of a theft, unpaid bills and an unprovoked violent attack. It all comes as Mr. Farah, the most successful British track athlete in history, is preparing to run the London Marathon on Sunday.

    The public became aware of the simmering dispute during the final moments of a news conference in London on Wednesday, where Mr. Farah lit the fuse. As the event was wrapping up, he used his final few minutes onstage to reveal that although his marathon training had gone according to plan, he had been the victim of theft in a hotel outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he had spent the past few months training…

    Mr. Gebrselassie, 46, once regarded as the world’s greatest distance runner, responded on the same day with equally sharp comments in a news release, threatening Mr. Farah, a four-time Olympic champion who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017, with legal action.

    “It’s with deep sorrow,” he wrote, that he had learned of the comments made by Mr. Farah against him and his property. He also unleashed a litany of his own complaints about Mr. Farah’s stay at his hotel, claiming that Mr. Farah had left without paying a $3,000 service bill, had been the subject of “multiple reports of disgraceful conduct” and had been reported to the police for an attack on a man and a woman in the hotel’s gym.

    Read more »


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    Worknesh Degefa Wins Boston Marathon

    Worknesh Degefa breaks the tape to win the women's division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo)

    The Associated Press

    Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa cruises to Boston Marathon title

    BOSTON (AP) — Worknesh Degefa had never set foot on the Boston Marathon course before she toed the start line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on Monday morning.

    It didn’t stop the 28-year-old Ethiopian from conquering it on her first trip down the famed route.

    Degefa broke away from the rest of the field early and ran alone for the last 20 miles to win the women’s Boston Marathon.

    Degefa crossed the finish line in Boston’s Back Bay in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds.

    She is the eighth Ethiopian woman to win the race, and the third in seven years. Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat was second, coming in at 2:24:13. American Jordan Hasay was third, crossing the line in 2:25:20. Defending champion Des Linden, who represented the United States in the marathon at the past two Summer Olympics, finished fifth in 2:27:00.

    “Winning the Boston Marathon is super special to me,” Degefa said. “Even though I’d never seen the course before, last year I watched all the marathon coverage. I kept that in my mind.”

    And for most of the race she kept the rest of the field far behind her.


    Worknesh Degefa wins the women’s division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo)

    It was Degefa’s first major marathon victory. She won the Dubai Marathon in 2017, setting an Ethiopian national record.

    Linden took advantage of a rainy and windy course with temperatures in the 30s to claim last year’s title in the slowest time for a women’s winner in Boston since 1978.

    A heavy band of rain moved through Hopkinton at the start line about 6:30 a.m. but tapered to a drizzle and then stopped before the women’s race began. It didn’t rain during the race, allowing the Ethiopian and Kenyan contingents to push the pace.

    A half marathon specialist, Degefa took her first lead after Mile 4 headed into Framingham, followed by Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba and Kenya’s Sharon Cherop. Degefa increased the margin between Mile 5 and 6 and opened a 20-second advantage by Mile 7.

    “I knew that I had some speed, so I pushed myself after Mile 5,” Degefa said.

    Degefa’s pace slowed in the final three miles and she looked behind her a few times to try to glimpse one of her fellow competitors.

    Kiplagat became visible again in the distance around Mile 25, but there was no time for her to close the sizeable gap.

    Despite not being able to get on the podium for a second straight year, Linden had a lot of support on the course. The crowd serenaded her with loud cheers when she was introduced. At the finish, a young girl held a sign that read “Des 4 Prez.”

    On a day in which the marathon fell on April 15 for the first time since the April 15, 2013 bombings, Linden said it had lots of significance for the city and for herself.

    “That run down Boylston was very special to me,” Linden said. “I feel like I’ve built a name for myself in this community with these fans and they really appreciate what I’ve done over the years.

    “It’s also a sign that I’m pretty old that they actually know me now.”


    Related:
    Ethiopia Runners Sweep Paris Marathon

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    Ethiopia Runners Sweep Paris Marathon

    All smiles - Gelete Burka after winning the Paris Marathon (Getty Images)

    IAAF

    Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka Take Paris Marathon Titles

    Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka prevailed at the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, whose 43rd edition took place on Sunday (14).

    Milaw clocked 2:07:05 for a comfortable 20-second victory over compatriot Asefa Mengistu while Burka crossed the line in 2:22:47, five seconds clear of another Ethiopian, Azmera Gebru.

    With his victory, Milaw put an end to Paul Lonyangata’s dominance in Paris, the 26-year-old Kenyan who was looking for a third successive victory in the French capital, a would-be record. Lonyangata had picked up a slight injury last week when he slipped and fell in training, but it wasn’t a big enough setback to keep him from the start line…


    Abrha Milaw after his victory at the Paris Marathon (Getty Images)

    Milaw made a big surge with three kilometres remaining, building a four-second gap on Lonyangata and Mengistu, and nine on Gachaga, at 40km, hit in 2:00:30.

    He forged on unchallenged to secure the 2:07:05 victory, clipping 20 seconds from his previous best and sealing a second successive French road success after his win at the Nice-Cannes Marathon last November.

    “The conditions were tough,” Milaw simply said.

    Mengistu, a past winner in Seoul, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, came home second in 2:07:25, well outside his personal best, while Lonyangata rounded the podium in 2:07:29, 1:19 slower than the time he clocked last year.

    Morhad Amdouni, the European 10,000m champion, was the first Frenchman, finishing eighth in 2:09:14 in his debut over the distance.

    Burka impresses with blistering kick

    The women’s race was as fierce as expected…Burka, who was the fastest woman in the field, lived up to her favourite’s role to capture her second marathon victory in 2:22:47. Grebu finished five seconds in arrears as Abreha came home third in 2:23:35, six seconds ahead of Calvin whose 2:23:41 performance broke the French national record.

    Read the full article at IAAF.org »


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    Photos: Ethiopia Honors Feyisa Lilesa

    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa received a well-deserved heroes honor in Ethiopia on April 9th, 2019 while meeting with PM Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde, and was also awarded $17,000 USD for garnering Ethiopia a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister @PMEthiopia)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: April 10th, 2019

    New York (TADIAS) — One of the key moments that occurred during the nation-wide civil unrest in Ethiopia in the last few years, prior to current reforms, included Olympic marathoner and silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa’s symbolic protest at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. The photo of Feyisa crossing the finish line with his hands crossed over his head — already a popular act of protest among the youth in Ethiopia — reverberated across the world. He then repeated the protest sign at a follow-up press conference and refused to return home, fearful of government reprisal.

    As Feyisa’s daring protest brought immediate global attention to the festering crisis in his native country, the athlete sought political asylum in the United States. Feyisa returned to Ethiopia this past October following the new Prime Minsiter Abiy Ahmed’s call for exiled Ethiopians to come home.

    On Tuesday Feyisa received a well-deserved heroes honor in Ethiopia while meeting with PM Abiy and President Sahle-Work Zewde, and was also awarded $17,000 USD for garnering Ethiopia a silver medal at the Olympics.

    Below are photos tweeted by PM Abiy’s office:


    (Photo: @PMEthiopia)


    Related:
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    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics

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    Ethiopian Women Sweep Tokyo Marathon

    Ethiopian athletes Ruti Aga (center), Helen Tola (left) and Shure Demisse at the podium after winning the women's marathon in Tokyo on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019. (Photo courtesy: The Tokyo Marathon Foundation @TokyoMarathon)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 3rd, 2019

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian women won the top three spots at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

    The Ethiopian sweep was led by Ruti Aga who finished first with a time of two hours, twenty minutes and 40 seconds. She was followed by her compatriots Helen Tola who came in second in 2:21:01 and Shure Demisse who was third in 2:21:05. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations “it was the first Ethiopian women’s 1-2-3 in the history of the Tokyo Marathon.” Reuters adds: “Ethiopians have now won the women’s marathon in Tokyo in six of the last eight editions.”


    Ruti Aga crosses the finish line at the Tokyo Marathon (Getty Images)

    “The conditions were poor and there was a lot of water on the roads,” Ruti told IAAF. “But it was still a good race.”

    Below is the result of the women competition at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon:

    1 Ruti Aga (ETH) 2:20:40
    2 Helen Tola (ETH) 2:21:01
    3 Shure Demise (ETH) 2:21:05
    4 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:21:50
    5 Bedatu Hirpa (ETH) 2:23:43
    6 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 2:24:02
    7 Mao Ichiyama (JPN) 2:24:33
    8 Joan Chelimo Melly (KEN) 2:26:24
    9 Rose Chelimo (BRN) 2:30:35
    10 Ruth Chebitok (KEN) 2:31:19

    Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese wins the men’s race at Tokyo marathon


    Birhanu Legese wins the Tokyo marathon on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. (Getty Images)

    Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia also won at the men’s marathon in Tokyo on Sunday, winning with a time of two hours, four minutes and 48 seconds. IAAF notes that Birhanu’s pace was the second-fastest winning time in the Japanese capital. “It is a good course,” Birhanu said. “Had the weather been better, I could have run 2:03.”

    Highlighting Birhanu Legese’s achievement Reuters adds that “the 24-year-old was part of a small leading group for the first 30 kilometres before pulling away easily from runner-up Kenyan Bedan Karoki (2:06:48) and strolling to victory.”

    Below is the men’s result at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon:

    1 Birhanu Legesse (ETH) 2:04:48
    2 Bedan Karoki (KEN) 2:06:48
    3 Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:08:44
    4 Simon Kariuki (KEN) 2:09:41
    5 Kensuke Horio (JPN) 2:10:21
    6 Masato Imai (JPN) 2:10:30
    7 Takuya Fujikawa (JPN) 2:10:35
    8 Daichi Kamino (JPN) 2:11:05
    9 Ryu Takaku (JPN) 2:11:49
    10 Tadashi Isshiki (JPN) 2:12:21


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    Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera Breaks World Indoor 1,500m Record in UK (Reuters)

    Samuel Tefera wins the 1,500m at the IAAF World Indoor competition in Birmingham, UK on Saturday, February 16th, 2019. (IAAF)

    Reuters

    Ethiopia’s Tefera breaks world indoor 1,500m record

    Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera broke the long-standing world indoor 1,500 metres record when he clocked three minutes, 31.04 seconds at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham, England on Saturday.

    Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj set the previous record of 3:31.18 in 1997.

    TEFERA BREAKS WORLD INDOOR 1500M RECORD IN BIRMINGHAM, UK (IAAF)


    Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera poses with his world record time after winning the 1,500m final at the indoor athletics Grand Prix at Arena Birmingham. (Getty Images)

    IAAF

    Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera tore up the script for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, upstaging compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the long-standing world indoor 1500m record* at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting on Saturday (16).

    Kejelcha, who last week came within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record at the Millrose Games, had announced his intentions to break the 1500m mark ahead of his race in Birmingham. But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, had a plan of his own.

    The pacemakers hit their required target times with Bram Som taking the field through 400m in 55.69 and Jordan Williamsz leading them through 1000m in 2:21.27.

    With the pacemakers having done their job, Kejelcha reached 1200m in 2:49.28 and was still on course to challenge the record, but Tefera was tucked close behind and looked ominously comfortable with the pace. Australia’s Stewart McSweyn was a few strides adrift in third place while Kenyan duo Bethwel Birgen and Vincent Kibet were further behind.

    The clock ticked through 3:03 as the bell sounded for the final lap and Tefera made his move, kicking past Kejelcha to take the lead and leaving his compatriot unable to respond. Tefera charged towards the line and stopped the clock at 3:31.04, taking 0.14 off the previous record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997.

    Kejelcha finished second in an outright personal best of 3:31.58 while McSweyn held on to third place with an Oceanian indoor record of 3:35.10.

    “I can’t believe that,” said Tefera. “I’m delighted with the outcome and to have the world record is a special feeling.”

    Read more »


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    Feyisa Lilesa Returns From Exile

    FILE - In this Thursday, April 20, 2017 file photo, Feyisa Lilesa, right, and Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia stand in front of the Tower Bridge in London. The Ethiopian marathon runner who made global headlines with an anti-government gesture at the Rio Olympics finish line has returned from exile, after sports officials assured him he will not face prosecution. Feyisa Lilesa's return from the United States on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 comes several months after a reformist new prime minister took office and announced sweeping reforms. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

    Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    Ethiopian Marathoner Who Made Rio Protest Returns From Exile

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Ethiopian marathon runner who made global headlines with an anti-government gesture at the Rio Olympics finish line returned from exile on Sunday after sports officials assured him he will not face prosecution.

    Feyisa Lilesa’s return from the United States came several months after a reformist prime minister took office and announced sweeping political reforms. He received a warm welcome at the airport from the foreign minister and other senior officials.

    Feyisa said the new government is “a result of the struggle by the people” and he hopes it will address concerns after years of repression in Africa’s second most populous nation.

    The silver medalist crossed his wrists at the finish line in 2016 in solidarity with protesters in his home region, Oromia, who like many across Ethiopia were demanding wider freedoms.

    Feyisa later said he feared he would be imprisoned or killed if he returned home. But he became a symbol of resistance for many youth until the pressure on the government led to a change of power, with 42-year-old Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed taking office in April.

    Abiy is the country’s first leader from the Oromo ethnic group since the ruling coalition came to power 27 years ago.

    Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment Sunday on the runner’s return.

    Asked by The Associated Press if he has any political ambitions, Feyisa said: “I don’t have any ambition in politics! Actually I didn’t get close to politics, politics gets close to me.”

    Feyisa broke down in tears while speaking about youth who lost their lives during the years of protests. “I will continue to remember those who lost their lives for the cause. Many people lost their lives for it.”

    Turning his attention to running, he said his next race will be the Dubai Marathon in January.

    “My training while I was in exile was not good, so it has affected my performance,” Feyisa said. He missed two races in recent weeks as he prepared to return to Ethiopia. “I will resume my regular training after a week.”


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    Marathoner Tolassa Elemaa, Refugee From Ethiopia, Finds Hope in NYC Marathon

    From political prisoner to marathon hopeful: help the International Rescue Committee get Ethiopian refugee Tolassa Elemaa to the New York City Marathon. (Central Track)

    Central Track

    About a month ago, the International Rescue Committee in Texas launched a Facebook page in support of Tolassa Gadaa Elemaa, a refugee from Ethiopia who was imprisoned for five years for speaking out against his native country’s government.

    His is an interesting story for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that, prior to finding refuge in North Texas with his family, Tolassa had been training in his native country to compete as a world-class runner. Now free from persecution, Tolassa may no longer be running in fear of persecution — but he is still running, literally, towards something else.

    Currently, he’s got his eyes set on competing in the New York City Marathon.

    With the help of his new American friends and the IRC, who have launched a campaign called #TeamTolassa to help him accomplish this goal, Tolassa has been training daily while simultaneously raising money to cover the costs of getting him into the famed footrace. He just wants a chance to compete, he says. And he’s on his way to doing that: So far, the campaign has raised a little more than half of the $10,000 Tolassa needs to in order to get registered for the competition and have his travel costs covered for the trip, which will find him serving as an ambassador for IRC and its efforts here in Texas.

    Of course, time is of the essence: This year’s New York City Marathon takes place on November 4. Hence why #TeamTolassa has recently upped its fundraising efforts with the recent release of a beautiful short documentary about the campaign’s effort called “He’s Still Fast.” Filmed by “A City is a Poem” director Andrew Holzschuh — who has a knack for capturing some of Dallas’ more moving stories — the clip shares more of Tolassa’s story, as well as IRC’s efforts at helping him get his life back on track.

    Check out the clip below. Should it inspire you to help Tolassa’s cause, click here to donate.


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    Feyisa Lilesa Will Return to Ethiopia (VOA)

    Rio Olympic marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia attends a news conference in Washington, Sept. 13, 2016. Feyisa will return to Ethiopia in the coming weeks with his wife and children after two athletics groups notified him that he would receive a hero’s welcome upon arriving. (Photo: Reuters)

    Voice of America

    By Salem Solomon

    Olympian in Self-Imposed Exile Will Return to Ethiopia

    After winning the silver medal in the men’s marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feyisa Lilesa spent two years in self-imposed exile in the United States. Now, he’s returning home.

    Feyisa will return to Ethiopia in the coming weeks with his wife and children after two athletics groups notified him that he would receive a hero’s welcome upon arriving.

    Ashebir Woldegiorgis, the president of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee, told VOA Amharic that the call for Feyisa to return is meant to better the country.

    “He can teach his exemplary ways to other athletes and teach strength to our youngsters. That’s the main call, so he can come back to participate in the sport he loves and pass it on by running and by advising to elevate Ethiopia’s sport,” Ashebir said.

    Show of protest

    Feyisa made international headlines when he raised his crossed wrists above his head at the finish line, and again on the podium, at the 2016 summer games.

    Read more »


    Related:
    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
    Washington Post Interview With Feyisa Lilesa
    From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa shows solidarity with protesters in Ethiopia
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

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    Ethiopia & Eritrea Set to Play First Soccer Match in 20 years

    Ethiopian coach Abraham Mebratu searching for a date to play Eritrea. (Photo Courtesy of Alkass)

    BBC News

    By Omna Taddele

    Ethiopia and Eritrea set for first match in 20 years

    Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and its Eritrean counterpart have come to an agreement to stage an historic friendly game in August.

    An exact date for the match is yet to be decided but looks set to be played in the Eritrean capital Asmara.

    The two nations have been avoiding games against each since the start of a border war in 1998.

    In recent weeks peace has returned to the area with diplomatic ties being resumed.

    Ethiopia boycotted games against Eritrea in 2000 and refused to take part in the east and central African regional under-20 event organised by Cecafa.

    For their part Eritrea have also failed to take part in the 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup and forfeited a 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Ethiopia.

    Newly appointed Ethiopia coach Abraham Mebratu is looking into the best date for the game as he will use it to help prepare for September’s 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone.


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    D.C.-based Nonprofit Supports Young Female Ethiopian Runners

    (Photo: GGRF)

    Runwashington

    The Girls Gotta Run Foundation started out with an effort to get running shoes to girls in Ethiopia.

    Now, more than a decade later, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit is working with 100 girls and 40 mothers in the African country.

    And the Girls Gotta Run Foundation provides more than just shoes. Three-year scholarship programs in Sodo and Bekoji, Ethiopia, allow girls to stay in school while also running, receiving coaching and running gear, and learning life skills, according to the nonprofit’s website.

    In a place where child marriage is not uncommon, running provides an opportunity for Ethiopian girls to have more control over their futures — even if they don’t become professional runners. Education is key in the scholarship programs.

    “After working closely with the communities we collaborate with, we shaped our program around the challenges and opportunities facing girls and women in these unique environments,” Executive Director Kayla Nolan wrote in an email from Bekoji, Ethiopia. “This led to a focus on education, early marriage prevention and recreational running.”

    The Girls Gotta Run Foundation has worked with 210 people in total, she wrote.

    Founder Pat Ortman, a retired women’s studies professor at Mount Vernon College, said the organization has grown much more than she imagined.

    “I’m awestruck,” Ortman said.

    In late 2005, Ortman read a Washington Post article titled “Facing Servitude, Ethiopian Girls Run for a Better Life.” She said she was impressed by the determination of the Ethiopian girls despite their tough circumstances. One runner featured in the story spoke of how she had to either run barefoot or in her brothers’ shoes because she didn’t have her own.

    “They were just so optimistic,” she said.

    Read more »


    Related:
    In Sodo & Bekoji, New GGRF Athletic Scholarship Keeps Girls in School

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    Ethiopia: Genzebe Dibaba Does It Again

    Gold medalist Genzebe Dibaba during the medals ceremony for the Women's 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships 2018 in Arena Birmingham, Birmingham, Britain - March 3, 2018. She won her second gold in three days at the event. (Photo: Reuters)

    Reuters

    Updated: MARCH 3, 2018

    A night of remarkable drama at Arena Birmingham saw Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba win her second gold in three days in the 1,500 metres…

    The peerless Ethiopian Dibaba, who had lifted the 3,000 metres title on Thursday, had her work cut out to achieve the double in the metric mile but produced another solo tour de force.

    Stretching her pursuers to breaking point by powering for home with almost a kilometre left, the 27-year-old kept Britain’s silver medallist Laura Muir and Dutch defending champion Sifan Hassan at bay to win convincingly in four minutes 05.27 seconds.

    It made her only the fourth athlete ever to win five individual gold medals in the championships.

    “Last year I was sick (when finishing out of the medals at the world outdoor championships in London) but this time I was ready to run for my country,” she said.“This is a gold for all the people of Ethiopia.”

    Dibaba helped Ethiopia to the second position on the medals table with a total of 5 medlas, with Team USA leading the medal standings with 18.

    Read the full article at Reuters.com »


    Genzebe Dibaba’s mastery of the indoor oval continues


    Genzebe Dibaba won her third consecutive gold in the women’s 3000m competition at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England on Thursday, March 1st, 2018. (Photo: @Trackside2018)

    By LetsRun.com

    BIRMINGHAM, England — Genzebe Dibaba’s mastery of the indoor oval continues.

    Dibaba of Ethiopia, the indoor world record holder at 1500m, the mile, 2000m, 3000m and 5000m, put the hammer down during the final kilometer of the women’s 3000m, the opening track event at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, to break things open and found just enough over the thrilling final lap to hold off Sifan Hassan and Laura Muir to secure her third world indoor title in 8:45.05 after a 2:37.43 final 1k and 30.44 final lap. Muir gave the home crowd something to cheer about with her first global medal.

    This was Dibaba’s 4th indoor world title (3 straight at 3000m, plus a 1500m title from 2012) tying Meseret Defar for the most ever by a long-distance runner (Maria Mutola won seven 800m titles indoors). Dibaba is also entered in the 1500 here, so she’ll have the opportunity to surpass Defar.

    Read more »

    Threepeat For Genzebe Dibaba At IAAF World Indoor Championships (Flotrack)

    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (01-Mar) — Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia became the third athlete to win the women’s 3000m title at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on at least three occasions in an exciting climax to the first day which had a sparse but enthusiastic home crowd cheering the narrow but growing possibility of a home winner in Laura Muir on the last lap.

    Dibaba crossed the finish-line in 8:45.05, a finishing time made respectable courtesy of a scintillating final kilometer of 2:37.43. “I’m very happy to be indoor champion for the third time. This is a great competition and the race was fantastic. This day is for me and my country,” said Dibaba, who is due to contest the 1500m heats tomorrow evening.

    Read the full article at flotrack.org »

    FOR DIBABA, ONE DOWN ONE TO GO (IAAF)

    It’s fair to say that Genzebe Dibaba likes racing indoors. The Ethiopian’s first global title was secured at the IAAF World Indoor Championships over 1500m in 2012 and she picked up her third consecutive gold over 3000m following a superb performance in Birmingham.

    Content to sit at the back of the field for the first kilometre, the 27-year-old surged with just under 2000m remaining and was never seriously challenged, galloping to victory in 8:45.05. Tomorrow she’s back in the first round of the 1500m.

    Read more »


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    Exiled Athlete Demssew T. Abebe Reunites With Family in U.S. on Valentine’s Day

    Exiled Ethiopian marathoner Demssew Tsega Abebe, his wife Nigat Teferi Mulat, and their children, Dagmawi, 5, and Soliyana, 2. (Family photo)

    The Washington Post

    Elite runner who was tortured and fled Ethiopia reunites with his family in the U.S. — on Valentine’s Day

    Demssew Tsega Abebe was a famous marathon runner in Ethiopia and was expected to be on his country’s Olympic team. But his career was cut short when he was tortured for peacefully protesting his government’s policies. His heels and feet were so severely lashed he could not run for more than a year.

    He fled to the Washington area in 2016, and he has been trying to bring his wife and two children to the United States ever since, in part to get medical care for his 5-year-old son, Dagmawi, who cannot speak. Until today, Abebe had never met his 2-year-old daughter, Soliyana, as his wife was pregnant with her when he fled.

    Last week, Abebe learned that his family had won a humanitarian immigration petition to join him. Fittingly, they arrived early Valentine’s Day morning at Dulles International Airport. He held his daughter for the first time.

    “Exceptional feeling,” he said in a text from the airport. “So thrilled, so happy.”

    Yesterday, before they arrived, his voice broke with emotion as he thought about the moment he would see them. “I miss my family, my children. My son, he knows he waits a long time, but I am coming back to him.”

    He said Valentine’s Day isn’t much of a holiday in Ethiopia, but he said he is proud to be reuniting with his family on a day that celebrates love, in a nation where he is free to express himself.

    “I am so happy, I thank God,” said Abebe, 29, who lives in Silver Spring.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopians Sweep Dubai Marathon Again

    Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2018 winners Mosinet Geremew and Roza Dereje of Ethiopia. Mosinet Geremew broke the course record to emerge as the new champion of the Dubai Marathon 2018. (Gulf News)

    Gulf News

    Men, women winners break course records as Ethiopians dominate

    Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia broke the course record to emerge as the new champion of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2018 with a time of 2:04:00. The previous record was held by 2017 Dubai Marathon winner Tamirat Tola Adere from Ethiopia who finished in 2:04:11.

    Roza Dereje of Ethiopia too broke the course record in the women race with a timing of 2:19:17. Dereje broke the course record held by 2012 Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia, also from Ethiopia with a timing of 2:19:31.

    It was a clean sweep again by the Ethiopian runners with all the first ten finishes in the men’s race being swept away by the Ethiopians. In the women’s race the first seven finishes were by the Ethiopian women.

    Results:

    Men’s race: (All Ethiopians)
    1. Mosinet Geremew 2:04:00
    2. Leul Gebresilase 2:04:02
    3. Tamirat Tola 2:04:06
    4. Asefa Mengstu 2:04:06
    5. Sisay Lemma 2:04:08

    Women’s race (All Ethiopians)
    1. Roza Dereje 2:19:17
    2. Feyse Tadese 2:19:30
    3. Yebrg Melese Arage 2:19:36.

    Read more »


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    Kenenisa Bekele to Race London Marathon

    Kenenisa Bekele in London in 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

    Reuters

    Ethiopia’s triple Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele will race the London Marathon in April and line up alongside Briton Mo Farah and Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge for what promises to be a mouth-watering contest.

    Bekele, 35, regarded by many as the greatest distance runner of all time and holder of the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, finished second in London last year and was third in 2016.

    A pre-race favorite last year, Bekele had hoped to break Dennis Kimetto’s men’s world record of 2:02.57 but had trouble with blisters on his feet and crossed the finish line behind Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru.

    “I am thrilled to be returning to London for the third year in a row and would love to go one better than last year and win the race,” Bekele said in a statement.

    “Once again London has brought the best distance runners in the world together so I know it will not be easy… I have been training very hard with the aim of arriving in London in April in the best possible condition.”

    The trio of Bekele, Farah and Kipchoge have a combined total of eight Olympic gold medals and 12 world championship gold medals between them.

    “This is a mouth-watering prospect,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Sir Mo, Eliud and Kenenisa could all put forward a persuasive case for being the greatest of all time and now they meet for the first time over the marathon distance.”

    The London Marathon will be held on April 22.


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    Ethiopians Win 2018 Houston Marathon

    Biruktayit Degefa from Ethiopia won the Women's field at the 2018 Houston Marathon on Sunday, January 14th, while fellow Ethiopian Bazu Worku was the victor in the men's competition. (Photo: Twitter @HoustonMarathon)

    Associated Press

    HOUSTON — Bazu Worku held up three fingers as he headed down the final stretch of the Houston Marathon.

    Worku, trailing Ethiopian countryman Yitayal Atnafu by 23 seconds with about two miles left, turned on the jets Sunday to win the event for the third straight time.

    “Yitayal, my competitor, we train together,” Worku said through a translator. “I know that he is a very strong person and trains very well . When he put so much into his pace after 25 kilometers, then I realized he cannot finish with that pace. Then I applied my strategy.”

    Biruktayit Degefa won the women’s race and two-time Olympian Molly Huddle broke the record for the fastest half-marathon by an American woman.

    It was 34 degrees for the start of the race and Worku won with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 30 seconds. With victories in 2013 and 2014, he became the third runner to win the race three times, joining David Cheruiyot of Kenya and Stephen Ndungu of Ethiopia.


    2018 Houston Marathon Men’s Winner: Bazu Worku from Ethiopia. (Photo: Twitter @HoustonMarathon)

    “It was exhilarating,” Worku said.

    This is the third straight year Atnafu finished second at the Houston Marathon.

    Degefa captured her second women’s title at the Houston Marathon, finishing with a time of 2:24:51. She has competed in this race five years in a row.

    “When I come to Houston I feel a special joy,” Degefa said. “I consider Houston as my hometown. As if I’m coming to a family. These five years, I know Houston very well. I come very prepared and I knew I would win today.”


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    Who is Vying for Control of the Ethiopia Football Federation?

    Four candidates are Vying to become the next president of the Ethiopian Football Federation including the Federation's current head Juneidin Basha (right) as well as Dr Ashebir Woldegiorgis (center) who is hoping to return as president of the national association and Teka Assefaw (left), a former vice-president of the organization. (BBC News)

    BBC Sport

    By Omna Taddele

    Who is vying for control of the Ethiopia Football Federation?

    Addis Ababa — On 13 January five men vie to become the next president of the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF).

    Despite its place as one of the founding members of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and former Africa Cup of Nations winners Ethiopian football has struggled in recent years.

    The five men hoping to change that are incumbent Juneidin Basha, former president Dr Ashebir Woldegiorgis, Teka Assefaw, Dagim Melashen and Esayas Jira.

    The elections, which will also see a new executive voted in, had been due to take place on 10 November but were postponed in order for the candidates to be properly vetted.

    Two former national team coaches, Sewnet Beshaw and Asrat Haile, are bidding for places on the executive committee.

    Read more »


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    IAAF ‘Deeply Saddened’ By Untimely Death of Ethiopian Athlete Zenash Gezmu

    Police said Zenash Gezmu, an Ethiopian runner who lived in France, was killed in her apartment by a man who has turned himself in. (Photo: Zenash Gezmu wins the 2016 Marathon de Senart/Courtesy of organizers)

    International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

    The IAAF is deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death on Tuesday (28) of Ethiopian distance runner Zenash Gezmu.

    The 27-year-old had been based in France for most of her international racing career and represented the Neuilly sur Marne athletics club on the outskirts of Paris.

    A three-time winner of the Marathon de Senart, Gezmu set her lifetime best of 2:32:48 when finishing sixth at last year’s Amsterdam Marathon.

    In addition to her triumphs in Senart, Gezmu had also won numerous 10km, half marathon and cross-country races in France in recent years.


    Related:
    Marathoner Who Fled Ethiopia Is Found Dead in Paris, Suspect in Custody (Runner’s World)

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    2 Runners Die in Ethiopian Road Race

    Two deaths overshadow this year's Great Ethiopian Run, an annual 10-kilometre road running event founded by Haile Gebrselassie and held in Addis Ababa since 2001. According to AP, two runners passed away during the race that took place on Sunday, November 26th, 2017 from what is said to be medical problems. (Photo: Facebook)

    Associated Press

    By Elias Meseret

    2 runners die in Ethiopian road race

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Organizers say two competitors have died in the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) Great Ethiopian Run road race.

    Organizers didn’t identify the two runners or give causes of death. Police said medical experts suspect heart problems could be the cause of both deaths.

    On their Facebook page, organizers say: “The two runners collapsed and were taken to a hospital but they didn’t make it. We will provide more details in the coming days.”

    Eyewitness Mikias Desalegn says one of the runners collapsed moments after finishing the race and was “rushed into an ambulance.”

    Around 45,000 people competed in Sunday’s race, including Olympic 5,000 meter champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and former world half-marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands.

    The Great Ethiopian Run was started by the country’s distance-running great Haile Gebrselassie in 2001 and is the largest road race in Africa.


    Related:
    Great Ethiopian Run 2017 in Pictures:

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    Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana Named Finalist for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award

    IAAF announced that Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana has made the short list for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award. (AP photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    November 7th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — For a second year in a row Ethiopia’s Olympic champion and world 10,000m titleholder Almaz Ayana has been named a finalist for the World Athlete of the Year award.

    She was the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize.

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Monday that the male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2017 will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017 in Monaco on Friday 24 November.


    IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2017 finalists announced. (Getty Images)

    The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

    Men -
    Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
    Mo Farah (GBR)
    Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

    Women -
    Almaz Ayana (ETH)
    Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)
    Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)


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    Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana In Her Own Words

    (Photos: International Association of Athletics Federations)

    IAAF

    In Their Own Words: 2017 Female Athlete of the Year Nominees

    The 10 nominees for the 2017 Female Athlete of the Year have been announced and the voting process is in full swing. We look at some of the words these superwomen used to describe their incredible accomplishments.

    Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia)

    After winning the 10,000m world title in a world-leading 30:16.32. She won silver over 5000m a few days later.

    “I am very happy to win this title. Much more than when I won the Olympic gold, because I have been sick this year and didn’t expect it. In fact, this was my first race of 2017.”

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana Nominated for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award


    Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. (AP photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    October 4th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Olympian and World 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana has been nominated for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year award.

    The Ethiopian long distance runner, who was also the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize, won the 10,000 metre race at this year’s World Championships held in London this past summer.

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that “a three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later this week; a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will count as one vote.”

    IAAF adds: “Voting closes on 16 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF. The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.”


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    Tirunesh Dibaba Wins Chicago Marathon

    Tirunesh Dibaba won the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 with the second-fastest time ever recorded at the event. (Getty Images)

    LetsRun.com

    CHICAGO – Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, who during her illustrious career has won 12 global titles including three Olympic golds, added a new accomplishment to her CV today — she won her first marathon as she captured the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:18:31 – the second-fastest time ever recorded in Chicago. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei was second in a massive new pb of 2:20:22 (previous pb of 2:24:45).

    Dibaba’s victory was much-deserved as well as she hammered from the gun. She ran her first 5k in 16:09 (that’s 2:16:09 pace) but five women were still with her at halfway. Shortly after that it became a two-person battle between Dibaba and Kosgei as Kosgei did her best to stay with Dibaba, who often was swerving from side to side to prevent Kosgei from drafting off of her. A 5:15 20th mile gave Dibaba a sizeable lead, which only grew to the finish.

    With Dibaba’s victory assured, the only drama was how well everyone else would hold up until the finish as all of the five women in the lead pack at halfway ran a positive split.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba dusts women’s field at Chicago Marathon (The Chicago Tribune)

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    Ethiopia: Almaz Ayana Nominated for 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award

    Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. (AP photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    October 4th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Olympian and World 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana has been nominated for the 2017 World Athlete of the Year award.

    The Ethiopian long distance runner, who was also the winner of last year’s Female World Athlete of the Year prize, won the 10,000 metre race at this year’s World Championships held in London this past summer.

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that “a three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later this week; a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will count as one vote.”

    IAAF adds: “Voting closes on 16 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF. The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.”


    Related:
    2017 WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S NOMINEES

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    Cyclist Tsgabu Grmay Sings With US Team

    Cyclist Tsgabu Grmay, who is the current time trial champion in Ethiopia, has signed with the U.S. road racing team Trek–Segafredo for the 2018 season. (Getty Images)

    News 24

    Ethiopian climber Tsgabu Grmay has joined Trek for 2018, the American team announced on Monday.

    The 26-year-old, the African time-trial champion two years ago, joins from Bahrain.

    He has ridden five Grand Tours including the last two Tours de France.

    Read more »

    Tsgabu Grmay signs with Trek


    Twenty-six-year-old Tsgabu Grmay is the current Ethiopian Time Trial champion and combines his TT-skills with a predilection for long climbing efforts. (Lampre Media)

    Cycling News

    Trek-Segafredo announced the addition of two riders to their 2018 roster on Monday, completing their line-up for the coming season. 26-year-old Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay and 20-year-old Italian trainee Nicola Conci will join the American WorldTour team next year.

    Grmay, the reigning time trial champion in Ethiopia, got his start with MTN-Qhubeka in 2012 and spent three seasons with the team before jumping to the WorldTour with Lampre-Merida. After two years there, he joined Bahrain-Merida for 2017. A three-time time trial champion and two-time road race champion in Ethiopia, he finished fifth overall at February’s Tour of Oman.

    “I’m very happy about this move. Trek-Segafredo really stood out for me because they offer a very professional guidance for their athletes. I am confident that within this team I can continue my development as a rider in the best circumstances,” Grmay said in a team press release.

    “I really like stage races because they suit me better than one-day races. Of course, it would be a dream come true if one day I would be able to win a stage race. But let’s take it step by step. I want to keep learning and improving and will give it my all, and who knows, maybe one day, achieve that ultimate goal. In the meantime, I will honor my jersey, my team and my country. Being the first Ethiopian rider ever who turned pro, I feel the support of the whole country standing behind me and that gives me the strength to keep going until the bitter end.”

    Read more »


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    Almaz Ayana: Queen of 10,000 Metres

    Almaz Ayana celebrates winning the World Athletics Championships Women's 10000 Metres final in London, August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

    Reuters

    Olympic champion Almaz Ayana Destroys Field to Win 10,000 Metres at World Championships

    Ethiopian Almaz Ayana destroyed the field to win the 10,000 metres at the World Championships on Saturday, finishing around 300 metres clear of her rivals in her first race of an injury-plagued season.

    The Olympic champion began pulling away from the field after 10 laps, sweeping past back markers who were made to look sluggish in comparison.

    She finished in 30:16.32 seconds, well outside the world record she set when she won in Rio last year but still enough to win by an astonishing 46.37 seconds, by far the biggest margin in championship history.

    Ayana’s compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, the former world and Olympic champion, added to her impressive collection of medals when he took the silver with Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in third.

    “I am very happy to win this title, much more than when I won the Olympic gold because I have been sick this year and didn’t expect it. In fact, this was my first race of 2017,” Ayana told reporters.

    A repeat of her world record-breaking performance in Rio was never on the cards after a slow, tactical start to the race in which the field crawled around the first lap in 81 seconds.

    But the last two thirds of the race was reminiscent of Ayana’s extraordinary run last year where she also blew away the field.


    Almaz Ayana and Tirunesh Dibaba celebrate after winning gold and silver medals at World Athletics Championships – women’s 10000 metres final – London Stadium, London, Britain – August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

    Read more at Reuters.com »


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    Feyisa Lilesa: A Runner In Exile (ESPN)

    After his dramatic protest at the Rio Olympics, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa didn't feel safe returning home. But even in his new life in America, he can't be sure what waits for him around the corner. (ESPN)

    ESPN

    He runs on a slender dirt road the color of rust. His legs churn with an easy rhythm as he passes clumps of snow, then thorn trees and sage swaying in the winter wind. Out here on the Arizona desert, he is easy prey.

    It’s January, and there’s a stillness about Feyisa Lilesa, even in the 12th mile of a workout. He is with another runner because it’s riskier to train alone. With every compact stride, Lilesa lands on the balls of his feet and then flicks his size 9 Nikes, creating a soft shushing sound. The stillness surrounding him belies the feelings in his heart.

    Until late last summer, the 27-year-old called Ethiopia, not Arizona, home. But since the Rio Olympics, when he won a silver medal in the marathon and engaged in a dramatic finish-line protest against the Ethiopian government, Lilesa has been in exile and does not dare go home again.


    At the Rio Olympics, Feyisa Lilesa won a silver medal in the marathon and engaged in a dramatic, finish-line protest against the Ethiopian government. (GETTY IMAGES)

    Read more at ESPN.com »


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    Buzunesh Deba Inherits 2014 Boston Win, But Not the Prize

    Buzunesh Deba during a Boston Marathon media availability Friday, April 14, 2017. (AP Photo)

    AP

    BOSTON – Buzunesh Deba will leave the Boston Marathon with one champion’s medal this week.
    She would like to make it two.

    The 29-year-old Ethiopian inherited the 2014 title this December when Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo was stripped of her victory for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Jeptoo joins Rosie Ruiz, who was caught cutting the course in 1980, as the only people to be disqualified from the Boston Marathon after breaking the tape on Boylston Street.

    “She took my chance,” Deba said this week after returning to Boston, where she has also finished third and seventh. “I lost so many things.”

    When Ruiz took a shortcut to the finish line, she deprived Jacqueline Gareau of the thrill of breaking the tape , being crowned with the traditional olive wreath and hearing the Canadian national anthem waft over Copley Square. Race officials, who were immediately skeptical of the unknown and unseen Ruiz, made it up to Gareau with a substitute victory ceremony and even had her cross the finish line again – this time in street clothes.

    But Gareau’s victory was in the race’s amateur era, so there was no cash to recover.

    Jeptoo, whose 2006 and 2013 victories remain unchallenged, claimed $150,000 for the victory and an additional $25,000 for setting a course record. Both legally belong to Deba, whose time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 59 seconds remains the fastest in Boston Marathon history, but the Boston Athletic Association would have to claw it back from Jeptoo.

    “We are trying,” CEO Tom Grilk said.

    In the year after the finish line explosions that killed three people and wounded hundreds more, Jeptoo herself was already an afterthought, coming in just minutes before Meb Keflezighi claimed the first American victory in the men’s race since 1983 . As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street, Jeptoo’s third win – even in a course-record time – drew less attention than normal.

    But for Deba, it was costly. All the after-the-fact ceremonies, medals and even the prize money – if she ever gets it – wouldn’t make up for the opportunities lost when she wasn’t able to capitalize on being a returning champion.

    “When you are the champion, the next year, the appearance fees, the contracts, everything” is more lucrative, the two-time New York City Marathon runner-up said this week. “My happiness is that day. But she took it from me.”

    Deba’s husband and coach, Worku Beyi, said they are talking to B.A.A. officials about the prize money, “but it is not 100 percent.” They are hoping Jeptoo will return the money.

    “She knows herself she is not champion,” Beyi said.

    Deba has a chance to steal back the spotlight on Monday, when she joins a field of more than 30,000 in Hopkinton for the 121st edition of the race. Among them are defending champion Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia; Kenya’s Gladys Cherono, who has the fastest time in the field; and two-time Olympian Desi Linden, who is trying to become the first American woman to win in Boston since 1985.

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu Hayle Seeks a Boston Marathon Repeat

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    Ethiopia’s Berhanu Hayle Seeks a Boston Marathon Repeat

    Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia pictured during the 2016 Rio Olympics final Men's Marathon in Brazil. (REUTERS)

    Reuters

    BOSTON — Ethiopian runner Lemi Berhanu Hayle will defend his Boston Marathon title in a wide open race on Monday against a men’s field that includes the first American champion in three decades and no clear favorite.

    Berhanu Hayle won last year’s race in two hours 12 minutes 44 seconds after pulling away from twice champion and countryman Lelisa Desisa, who is not competing this year.

    The last men’s repeat winner was five-time champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya, who completed a triple in 2008.

    An Ethiopian woman, Atsede Baysa, will also be defending her title after winning in 2:29:19.

    Berhanu Hayle’s main challengers will include countryman Sisay Lemma, who ran 2:05:16 in Dubai last year, and Kenyans Geoffrey Kirui who ran 2:06:27 in Amsterdam last year and Emmanuel Mutai, who was second in New York and Chicago, and has the field’s fastest personal best of 2:03:13.

    The hilly Boston course usually leads to slower times than other major marathons.

    “Any move (Berhanu Hayle) makes will be taken seriously by the others,” said Scott Douglas, a contributing editor at Runner’s World. “With no clear standouts this year, Boston will be a very interesting race to watch.”

    Read more »


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    In Rome, Ethiopian Runners Rule Marathon

    The 2017 Rome marathon was won by Ethiopia's Shura Kitata Tola on Sunday in record time, while the women's race was also won by his compatriot Rahma Tusa who finished in 2hr 27min 21sec. (Photos: IAAF)

    International Association of Athletics Federations

    Shura Kitata clocks second-fastest time in Rome while Rahma Tusa retains title

    Shura Kitata recorded the second-fastest time ever witnessed at the Acea Rome Marathon while fellow Ethiopian and training partner Rahma Tusa successfully defended her title at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday (2).

    With rain falling heavily in the Italian capital, the men’s race set off at a quick pace. A quartet of pacemakers led the field through 5km in 14:49, 10km in 29:39 and 15km in 44:47 with the splits suggesting a sub-2:06 finishing time.

    Seven men, not including the pacemakers, went through the half-way point in 1:03:25 and it appeared as though they still had a good chance of breaking the course record of 2:07:17 set in 2009 by Benjamin Kiptoo.

    But the pace slipped after the last of the pacemakers dropped out at 30km. Four men – Kitata, fellow Ethiopians Werkunesh Seyoum and Solomon Lema, plus Kenya’s Dominic Ruto – were left in the lead pack at that point.

    Lema was the next to drop behind while the three other men ran together for another five kilometres and reached 35km in 1:46:03, 2:07:51 pace. Kitata knew that if he was to break the course record, he couldn’t hang around any longer.

    The 21-year-old Ethiopian pushed the pace and dropped his two remaining rivals, opening a gap of almost one minute over the course of five kilometres. Kitata saw the course record figures come and go on the clock before he reached the finish line but he still finished strongly to win in 2:07:30, taking more than a minute off the PB he set on his marathon debut in Shanghai in 2015.

    “I am very happy with this victory, I was well trained and confident,” said Kitata, who trains alongside world marathon champion Mare Dibaba. “My coach Haji Adilo had told me that I could even run under 2:07, but my manager Hussein Makke told me that it was important to win…The pace was very fast until after the first half, then it is a bit slow,” he added. “At one point I decided to accelerate and it went well. In the end I tried to run as fast as possible to achieve the best time. It was not easy running in the rain.”

    Read more at IAAF.org »


    Related:

    LEADING RESULTS
    Men
    1 Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:07:30
    2 Dominic Ruto (KEN) 2:09:10
    3 Benjamin Bitok (KEN) 2:09:16
    4 Mathew Kisaat (KEN) 2:09:19
    5 Werkunesh Seyoum (ETH) 2:09:27
    6 Solomon Lema (ETH) 2:12:18
    7 Ahmed Nasef (ITA) 2:16:42
    8 Carmine Buccilli (ITA) 2:19:35

    Women
    1 Rahma Tusa (ETH) 2:27:23
    2 Mestawot Tadesse (ETH) 2:31:41
    3 Abebe Tekulu (ETH) 2:32:08
    4 Beatrice Cherop (KEN) 2:32:21
    5 Halima Hussen (ETH) 2:35:01
    6 Konjit Tilahun (ETH) 2:35:38
    7 Wude Ayalew (ETH) 2:36:04
    8 Meskerem Abera (ETH) 2:37:56


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    Ethiopia: Politics Aside, Spotlight on the Amazing Almaz Ayana

    Almaz Ayana Eba holds the 10,000 metres world athletics record, which she set when winning gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro breaking the previous time set in the event in 1993. (Photo: IAAF)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: March 28th, 2017

    New York (TADIAS) — Almaz Ayana, who was named “Female World Athlete of the Year” this past December for her spectacular performance at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, is featured in the current episode of IAAF’s Inside Athletics exclusive interview series released this week.

    The 25-year-old long distance runner won gold in the 10,000 metres during the Olympics setting a new international record and earning Ethiopia its only gold medal at the competition.

    “Last year the Ethiopian distance runner broke the long-standing world record in the 10,000m on her way to winning the Olympic title in her event,” IAAF notes. “She went on to take the bronze medal in Rio over 5000m, the event at which she is also the world champion.”

    “IAAF Inside Athletics is hosted by Trinidad and Tobago’s 1997 world 200m champion Ato Boldon. To watch episodes of IAAF Inside Athletics as soon as they are released, follow the IAAF World Athletics Club Facebook page.

    Click here to watch the interview with Almaz Ayana »


    Related:
    In Pictures: Almaz Ayana 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year

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    Photos: Feyisa Lilesa’s New Life in Arizona

    Feyisa Lilesa, who has not been back to Ethiopia since his protest at the marathon finish in the Rio Olympics last August, on a training run in Sedona, Ariz., not far from his new home in Flagstaff. (Photo: NYT)

    The New York Times

    Feyisa Lilesa, Marathoner in Exile, Finds Refuge in Arizona

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The young boy was getting reacquainted with his father after an absence of six months and climbed on him as if he were a tree. The boy kissed his father and hugged him and clambered onto his shoulders. Then, when a protest video streamed on television, the boy grabbed a stick, and the lid of a pot to serve as a shield, and began to mimic a dance of dissent in the living room.

    There is much joy and relief, but also continued political complication, in the modest apartment of Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian marathon runner who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and gained international attention when he crossed his arms above his head at the finish line in a defiant gesture against the East African nation’s repressive government.

    Afraid to return home, fearing he would be jailed, killed or no longer allowed to travel, Lilesa, 27, remained in Brazil after the Summer Games, then came to the United States in early September. He has received a green card as a permanent resident in a category for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and sports.

    On Valentine’s Day, his wife, Iftu Mulisa, 26; daughter, Soko, 5; and son, Sora, 3, were reunited with him, first in Miami and then in Flagstaff, where Lilesa is training at altitude for the London Marathon in April. Their immigrant visas are valid until July, but they also hope to receive green cards.

    Read more at NYTimes.com »


    Related
    Feyisa Lilesa Reunites with Family
    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
    Washington Post Interview With Feyisa Lilesa
    From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.
    In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’
    Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
    Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
    Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
    Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
    Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism
    All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

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    Feyisa Lilesa Reunites with Family

    Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, of Ethiopia, hugs his wife Iftu Mulia, his daughter Soko, 5, and son Sora, 3, while picking up his family at Miami International Airport on Tuesday. (AP)

    Associated Press

    February 14, 2017

    The Ethiopian marathoner crouched down low in the hallway at the Miami airport as he carried a bouquet of red roses.

    Feyisa Lilesa’s daughter spotted him first and ran in for a hug. Then, his young son and lastly his wife.

    On Valentine’s Day, the Olympic silver medalist who became an international figure when he crossed his wrists in protest at the finish line in Rio de Janeiro finally reunited with his family. He was a little late (traffic), but what’s a few extra minutes when he’s already waited six long months to see them.

    As he made his way out of the airport, his daughter rode on the luggage and his son perched on his shoulders, carrying the flowers he brought as a gift.


    2016 Rio Olympics – Athletics – Final – Men’s Marathon – Sambodromo – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 21/08/2016. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) of Ethiopia celebrates as he wins silver. (Photo: REUTERS)

    Read more »


    Related:
    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
    Washington Post Interview With Feyisa Lilesa
    From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.
    In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’
    Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
    Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
    Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
    Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
    Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism
    All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

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    In Spain Genzebe Dibaba Breaks the World 2000m Record

    Genzebe Dibaba celebrates her victory (Getty Images)

    IAAF

    World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba added to her growing list of record-breaking achievements by breaking the world 2000m record* at the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Tuesday (7).

    The three-time world indoor champion overtook the pacemaker just before the half-way mark, which was reached in 2:42.65, and continued to extend her lead over her younger sister Anna and Morocco’s Siham Hilali.

    She went on to stop the clock at 5:23.75, taking almost seven seconds off the world indoor best set by Gabriela Szabo in 1998. Although the 2000m isn’t an official world record event indoors, Dibaba’s performance – pending ratification – can be classed as an outright world record as it is faster than Sonia O’Sullivan’s outdoor mark of 5:25.36.

    As well as the outdoor 1500m world record, Dibaba now owns the fastest ever recorded times indoors for the 1500m, mile, 2000m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m.

    Elsewhere in Sabadell, European champion Adam Kszczot won the 800m in 1:46.31 with Spanish record-holder Kevin Lopez taking second place in 1:46.58.

    European 5000m silver medallist Adel Mechaal was a convincing winner of the 3000m, clocking 7:48.39 to finish more than two seconds ahead of Italy’s Marouan Razine.


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    Farewell to Legend Miruts Yifter

    A Toronto Ethiopian Orthodox Church was packed for the funeral of running legend Miruts Yifter. (CBC)

    CBC News

    Updated Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

    Olympic champion’s body will be sent back to Ethiopia this week

    Miruts Yifter, an Ethiopian running legend dubbed “Yifter the Shifter” for his ability to power away from rivals, was laid to rest at a packed funeral in Toronto on Tuesday.

    Yifter, a distance runner who won two gold medals in the 5,000- and 10,000-metre events at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and won bronze medals earlier at the 1972 Munich Games, died at 72 after battling respiratory problems.

    “He’s a national icon,” said Yonas Tadssa, a friend of Yifter’s who also hails from Ethiopia.

    “He’s our hero.”

    Read more »


    Related:

    MIRUTS YIFTER, ETHIOPIAN RUNNING LEGEND, DIES (IAAF)


    Miruts Yifter. (Getty Images)

    IAAF

    The IAAF is saddened by the news that Miruts Yifter, a double Olympic champion for Ethiopia at the 1980 Olympic Games, died yesterday (December 22) in Toronto, Canada, after being hospitalised for respiratory ailments. Yifter, considered by many as one of the greatest middle distance runners of all-time, was 72.

    Yifter’s crowning achievement was his 5,000 and 10,000m double triumph at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow at age 40, where he earned the nickname “Yifter the Shifter” for the rapid injections of speed that helped propel him to victory. In both contests, Yifter surged and slowed to confuse his key opponents. The tactic worked.

    “We talked about it with the coaches and I practiced taking off with 300 metres to go in both the 5000 and 10,000m races,” he recalled for a 2004 story on the IAAF website.

    “300 metres is the ideal mark – not too late, not too early. I listened to the movements of my opponents until five laps remained and then decided on my course of action. The tension start building at the bell, but before they could reassert themselves, I make my move.”

    Read more »


    Related:

    Family: Ethiopian Running Legend Miruts Yifter Dies at 72


    Miruts Yifter in the 10,000m final at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. His family announced on Friday that the legendary Ethiopian athlete has died at age 72. (AP)

    The Associated Press

    By Elias Meseret

    Dec 23, 2016

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Miruts Yifter, an Ethiopian running legend who inspired world-class athletes like Haile Gebreselassie, has died in Canada at age 72, his family and Ethiopian Athletics Federation officials told the Associated Press on Friday.

    The athlete known widely by the nickname “Miruts the Shifter” won two gold medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics at age 40 and won bronze medals earlier at the 1972 Munich Games.

    “Miruts has been everything to me and my athletics career,” said Haile Gebreselassie, the double Olympic 10,000-meter champion, who struggled with his tears while talking to the AP by phone. “When I started running, I just wanted to be like him. He is the reason for who I’m now and for what I have achieved.”

    Miruts’ son, Biniam Miruts, said his father had been suffering from respiratory problems.

    Read more »


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    In Pictures: Almaz Ayana 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year

    Almaz Ayana (Right) with Haile Gebreselassie after receiving the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year award at the IAAF Athletics Awards ceremony in Monaco on December 2nd, 2016. (IAAF)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    Updated: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana who set a new world record in the 10,000m race during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil was awarded this year’s “Female World Athlete of the Year” prize last Friday at a ceremony in Monaco.

    The 25-year-old long distance runner was accompanied at the event by Haile Gebreselassie who also acted as her translator.

    “After collecting her IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award she was asked at what stage during her gold medal run in the 10,000m final at Rio 2016 she realised the world record was also in her grasp,” IAAF reported.

    ” ‘When I crossed the line,’ she quipped, through top translator Haile Gebrselassie.”

    Below are photos:


    Almaz Ayana and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt receive their awards from Prince Albert of Monaco (left) and IAAF president Lord Coe. (Getty Images)


    After an incredible year for the sport of athletics, the world’s finest gathered in Monaco for a celebration of all that they gave us in a momentous Olympic year — IAAF. (Photo Usain Bolt and Almaz Ayana at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016/Getty Images)


    Haile Gebrselassie sits alongside Genzebe Dibaba (centre) and Almaz Ayana on the eve of the IAAF Athlete of the Year awards in Monaco. (Photo: IAAF)

    Almaz Ayana is the third Ethiopian woman to win “Female World Athlete of the Year” award following in the footsteps of Genzebe Dibaba (2015) and Meseret Defar (2007), according to IAAF.

    “I don’t have words to explain my feelings right now, I’m so excited,” said Ayana whose award was presented by International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. “Really, I’m so pleased.”


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana Named Finalist for World Athlete of the Year Award


    Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) and Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) earned their spots on the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year short list in historic fashion, IAAF announced. (Photos IAAF)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Almaz Ayana who won Ethiopia’s only gold medal during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this past summer has been named a candidate for this year’s Female World Athlete of the Year award.

    The 25-year-old long distance runner is being considered for the prestigious award along with Jamaican track and field sprinter Elaine Thompson and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk.

    “Ayana opened the Rio Olympics with a bang. It was a sight to behold as the Ethiopian broke away early from the rest of the field with a decisive surge,” The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which gives the annual award, said highlighting her accomplishments. “There was no catching Ayana, who powered to a world record 29:17.45, knocking more than 14 seconds off a record that had stood for 23 years.”


    Almaz Ayana with teammate Tirunesh Dibaba at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. (Getty Images)


    (Image: IAAF)

    IAAF adds: “With one Olympic medal already under her belt, Ayana lined up in pursuit of another just days later. She was again the athlete pushing the pace in the 5000m final, blowing the medal hunt wide open with a break at half way. But her world record effort from a week earlier showed in the end, as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri passed her in the final lap. Ayana finished in third with 14:33.54. It was the only race of 2016 in which she didn’t cross the line in first, and it still earned her an Olympic bronze.”


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    Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana Named Finalist for World Athlete of the Year Award

    Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) and Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) earned their spots on the 2016 Female World Athlete of the Year short list in historic fashion, IAAF announced. (Photos IAAF)

    Tadias Magazine
    Tadias Staff

    Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Almaz Ayana who won Ethiopia’s only gold medal during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this past summer has been named a candidate for this year’s Female World Athlete of the Year award.

    The 25-year-old long distance runner is being considered for the prestigious award along with Jamaican track and field sprinter Elaine Thompson and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk.

    “Ayana opened the Rio Olympics with a bang. It was a sight to behold as the Ethiopian broke away early from the rest of the field with a decisive surge,” The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which gives the annual award, said highlighting her accomplishments. “There was no catching Ayana, who powered to a world record 29:17.45, knocking more than 14 seconds off a record that had stood for 23 years.”


    Almaz Ayana with teammate Tirunesh Dibaba at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. (Getty Images)


    (Image: IAAF)

    IAAF adds: “With one Olympic medal already under her belt, Ayana lined up in pursuit of another just days later. She was again the athlete pushing the pace in the 5000m final, blowing the medal hunt wide open with a break at half way. But her world record effort from a week earlier showed in the end, as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Hellen Obiri passed her in the final lap. Ayana finished in third with 14:33.54. It was the only race of 2016 in which she didn’t cross the line in first, and it still earned her an Olympic bronze.”


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    In Virginia, Runners From Ethiopia Sweep Richmond Marathon

    Dadi Beyene (left) and Bizuwork Getahun win the men and women division of the Richmond Marathon on Saturday, November 12th, 2016. (Photo: Richmond.com)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Sunday, November 13th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Dadi Beyene and Bizuwork Getahun of Ethiopia took first place in the men’s and women’s category respectively at this year’s Richmond Marathon in Virginia on Saturday.

    “Beyene finished three seconds ahead of Peter Limo, of Kenya,” reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Bizuwork Getahun, also from Ethiopia, won the women’s marathon in 2:37:51.”

    The Times-Dispatch adds: “The winners of the American Family Fitness half marathon this morning were Girma Gebre, of Ethiopia, for the men and Joan Aiyabei, of Kenya, for the women. Gebre ran the half marathon in 1:04:41; Aiyabei finished in 1:12:25.


    Girma Gebre wins the Richmond Half- Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Photo: TIMES-DISPATCH)

    Read more at Richmond.com »


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    Ethiopia: Former NYC Marathon Champ Tesfaye Jifar Longs to Get His Family Out

    DRIVEN Tesfaye Jifar, who set a course record when he won the New York City Marathon in 2001, now drives a livery cab in Boston, working 16 hours per day or more. (JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

    New York Daily News

    Friday, November 4, 2016,

    The loneliness of the long-distance runner: A former NYC Marathon champion–turned cabbie struggles to get his family out of strife-ridden Ethiopia

    When Tesfaye Jifar sits still, his mind drifts to dark places. So he prefers to remain in motion. It’s easier not to think about any of it: The elite athletic career that accelerated with uncommon speed, and then ended almost as quickly. The livery cab that he now drives throughout Boston, sometimes for 16 hours a day or more. The tense situation back home in Ethiopia, where the government — trying to stifle dissent in the city where Jifar’s wife and children still live — declared a state of emergency last month. And most of all, the loneliness.

    Sitting in the driver’s seat of his 2007 Lincoln Town Car, Jifar sighs, adjusts his glasses and runs a hand through his close-cropped, salt-and-pepper hair. It’s only noon on this October Tuesday, but he has already been driving for more than eight hours. “When I go home,” he says of the bedroom in Cambridge, Mass., where he sleeps in his older brother’s house, “my family, they are not with me. I don’t like to worry, so I prefer to work. When I am here, I feel free. When I go home, I feel bad. For the country, for my family, missing them.” He stops for a moment and sighs again. “Everything.”

    We stop at a light, and the car stalls. Jifar turns the key, and the engine coughs before finally revving again. For a moment, it seems like the beginning of another crisis, one he can barely afford, but we are soon back in motion.

    I’d met Jifar four months earlier, in this very car, while on assignment in Boston. A few minutes into a ride to Logan Airport, he asked where I was from. “New York,” I told him.

    “Do you know about the New York City Marathon?” he said, handing me his smartphone, which showed a photo of a man crossing the finish line with arms raised in the air. I looked at him, then at the picture, then back at him.

    “Wait, you won the Marathon?” I rubbed my eyes and saw his face smiling back at me in the rearview mirror. Same lean body as the runner in the picture. Same meticulously trimmed moustache. Same right eye, glassy and half-closed.

    “Yes,” he said, pulling up his Wikipedia page on his phone, quickly and without compromising his focus on the road, as if he has done this a thousand times. He passed it back to me.

    Read more »


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    GGRF 5K Run in Harlem Supports Athletic Scholarships for Girls in Ethiopia

    Today, 11th October, marks International Day of the Girl. (Photo: Courtesy of Girls Gotta Run Foundation)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Updated: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — This week as part of the International Day of the Girl celebration, Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) is hosting a 5K run in New York in collaboration with groups throughout NYC as well as a fundraising dinner event on Tuesday at Marcus Samuelsson’s Street Bird Restaurant in Harlem.

    The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization — which allows young and vulnerable rural girls to stay in school while pursuing their dreams of becoming athletes — was established nine years ago, and has been supporting running teams in Ethiopia. Last year the organization rolled out a new program model in Sodo and Bekoji, Ethiopia based on a three-year athletic scholarship that includes “school tuition, participation on a running team, leadership & mentoring skills, entrepreneurship and extracurricular programming around building life skills.”

    The event on Tuesday is hosted by Harlem Run, Black Roses NYC and Street Bird Restaurant. “We would like to invite the NYC Ethiopian community and NYC-based Ethiopian runners to join us in this event in Harlem,” GGRF announced.


    If You Go:
    Meet: 7pm, Tuesday October 11th at Street Bird
    (Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant on 116th and 8th in Harlem, NYC)

    Related:
    In Sodo & Bekoji, New GGRF Athletic Scholarship Keeps Girls in School

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Meet US Soccer Rising Star Naomi Girma

    Ethiopian American Naomi Girma is a defender in the U.S. under-17 Women's National team. (US Soccer)

    US Soccer

    NAOMI GIRMA: A WORLDLY EXPERIENCE

    In 1982, Girma Aweke arrived in the United States in search of a better life and education. After spending his early years in Ethiopia, he made his way to San Jose State University, where he studied engineering.

    Seble Demissie, the second youngest of eight children, arrived in the USA in 1987 after earning her undergraduate degree in Ethiopia with the same goals. She did some short term training at the University of Pittsburgh and then earned her MBA at Long Beach State.

    It was in Northern California, among the tight-knit Ethiopian community, that the two met, fell in love, married in 1995, and settled in San Jose. Living out their version of the American dream, he as an engineer in the medical field and she working in finance and banking.

    Both became American citizens, and they had two children, son Nathaniel and daughter Naomi, who was born in 2000. Sixteen years later, the daughter of immigrants, a first generation American, is on the cusp of representing – and perhaps captaining — the United States in a youth Women’s World Cup.

    It was the Ethiopian community that first drew Naomi Girma to soccer. (In Ethiopia, the children take the first name of their father as their last name). Girma Aweke was one of the organizers of “maleda soccer” (maleda meaning “dawn” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia), a gathering of Ethiopian families that served to strengthen the bonds of the community.

    “I was five years old when I first started playing,” said Naomi, who heads into the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan as one of the USA’s starting center backs. “Girls and boys played together and they always divided soccer games into little kids, medium kids and big kids. I always begged to play with the big kids. Eventually, my parents let me.”


    A starting center-back for the U-17 WNT, Naomi Girma has captained the USA on several occasions. (Photo: US Soccer)


    Naomi Girma. (Photo: US Soccer)

    Through these free play weekend afternoons, which also featured other sports and a big BBQ to end the day, Naomi’s love for the game was nurtured. At age nine, she started playing club soccer for the Central Valley Crossfire and grew into one of the USA’s elite female players for her age. She has committed to Stanford University for the fall of 2018 and has captained the U.S. U-17 WNT on several occasions.

    Read more at USSoccer.com »


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    Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede the Berlin Marathon Queen Once Again

    Aberu Kebede wins the women's title at the 2016 Berlin Marathon. (www.photorun.net) © Copyright

    IAAF

    The women’s race saw Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede take victory in commanding fashion, running 2:20:45 to come home more than three minutes clear of compatriot Birhane Dibaba.

    Kebede, Dibaba and fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga ran together through 10km in 33:12 and 15km in 49:40, but Kebede began to press on alone before halfway, which she reached in 1:09:27. From there, she extended her advantage all the way to the finish, coming home just 15 seconds shy of her personal best of 2:20:30.

    “I’m very happy to have won here for the third time,” said Kebede. “It was a big ambition to break 2:20 and it still is. I hope to have another chance to achieve this in Berlin.”

    With her third Berlin win after 2010 and 2012, Kebede joins the city’s record winners Uta Pippig (Germany) and Renata Kokowska (Poland). Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41) made it an all-Ethiopian podium in Berlin.

    41,283 runners from 122 countries entered the 43rd edition of the race, which is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.


    Related:
    Kenenisa Bekele Makes Triumphant Return to 2016 Berlin Marathon

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Kenenisa Bekele Makes Triumphant Return to 2016 Berlin Marathon

    Kenenisa Bekele crosses the line to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 25th, 2016. (Getty)

    IAAF

    BEKELE GETS BACK TO HIS BRILLIANT BEST AT BERLIN MARATHON

    Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele emerged victorious in a battle for the ages with Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang during the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. His winning time of 2:03:03 was an Ethiopian record and the second fastest time in history on a record-eligible course.

    Bekele took command of the race entering the final kilometre, surging away from former world record holder Kipsang to take his first victory in Berlin, smashing Haile Gebrselassie’s Ethiopian record of 2:03:59 in the process.

    In mild, calm conditions in the German capital, the pace was blistering from the outset. A 5km split of 14:20 was the kind of tempo to take them across the finishing line close to the magical barrier of the sub-two-hour marathon. Unsuprisingly the pace slowed, but at halfway with the pacemakers having made an early exit several kilometres previously, the lead group of eight was timed at 61:11, which still put them inside the world record schedule of Dennis Kimetto, who had run 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014…

    The 5000m and 10,000m world record holder steadily reeled in his target over the kilometres that followed, clocking off consistent splits and running alongside Kipsang at the 40km mark before unleashing his decisive move. Bekele changed gears impressively with just over a kilometre to run, a move Kipsang simply couldn’t match.

    With nothing but the clock left to race, the 34-year-old Ethiopian powered up the home straight in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate, but fell just short in his bid to break the world record of 2:02:57.


    Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele during the 2016 Berlin Marathon (www.photorun.net) Copyright

    “I wanted to run my personal best here,” said Bekele. “The time was fantastic. I’m so happy to have broken the Ethiopian record of Haile Gebrselassie, but I’m a little disappointed as well, since I didn’t break the world record. But I hope I can come back here again and get a second chance. Towards the end of the race I had a few problems with my hamstrings but otherwise it was okay.”

    Read more »


    Related:
    Ethiopia’s Bekele nears record as he wins Berlin marathon (AFP)
    Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede the Berlin Marathon Queen Once Again

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    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.

    Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa receives his silver medal for the men's marathon in the Rio 2016 Olympics at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 21. Feyisa Lilesa has arrived in the US. (Getty Images)

    Newsweek

    The Ethiopian Olympic medallist who publicly protested against the country’s government has arrived in the United States, where he reportedly hopes to claim asylum.

    Feyisa Lilesa, who won the silver medal in the men’s marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, crossed his arms over his head as he finished the race. The gesture has become common among protesters in Oromia, a region of Ethiopia where hundreds of Oromo activists have been killed in recent months during clashes with security forces.

    Lilesa repeated the gesture at a later press conference and during his medal ceremony, adding that he would likely be killed or imprisoned if he returned to the Horn of Africa country. Ethiopia’s information minister Getachew Reda told the BBC at the time that Lilesa would have nothing to fear if he returned home.


    Feyisa Lilesa made the gesture as he crossed the line at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 21st. (Getty Images)

    The runner has now reportedly arrived in the U.S. after previously stating that he would seek asylum in the country, the BBC reported on Friday. A crowdfunding campaign set up to fund Lilesa’s legal fees and support his family in Ethiopia has raised more than $160,000 in under three weeks after it was set up on August 21.

    Read more at Newsweek.com »

    —-
    Related:
    Washington Post Interview With Ethiopia’s Olympic Hero Feyisa Lilesa
    From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
    In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’
    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
    Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
    Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
    Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
    Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
    Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism
    All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics

    Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa (left) at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 21, 2016 and American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. (Photo: AP/NBC)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — In 1968 three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges during the medal ceremonies in support of the civil rights movement in America despite a ban on political demonstrations at the Olympics. At Rio 2016 Ethiopian Olympic marathoner & silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa staged an equally daring protest as he crossed the finish line on Sunday, August 21st holding his arms over his head, with wrists crossed, in a gesture of solidarity with non-violent protestors in Ethiopia regarding government plans to reallocate farmland and freedom of expression. He repeated the protest at a press conference and on the podium.

    As NBC News notes: “The image was striking. A black man with his fists raised in the air, his arms crossed like an X. It was even more striking given that this man was standing on the medal stand at the Rio Olympics and not on an American street corner protesting in the name of Black Lives Matter. It was a protest for black lives nonetheless, those about 6,000 miles away in Ethiopia.”

    NBC quotes Feyisa as having told reporters on Sunday after the marathon race: “In the last nine months, more than 1,000 people died. And others charged with treason. It’s a very dangerous situation in Ethiopia.”


    (Photo credit: Eshetu Homa Keno)

    “Lilesa’s symbolic protest, which he raised when crossing the finish line and again on the podium, comes decades after other black athletes protested treatment of their own people,” NBC News reports. “During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, two American sprinters named Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter dash, with Smith setting a World and Olympic record on the way to victory. But it was what they did after that won the hearts of some and the scorn of others. The two black men took to the podium as the Star Spangled Banner played, wearing black socks and no shoes. Their heads were bowed low and each raised a gloved fist. The shoeless feet represented African Americans poverty, and the black fist was a symbol of black power and unity, a call for radical change in the way the American government treated black people. Smith wore a scarf. Carlos wore beads. Both were worn in memory of lynching victims in the United States. With time the legacy of the men has shifted in popular culture and the history of the civil rights era. Their lives seemed to have ebbed and flowed, from public derision to the polish of time.”


    Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Games, engage in a victory stand protest against unfair treatment of blacks in the United States. Australian Peter Norman is the silver medalist. (Photo: Bettmann Archive)

    “As for Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian compatriot of Smith and Carlos in the spirit of Olympic protest, it’s yet to be seen what he’ll face at home. Lilesa, the father of two, said his life will likely be under threat back home and that if need be he’d apply for political asylum in the United States.”


    2016 Rio Olympics – Athletics – Final – Men’s Marathon – Sambodromo – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 21/08/2016. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) of Ethiopia flashes protest sign as he wins silver. (Photo: REUTERS)


    Feyisa Lilesa receives his silver medal for the men’s marathon in the Rio 2016 Olympics at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 21. Feyisa Lilesa has arrived in the US. (Getty Images)

    —-
    Related:
    Washington Post Interview With Feyisa Lilesa
    From Rio to America: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Washington Post Op-Ed
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Arrives in the U.S.
    In Seattle, African Athletics Org Renames 5k Race ‘Feyisa Lilesa Heroic Run’
    Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
    Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
    Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
    Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism
    All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa’s Protest Shines World Spotlight on Unrest in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa held his arms over his head, wrists crossed, as he finished second at the Olympic marathon on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a gesture of support for protesters back home. (Getty Images)

    The Washington Post

    Aug 21, 2016

    When he crossed the Olympics marathon finish line, Feyisa Lilesa put his hands above his head in an “X.” Most of those who watched Lilesa’s spectacular silver medal performance didn’t know what that meant — or just how dangerous a protest they were watching.

    Lilesa was protesting the Ethiopian government’s killing of hundreds of the country’s Oromo people — an ethnic majority that has long complained about being marginalized by the country’s government. The group has held protests this year over plans to reallocate Oromo land. Many of those protests ended in bloodshed. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people have been killed since November.

    For months, the Oromo have been using the same “X” gesture that Lilesa, 26, used at the finish line.

    At a news conference following the race, he reiterated his defiant message.

    “The Ethiopian government is killing my people, so I stand with all protests anywhere, as Oromo is my tribe,” Lilesa said. “My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed.”

    It was a remarkable turn of events — within seconds, Lilesa had gone from a national hero to a man who might not be able to return to his home country. In addition to those killed, many Oromo protesters are currently languishing in prison.

    In Ethiopia, the state broadcaster did not air a replay of the finish.

    Lilesa was conscious of the danger. He immediately suggested that he might have to move somewhere else.

    “If I go back to Ethiopia maybe they will kill me. If not kill me, they will put me in prison. I have not decided yet, but maybe I will move to another country,” he said.

    Read more at The Washington Post »


    2016 Rio Olympics – Athletics – Final – Men’s Marathon – Sambodromo – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 21/08/2016. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) of Ethiopia celebrates as he wins silver. (Photo: REUTERS)


    Feyisa Lilesa, who won the silver medal in the men’s marathon at the Rio Olympics, during an award ceremony on on Sunday, August 21st, 2016. (AP photo)


    Silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa at the conclusion of a news conference on Sunday, August 21st, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo credit : Eshetu Homa Keno)


    Feyisa Lilesa celebrates crossing the line in second place in Rio. (Photo: EPA)

    —-
    Related:
    In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics
    Over $100000 Raised For Ethiopian Olympian Runner
    Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games
    Ethiopia Says Protesting Marathoner to Be Welcomed as Hero, But Does He Want to Go?
    Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign
    Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Shows Solidarity With Protesters in Ethiopia at Rio Games »
    Ethiopia Olympian Feyisa Lilesa Protests Government With Marathon Medal
    Ethiopian Marathoner’s Protest Puts Him at Odds With His Government
    Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Genzebe Dibaba Takes Silver Medal in the Women’s 1,500 Meters
    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Rio 2016 Olympics: Etenesh Diro Advances to 3,000-Meter Steeplechase With 1 Shoe

    Ethiopia's Etenesh Diro at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil on August 13, 2016. The 25-year-old struggled to pull off her right shoe after colliding with some of the others on the track. (Getty Images)

    NBC New York

    Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro has advanced to the final in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase after having run the last half mile of the semifinal with only one shoe.

    After reviewing video of the race, the Jury of Appeal advanced Diro to the final, following protests from the Ethiopian team, according to The Associated Press.

    Diro was leading her heat in the qualification race when her right shoe got loose.

    The 25-year-old struggled to put it back on after colliding with some of the others on the track.

    After trying to put it back on, Diro finally yanked it off and threw it onto the field. Taking a few steps, she ripped off her sock and continued, completing the last leg of the race with just one shoe.

    Diro managed to catch up to some of the runners, but finished in 7th place in her heat, clocking in at 9:34.70. That time originally knocked her out of the final.

    Read more »

    —-
    Related:
    Ethiopia’s First Gold at Rio Olympics: Almaz Ayana Smashes 10,000m Record
    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia’s Olympic Swimmer Robel Kiros: Body Shaming & Questions of Nepotism

    Robel Kiros Habte of Ethiopia competes in the men's 100-meter freestyle heat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Thursday, August 11th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian male Olympic swimmer Robel Kiros Habte made international headlines this week when he finished dead last in the men’s 100-meter freestyle heat at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. But more than his poor performance what seemed to attract the most attention about Robel in social media circles, however, was his body shape — some even nicknaming the 179-pound swimmer: ‘Robel the Whale.’ In an article entitled “Robel Kiros Habte, Ethiopian Swimmer, Taunted After Olympic Swim” The Huffington Post came to Robel’s defense noting “Despite the bullies, Habte was the first person to draw cheers on Tuesday, according to Australian journalist Jai Bednall.”

    The Washington Post pointed out that outside of the stadium and especially on the Internet “people are being downright unkind to an Ethiopian swimmer, body-shaming him for having what, in one of the more charitable comments, is called a dad bod.”

    In another piece headlined “That Slow, Chubby Ethiopian Swimmer Totally Deserved to Be in the Olympics,” Slate magazine added: “Some corners of the internet have fretted that Habte’s body is being shamed, which is indeed quite cruel. But there is no denying the reality that Habte has neither the body nor the talent of a top-flight Olympic swimmer. According to Reuters, Habte was competing in Rio thanks to a “special invitation from world body FINA extended to athletes from under-represented countries.”

    So, how did Robel qualify for the Ethiopian Olympic team in the first place? The Washington Post cites tweets noting that “Habte is the, ahem, son of the president of the country’s swimming federation.”



    #Ethiopia ‘s #RobelHabte. 59th place at #Rio2016 . With him is the #ETH swim federation president who’s HIS DAD. pic.twitter.com/kLLzLA1dAS — Zecharias Zelalem (@ZekuZelalem) August 10, 2016


    Robel Kiros Habte at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

    “Whatever brought him to Rio, the 24-year-old college student was a crowd favorite and was pretty happy just to be there,” The Post added.

    “I wanted to do something different for my country, that’s why I chose swimming,” Robel told Reuters. “Everybody, every day you wake up in Ethiopia, you run. Not swimming. But I didn’t want to run, I wanted to be a swimmer. It didn’t matter where I finished.”

    Slate Magazine adds: “Well, it kind of did matter…But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Habte shouldn’t have been in Rio. His time in the 100-meter freestyle on Tuesday is just a few seconds slower than the Ethiopian national record. And Habte himself holds the national record in the 50-meter freestyle. FINA’s rules state that “under-represented countries” can invite one male and one female swimmer to the Olympics. (Ethiopia’s female entrant, Rahel Fseha Gebresilassie, will swim on Friday.) Perhaps there’s a more qualified swimmer in Ethiopia. But it seems just as likely that Robel Kiros Habte was his country’s hope for Olympics swimming glory.”


    Robel Kiros Habte of Ethiopia competes in a men’s 100-meter freestyle heat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

    —-
    Related:
    Ethiopian swimmer mocked for ‘dad bod’ receiving love and hate online
    The 24-year-old Ethiopian swimmer who took the internet by storm
    Tubby Ethiopian swimmer Robel Kiros Habte becomes world’s favourite athlete of the 2016 Olympic
    The most talked about moments from Tuesday night’s Olympic action
    Robel Kiros Habte, Ethiopian Swimmer, Taunted After Olympic Swim

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    All Eyes on Brazil as 2016 Olympics Starts

    Photo: Genzebe Dibaba is a member of Ethiopia's women's track and field team at the 2016 Rio Olympics . (IAAF.org)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Saturday, August 6th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — From now until August 21st all eyes are focused on Brazil as the 2016 Olympic Games officially got underway there on Friday evening with a colorful ceremony broadcasted around the world from the seaside city of Rio De Janeiro.

    According to the International Olympic Committee at least 206 countries are represented by more than 11,000 athletes at the 2016 Rio Games this summer, which is being held in South America for the first time.

    “In total, there will be 306 events over the course of 19 days between the opening and closing ceremonies,” highlights The Root, while naming a member of Ethiopia’s team, Genzebe Dibaba — the current world record holder in both the indoor and outdoor 1500 meters race — among 40 black athletes worldwide to watch for at the 2016 competition.

    “The number of black athletes from around the globe in the Summer Olympics always dwarfs the number in the Winter Olympics (something about cold weather, snow and ice?), and this year is no exception. When national anthems are played and the winners step onto the medal stand, here are some folks you might see.”


    Photo: Genzebe Dibaba in 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships. (Wikimedia)

    Genzebe, who additionally holds the world indoor record in the 3000 meters category will “narrow her focus and compete over 1500m, the event at which she holds the world record at 3:50.07,” IAAF reported last month. IAAF added that her elder sister Tirunesh Dibaba — three-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning Olympic 10,000m champion — is also “slated to compete solely over that distance in Rio, though she is also listed as a reserve for the 5,000m.” Genzebe’s family members who are also Olympians include her silver medalist sister Ejegayehu Dibaba, as well as her cousin Derartu Tulu who was the first female Ethiopian gold medalist.


    Related:
    Rio Throws A Party For The World, Kicking Off The 2016 Olympics (NPR)
    40 Black Athletes to Watch at the Rio Olympics (The Root)
    Ethiopia Announces Team for Rio 2016

    ETHIOPIAN TEAM FOR RIO (INCLUDING RESERVES)
    MEN
    800m: Mohammed Aman
    5000m: Muktar Edris, Dejen Gebremeskel, Hagos Gebrhiwet, (Abadi Hadis)
    10,000m: Yigrem Demelash, Abadi Hadis, Tamirat Tola, (Ibrahim Jeilan)
    Marathon: Tesfaye Abera, Lemi Berhanu, Feyisa Lelisa, (Lelisa Desisa)
    3000m steeplechase: Hailemariyam Amare, Chala Beyo, Tafese Seboka, (Birhan Getahun)

    WOMEN
    800m: Habitam Alemu, Tigist Assefa, Gudaf Tsegay
    1500m: Genzebe Dibaba, Besu Sado, Dawit Seyaum, (Gudaf Tsegay)
    5000m: Almaz Ayana, Senbere Teferi, Ababel Yeshaneh, (Tirunesh Dibaba)
    10,000m: Almaz Ayana, Gelete Burka, Tirunesh Dibaba, (Netsanet Gudeta)
    Marathon: Mare Dibaba, Tirfi Tsegaye, Tigist Tufa, (Aberu Kebede)
    3000m steeplechase: Sofia Assefa, Hiwot Ayalew, Etenesh Diro, (Weynshet Ansa)
    20km race walk: Yehualeye Beletew, Askale Tiksa

    Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

    Ethiopia Announces Team for Rio 2016

    Almaz Ayana who is the second fastest woman in 5000 metres, second only to Tirunesh Dibaba - who holds the world record in 5000m - is a leading member of the Ethiopian team for 2016 Olympic Games. (Getty)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Saturday, July 16th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s long-distance team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is set to kick-off in Brazil next month, includes 24-year-old Almaz Ayana who is aiming to score a double victory in the 5000m and 10000m following in the footsteps of Tirunesh Dibaba’s historic win in both fields at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

    “Ayana tops the world lists at both distances this year, having run 14:12.59 for 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome and 30:07.00 for 10,000m in Hengelo last month,” according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

    “Reigning Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba is slated to compete solely over that distance in Rio, though is also listed as a reserve for the 5,000m,” IAAF reports. “The 30-year-old will be seeking her fourth Olympic gold medal in Rio, though has competed sparingly so far this year. In her only outing over 5000m, Dibaba clocked 14:41.73 at a small meeting in Kortrijk, Belgium last weekend, and in her sole 10,000m race she finished third in the Ethiopian trial race in Hengelo in 30:28.53.”

    IAAF adds: “Genzebe Dibaba will narrow her focus and compete over 1500m, the event at which she holds the world record at 3:50.07. The reigning world champion clocked 3:59.83 in her sole outing at that distance in Barcelona last weekend. Dejen Gebremeskel, the silver medallist over 5000m at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will bid to go one better over the same distance in Rio and will be joined by Muktar Edris and Hagos Gebrhiwet. Another looking to go one better in Rio will be Sofia Assefa, the 3000m steeplechase silver medallist at the 2012 Games, though the 28-year-old has a best of just 9:18.16 this year. Former world champion Mohammed Aman is the sole Ethiopian entrant in the men’s 800m and will be looking to win his first Olympic medal, having finished sixth in the 800m final four years ago.”

    Read more at IAAF.org »

    ETHIOPIAN TEAM FOR RIO (INCLUDING RESERVES)
    MEN
    800m: Mohammed Aman
    5000m: Muktar Edris, Dejen Gebremeskel, Hagos Gebrhiwet, (Abadi Hadis)
    10,000m: Yigrem Demelash, Abadi Hadis, Tamirat Tola, (Ibrahim Jeilan)
    Marathon: Tesfaye Abera, Lemi Berhanu, Feyisa Lelisa, (Lelisa Desisa)
    3000m steeplechase: Hailemariyam Amare, Chala Beyo, Tafese Seboka, (Birhan Getahun)

    WOMEN
    800m: Habitam Alemu, Tigist Assefa, Gudaf Tsegay
    1500m: Genzebe Dibaba, Besu Sado, Dawit Seyaum, (Gudaf Tsegay)
    5000m: Almaz Ayana, Senbere Teferi, Ababel Yeshaneh, (Tirunesh Dibaba)
    10,000m: Almaz Ayana, Gelete Burka, Tirunesh Dibaba, (Netsanet Gudeta)
    Marathon: Mare Dibaba, Tirfi Tsegaye, Tigist Tufa, (Aberu Kebede)
    3000m steeplechase: Sofia Assefa, Hiwot Ayalew, Etenesh Diro, (Weynshet Ansa)
    20km race walk: Yehualeye Beletew, Askale Tiksa


    Related:
    Ethiopia: Kenenisa Bekele Among Greatest Olympic Athletes of all Time (TADIAS)
    Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics Statistics Handbook (IAAF)

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    Ethiopia: Kenenisa Bekele Among Greatest Olympic Athletes of all Time

    Kenenisa Bekele who holds the Olympic and World record in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres events is considered one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time. (Getty Images)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele is among the world’s “Greatest Olympic Athletes Of All Time,” according to a new athletics statistics handbook for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games published this week by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

    The handbook, which also highlights the records of Ethiopian greats such as Abeke Bekila, Mamo Wolde, Miruts Yifter and Haile Gebrselassie, points out that Kenenisa is by far the most successful male Ethiopian Olympic athlete of his generation, topping the “All Male Events” category as well as leading in “Individual Events” and the “Best Athlete by Country.” Kenenisa is currently the Olympic and World Record holder in both the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters categories.

    The publication, released only four weeks ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, includes “all-time medals tables, statistics on the oldest and youngest athletes in Olympic history and a full country index,” according to IAAF.

    “Athletes often speak about the ‘record books’ in a figurative sense, but this publication is as close as you can get to a definitive book of records for track and field at the Olympic Games,” says IAAF President Sebastian Coe writing in the book. “In short, each and every significant athletics moment in Olympic history is covered.”

    In the Olympic records book Kenenisa is closely followed by fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the current 10,000 meters Olympics record holder in the women’s category, who is also listed among the world’s “Greatest Olympic Athletes Of All Time” along with her cousin Derartu Tulu, Gete Wami and Meseret Defar.

    IAAF adds: “The 420-page book has been produced in collaboration with the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) and edited by renowned athletics statistician Mark Butler.”

    The 2016 Olympic Games commences in Rio from 12-21 August.


    Related:
    Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics Statistics Handbook (IAAF)

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    Cyclist Tsgabu Grmay Makes Ethiopia’s Tour de France Debut

    Ethiopia's Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay in Saint Lô, France ahead of the 2016 Tour de France. (Photo: RFI)

    RFI

    Ethiopia has been sending cyclists to the Olympic Games since the 1950s but has never sent a rider to the Tour de France. Until now. Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay is competing this year before racing in the Brazil Olympics next month.

    “I’m so excited because I’ve never done this race,” he says with less than 24 hours to the first stage. “For me the Tour de France is not just about finishing 21 stages. It’s about doing something special. I’m ready to do something in this tour.

    “I’m ready to fight.”

    He’s riding in the Italian team Lampre-Merida that includes the powerful Rui Costa and the young South African Louis Meintjes. The squad will be chasing stage wins and a good showing in the general classification.

    Tsgabu Grmay has been spoken about as one of the top cyclists from Africa for some time. Before he turned 20 he took a fifth place at the Tour of Rwanda. In 2013 he was fifth in Gabon’s prestigious Tropicale Amissa Bongo and he picked up a stage win and a second place overall in the Tour of Taiwan…

    Tsgabu comes from Ethiopia’s northern highlands. The air is thin in his hometown of Mekele, which sits at over 2000m. He returns often from the Lampre Merida base in Italy and trains in the roads around Mekele. He only has enough paved road for three hours on the bike. After that he has to ride the same roads again.

    There are more good young riders coming up in Ethiopia, he says. “They can see the possibility now.”

    Although it was not easy to watch European cycling six or seven years ago in Mekele, he says, now there are plenty of free-to-view satellite channels that show the big Tours.

    This means Ethiopia will be watching Tsgabu as the Tour rolls round France.

    Read the full article at RFI »


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    Tsegaye Getachew wins Fairfield Half Marathon

    Elite runners compete in the lead pack during the 2016 Fairfield Half Marathon in Fairfield, Conn. on Sunday, June 26, 2016. Number 3, Tsegaye Getachw, center, of Ethiopia, was the eventual winner. (Hearst Media)

    CT Post

    Updated: June 27th, 2016

    FAIRFIELD – A good finishing kick was all that Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Getachw needed.

    Getachw was part of a five-man group that broke away from the rest of the field early in the race and then took turns taking, and retaking the lead as the pack got closer to the finish line. But in the end, it was Getachw that broke away from the group and sprinted to victory in the 36th annual Faxon Law Group Fairfield Half Marathon Sunday morning at Jennings Beach.

    Getachw’s winning time was 1:05.23 over the 13.1-mile course that winds through the streets of Fairfield, Southport, Greenfield Hills and Westport. Fellow Ethiopians Ayele Megersa Feisa and John Gathaya Muruga finished second and third, respectively, in 1:05.27 and 1:05.56.

    “I just wanted to stay close until I was a couple of miles from the finishing line, then I started to push,” Getachw said through a translator. “The course wasn’t too bad, I felt comfortable on the hills.”
    A little more than 3,700 runners competed in the half marathon with an additional 1,600 runners taking part in the 5K event, which took place on Saturday.

    Getachw won the $2,000 first prize while Feisa took $1,000 for finishing second. Muruga won $500 for third, Julius Koseki of Morristown, N.J., was fourth (1:06.26) and won $300 and Louis Serafini was fifth (1:06.38) and won $200.

    Read more at ctpost.com »


    Related:
    Rising Ethiopian Athlete Atsede Baysa Eyes Another Boston Victory

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    Spotlight on Ethiopian American Basketball Player Krubiel Workie

    Krubiel Workie is an Ethiopian American basketball player currently training with the Denver Nuggets. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — A son of refugees Krubiel Workie was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado — a suburb of Denver that is home to a sizeable population of immigrants from Ethiopia. A talented basketball player, Krubiel is presently training with The Denver Nuggets.

    “I was invited by former Nugget Anthony Carter and Steve Hess, Coach for Strength and Conditioning, to practice with the Nuggets,” says Krubiel, who graduated from St. Joseph College in Maine in 2015. “I have been with the Nuggets every Summer since 2012. Currently, I am training at Chauncey’s Gym everyday.”

    “The game of basketball is not just a game for me, it’s my life,” Krubiel tells Tadias. “I grew up in the rough side of Denver and basketball kept me out of trouble. I would wake up everyday and the only thing I could think about was the game. And I believe that if I can put my mind to it anything is possible.”

    Watch: Krubiel Workie College Basketball Highlights:

    “I got my work ethic from my immigrant parents. They instilled in me the importance and the sense of hard work,” says Krubiel. “My father used to say: Do you want to have fun now and struggle later? Or you want to work hard now and have fun later? It’s your choice.”

    Krubiel’s strong work ethic is helping him prepare for an upcoming basketball boot camp this Summer in Nevada where professional basketball coaches, agents and recruiters will be scouting for new NBA talents.


    Krubiel Workie. (Courtesy photo)


    Krubiel Workie with his father. (Courtesy photo)

    —-
    You can connect with Krubiel Workie on Instagram at krubiel_workie or on Twitter @blessed1flight.

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    Emperor Haile Selassie’s Family Sponsors Youth Basketball Team in Aurora, Colorado

    The Green Valley Ranch Youth League of Aurora, Colorado recently received generous financial support from The Crown Council of Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — An African American Girls Basketball Team, The Green Valley Ranch Youth League (GVRYL) in Aurora, Colorado recently received financial contributions from former Emperor Haile Selassie’s family, which made it possible for them to participate in a competition in Kansas this month.

    “The Crown Council of Ethiopia is pleased to announce its financial support of The Green Valley Ranch Youth League (GVRYL), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization,” the press release said. “Since 1995, GVRYL has been a mainstay for the Green Valley Ranch community’s youth between the ages of 4 and 14.”

    Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, the grandson of Haile Selassie and President of The Crown Council of Ethiopia since 1993, said in a statement: “The values which GVRYL instills upon its participants — many of whom are children of Ethiopian immigrants — are critical towards the development of our nation’s future leaders. The Crown Council of Ethiopia hopes that its financial contribution has a lasting impact on GVRYL’s programs in the Aurora, Colorado Community.”

    The press release added: “GVRYL teaches the merits and benefits of integrity, teamwork, competition, and sport to approximately 350 kids each year. Through the collective support of its gracious donors, GVRYL will be able to send its Girls Basketball Team to The Summer Showcase in Kansas.”


    You can learn more about the Youth League at http://www.gvrgiants.com

    Related:
    Interview With Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie (TADIAS)
    In Pictures: 50th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Historic Visit to Jamaica (TADIAS)
    Under Pressure from Family Christie’s Skips Auction of Haile Selassie’s Watch
    New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie (TADIAS)

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    Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali: Reflection by Photographer Gediyon Kifle

    Boxing legend Muhammad Ali. who was named Sportsman of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated magazine, passed away late Friday on June 3rd, 2016. He was 74. (Photograph © Gediyon Kifle)

    Tadias Magazine
    By Tadias Staff

    Published: Saturday, June 4th, 2016

    New York (TADIAS) — In honor of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who passed away on Friday at the age of 74, Ethiopian American photographer Gediyon Kifle shared with Tadias the photograph above of the former world heavyweight boxing champion. Gediyon took the photo in 2013 at an event in Washington, D.C.

    “I always remember his self confidence, his humanitarian work and his uncompromising stand for what he believed in,” Gediyon recalled about the brief time he spent photographing the iconic figure. “He was just a very down-to-earth guy,” Gediyon said. “We were chatting, and at the end he reached out and shook my hand.”

    Ali, who had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for the past three decades, died on Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona surrounded by his children and extended family who had gathered around him from across the United States, a spokesman for the Ali family, Bob Gunnell, told the media.

    “Parkinson’s is a place that hides you instead of bringing you out,” Gediyon said. “But Ali used his illness to bring awareness to this debilitating disease, which also recently took away one of my mentors Jim Jones, a great photographer. So all the way to the end Ali never stopped being a fighter. And also a peaceful man.”

    “He was the greatest fighter of all time but his boxing career is secondary to his contribution to the world,” promoter Bob Arum told the Associated Press early Saturday. “He’s the most transforming figure of my time certainly.”

    “‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’, his cornermen exhorted,” writes AP, “and he did just that in a way no heavyweight had ever fought before.”


    Photographer Gediyon Kifle. (Courtesy photo)


    Related:

    More photos at Gediyon Kifle Photography

    Muhammad Ali the Social Activist: Photo by Chester Higgins (TADIAS)
    Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies at 74 (VOA)

    Watch: Nikki Giovanni interviews Muhammad Ali in the early 1970′s (WNET)

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    Race Weekend: Ethiopia’s Dino Sefir and Koren Jelela win Ottawa Marathon

    Koren Jelela (L) and Dino Sefir (R) of Ethiopia pose after finishing 1st in the women's and men's category in the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, on Sunday, May 29, 2016. (THE OTTAWA CITIZEN)

    The Ottawa Citizen

    Dino Sefir and Koren Jelela beat the heat and they beat the fields to win Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon titles on Sunday.

    The Ethiopian runners pulled away from their nearest remaining competitors with between nine and 12 kilometres remaining and cruised to the men’s and women’s titles and their respective first-place bonuses of $30,000 U.S.

    Sefir crossed the finish line on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway with a time of two hours eight minutes 14 seconds, 1:50 faster than compatriot Shura Kitata. The next three spots went to Kenyans Dominic Ondoro (2:11:39), Evans Ruto (2:12:55) and Luka Rotich (2:17:15), who finished second in the Ottawa race two years ago.

    Following Jelela to the end of the official 42.195-kilometre course were 2015 champion Aberu Makeria (2:29:51) and two other Ethiopians, Sechale Delasa (2:32:46) and Makida Abdela (2:34:29), with Tarah Korir of St. Clement, Ont., claiming fifth place and top spot among Canadians with her time of 2:35:46.

    Read more and see photos at The Ottawa Citizen »


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    Kenenisa & Tirunesh Win UK 10km Race

    Kenenisa Bekele winning the 2016 Great Manchester Run. (Photo: IAAF)

    Reuters

    LONDON – Ehtiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele won the 10km Great Manchester Run on Sunday before expressing his frustration at being overlooked by his country’s selectors for the Olympic Games in Rio.

    The three-times Olympic champion finished the Manchester race ahead of Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang in 28 minutes and eight seconds.

    Bekele, who returned from a long period out with injury to finish third in last month’s London Marathon, is only a reserve for Ethiopia’s marathon team for Brazil and has virtually ruled out trying to make the track team.

    After Sunday’s race, which he also won in 2014, he expressed his displeasure at being overlooked for the Olympics.

    “I’m not happy about that…there is no-one better than me in the marathon in Ethiopia,” he said.

    Read more »

    DIBABA BEGINS COMEBACK WITH A THIRD VICTORY IN MANCHESTER 10K (IAAF)


    Tirunesh Dibaba wins the 2016 Great Manchester Run. (Photo: IAAF)

    IAAF

    Tirunesh Dibaba made a winning return to competition after a two year hiatus and she also created a small piece of history by becoming the first woman to claim three victories in the Great Manchester Run, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (22).

    Keen to blow away the cobwebs in her first race back, Dibaba unusually took up the lead just before the two kilometre mark – a position which she barely yielded for the remainder of her comeback race.

    Edna Kiplagat and early leader Diane Nukuri followed in Dibaba’s slipstream through 5km in 15:45 but Nukuri – the multiple national record-holder for Burundi on the track and road – began to lose ground after Dibaba inserted a 3:04 split for the sixth kilometre.

    The order remained the same through the eight kilometre mark in 25:03 and for a short while, an upset appeared to be on the cards. Kiplagat moved into the lead for the first time while Dibaba was looking laboured.

    But Dibaba stayed in contact before striking the front with about 600 metres remaining. It might not have been a vintage showing but the world 5000m record-holder proved she is likely to be a force this summer on the basis of her victory this morning in 31:16 to move to third on the 2016 world lists.

    “I felt a bit nervous [before the race] but I’m happy with my result,” said Dibaba, who clocked 15:31 for the second half. “I did not expect this time; I just wanted to win. I didn’t know what was going to happen and I had no clue about the time.”

    Dibaba will turn her focus back to the track with the foremost goal of sealing the qualifying time over 10,000m for the Olympic Games.

    “I don’t know exactly where or when I will be running but I expect to run it within a month,” said Dibaba, who hasn’t decided if she will run any shorter races to sharpen up.

    While there was a considerable degree of uncertainty in regards to the selection criteria for the Ethiopian marathon team, Dibaba more or less knows what she has to do to gain a place on her fourth Olympic team this summer

    Read more at IAAF.org »


    Related:
    All-time great Kenenisa Bekele snubbed from Ethiopian Olympic marathon team

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    Coach Woldemeskel Kostre Dies at 69

    Woldemeskel Kostre, who's died at the age of 69, coached the likes of Haile Gebrselassie, Keninisa Bekele and Deratu Tulu - all Olympic Champions. (Getty Images)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    By ELIAS MESERET

    The Father of Ethiopian Distance Running Woldemeskel Kostre Dies at 69

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Woldemeskel Kostre, the Ethiopian distance running coach who trained greats like Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele and was renowned for his strict disciplinarian approach, has died. He was 69.

    The IAAF said Kostre died early Monday in Addis Ababa. The cause of death was not announced.

    Kostre won the IAAF’s coach of the year award in 2006. He was part of Ethiopia’s distance-running program for more than 35 years, starting as an assistant coach at the 1972 Munich Olympics and working with Ethiopia’s best athletes up until the 2008 Games in Beijing.

    He was head coach of the team for 25 years, presiding over Ethiopia’s golden era.

    “Dr. Kostre was a very strict man but he showed me how to behave,” said Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic champion and multiple world champion at 10,000 meters. “He gave discipline a top priority. It is very sad he has now left us.”

    Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba, another Olympic champion and world-record holder, were also among Kostre’s prodigies.

    A promising runner in his own right, Kostre had the chance to represent Ethiopia at the 1964 Olympics, but chose instead to take a scholarship to study in Hungary because the Ethiopian federation wouldn’t allow him to do both. Following his studies, he returned home to become the architect of the nation’s success in middle and long distance running. He had a reputation as a coach who was extremely tough, demanding complete discipline, but was also fair.


    Related:
    Tributes paid to father of Ethiopian distance running (BBC Radio)

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    Ethiopians Sweep 2016 Boston Marathon

    Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia crosses the finish line of the 2016 Boston Marathon to win the women's title. (Photo: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

    USA TODAY

    April 18, 2016

    Ethiopian runners sweep men’s, women’s titles at Boston Marathon

    BOSTON — Atsede Baysa only appeared to drop out of contention in the hills outside of the city.

    She was actually just being patient.

    Baysa rallied from a deficit of 37 seconds with 4 miles to go, catching up to the leaders and cruising past them to lead a sweep for Ethiopia in the Boston Marathon on Monday.

    “I was feeling the strength coming from the lead group, but I know my pace,” Baysa said through an interpreter. “When I pace, I know I can beat them. So I moved, caught them and pushed the pace at the end.”

    Did she ever. Baysa leaped from nowhere in sight to striding all alone down Boylston Street and finished with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 19 seconds.

    Tirfi Tsegaye of Ethiopia was second (2:30:03) and Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya took third (2:30:50).

    In the men’s race, Lemi Berhanu Hayle broke away from defending champion Lelisa Desisa over the final mile to claim his first marathon title and complete the first sweep for Ethiopian runners in the Boston Marathon. Runners from the same country hadn’t won both the women’s and men’s crowns since Kenya’s Sharon Cherop and Wesley Korir in 2012.

    Baysa’s win was the biggest surprise, especially considering the wide gap between her and three runners more than half a minute ahead around the 22-mile mark.


    Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia leads Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia along the course. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

    Read the full article at USATODAY.com »


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    These Runners Take Inspiration From Boston Marathon Champion Lelisa Desisa

    Esu Alemseged (#154) and Daniel Aschale (#155) at the 2015 MIAA Indoor D1 State Track Championships (Credit: Jack Prior/Newton Sports Photography)

    PRI

    By Jeb Sharp

    They’re both 18, both high-school seniors in Massachusetts, both headed into their final season on the track team competing in the mile and two-mile. If you see one running, you’ll probably see the other.

    Daniel Aschale and Esu Alemseged met in middle school when they were both recent immigrants from Ethiopia, learning English and trying to fit in. Aschale got into running through his older sister. When she took up running, his mother made him go with her on long runs for her safety. (She now runs for Colby-Sawyer College.)

    “If she weren’t on the track team, I wouldn’t be running at all,” he says. “My mom kind of like forced me to start running with her. It changed the whole direction of my life.”

    Alemseged always loved running but mostly because he played soccer. When the two friends got to Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Aschale persuaded his friend to try cross-country. Alemseged almost quit after the first practice, because it was so gruelling. But he soon discovered he had raw talent.

    “We had a race a couple days after the first day and I was like 5th or 6th and then I just got better and better,” he says. “I liked it, but what I liked the most was my coach. Every time you do good or don’t do good, he doesn’t discourage you whatsoever. Even if it’s a bad race, he tells you a way to improve it.”

    The coach he’s talking about is Scott Cody. Cody ran for Cambridge 30 years ago and he’s been back coaching for 20. He likes to point out that includes 60 running seasons, when you count cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. He says Aschale and Alemseged have helped take the team to another level.

    “It’s the most successful four-year run we’ve had with a distance group,” he says. “They’re really dedicated. They’re serious, but they keep it loose.”

    Cody didn’t know what to expect when they showed up as freshmen four years ago.

    “They were sort of hiding in the back,” he says. “Usually I don’t want freshmen there before the season starts. I want to just get the group that I know’s been training over the summer and train them really hard.

    “Two weeks later, one of the seniors was complaining: ‘You need to talk to these guys, they’re running too fast, they’re pushing on all the runs.’ And I was like, ‘Sorry, these guys are really talented.’”

    Both boys say their Ethiopian heritage is a motivating factor in their running.

    “You know in America people like to watch the Super Bowl,” says Aschale. “In Ethiopia, people like to watch Olympic track and field events.”

    “I don’t think I’m good at running just because I’m Ethiopian,” says Alemseged. “We work hard every day. But I think if it weren’t for the Ethiopian identity, I wouldn’t be running in the first place.”

    He says sometimes when he runs he pretends he’s back in Ethiopia, where he lived until he was 12. He remembers running all the time there, chasing cars, playing soccer. He likes to share his passion for Ethiopia with his teammates. He went back to visit a couple of years ago and came home to Cambridge with an armful of T-shirts for everyone.


    Esu Alemseged (sitting) and his teammates wearing the shirts he brought from Ethiopia. (Credit: Courtesy of Esu Alemseged)

    “We wore them to one meet and people thought we were all from Ethiopia or we had been training in Ethiopia,” Alemseged says. “We’re always talking about Ethiopia.”

    And with the 2016 Boston Marathon just around the corner, talking about Ethiopia means talking about Ethiopian defending champion Lelisa Desisa.

    Desisa is beloved in Boston for gifting his 2013 medal back to the city in commemoration of the victims and survivors of the marathon bombings.

    He won again in 2015 and plans to try for another medal on Monday.

    “There’s a feeling of pride,” says Alemseged. “It’s really great when you see someone from the same place.”

    “I want to see Ethiopians win, but I also want to see a good race from everyone.”

    Read the full article at PRI.org »


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    Meet the Dibabas: The Fastest Family on the Planet

    From left: Sisters Ejegayehu, Genzebe, and Tirunesh Dibaba, and their cousin Derartu Tulu. Genzebe is expected to win gold in Rio, while the other three are already Olympic medalists. (Photo: Vogue, April 2016)

    Vogue

    By CHLOE MALLE

    The only sound at the top of the Entoto Mountains is the thwack of a cowherd’s staff against the tree trunks as he leads his small herd of oxen home. I am doing my best to keep pace with Tirunesh Dibaba, 30, and her younger sister, Genzebe, 25, two wisplike Ethiopians with wide smiles and a fiercely close bond who may be the most formidable female track stars in the world. In the late-afternoon light high above central Addis Ababa, we zigzag between the majestic eucalyptus trees, paying heed to the uneven ground below and staying alert for the not-uncommon hyena sighting—no problem, the sisters assure me, as long as you clap loudly and throw a rock in the animal’s direction.

    The Dibabas’ dominance in the field of distance running has captivated the track-and-field community. “There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” says the Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie. These are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records, and they are as charmingly unassuming in person as they are fearsome on the track. The sisters were raised three hours south of here, in a tukul, or round mud hut, without electricity—their parents subsistence farmers growing teff, barley, and wheat. Their mother, Gutu, credits her daughters’ success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows.

    In fact there are seven Dibaba siblings, and all of them run. “What the Dibabas have is what Serena and Venus have, except there are more of them,” says Ato Boldon, NBC’s track analyst. “It’s not a stretch to say they are the world’s fastest family.” Tirunesh is the most decorated, with three Olympic gold medals; Genzebe is tipped to win her first in Rio. Their older sister, Ejegayehu, 34, is an Olympian, too, with a silver from Athens, and their cousin Derartu Tulu was the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in the 1992 games. “World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport,” says Boldon.

    With Rio on the horizon, the focus is squarely on Tirunesh and Genzebe. This is Tirunesh’s comeback season after taking a year off to raise her now one-year-old son, Nathan; meanwhile, Genzebe had a record-breaking summer, decimating the competition in August’s world championships and winning IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award, a crowning glory in the sport. “Last year Genzebe was head and shoulders the best athlete in the world,” says race coordinator Matt Turnbull, who has worked with the Dibabas for almost a decade. “And with Tiru being out for so long now, people are excited to see what will happen. They’re a fiercely competitive family, and they really dictate the landscape.”

    Read more at Vogue.com »


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    Ethiopia Confirms 9 Athletes Under Investigation for Doping

    (Image: BY Creative Commons)

    Associated Press

    By ELIAS MESERET

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The general secretary of Ethiopia’s anti-doping agency says nine of the country’s runners, five of them “top athletes,” are under investigation for doping.

    Solomon Meaza tells The Associated Press his agency is investigating the five athletes he described as high-profile after they returned “suspicious” results in doping tests. He says the IAAF has requested contact details for the other four and the world body is investigating them.

    Solomon declined to name the athletes or give details of the substances they are suspected of using as investigations are ongoing.

    But he says: “There is a real concern when the upcoming investigations arrive.”

    The Ethiopian cases will be another blow to the sport following major doping scandals in Russia and Kenya in the buildup to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    Read more »


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    Ethiopia’s Women’s Soccer Team (Lucy) and the Seattle Reign to Forge Partnership

    Members of the Ethiopian Women’s National Football Team (Lucy) and visiting Seattle Reign officials holding a ceremonial jersey exchange at Elilly Hotel in Addis Ababa, Feb 19,2016. (Photo: U.S. Embassy -- Ethiopia)

    Press Release

    U.S. Embassy

    Addis Ababa – The Ethiopian Football Federation and representatives of one of America’s leading professional women’s soccer teams, the Seattle Reign, met today in Addis Ababa and took the first steps in forging a strategic partnership aimed at forging international linkages and strengthening Ethiopian women’s soccer.

    Visiting Seattle Reign co-owner Teresa Predmore, and visiting American women players met with Ethiopian Football Federation officials at the Elili hotel to discuss plans for forging a strategic partnership which would link the Ethiopian National team known as the Lucy’s and the U.S. based Seattle Reign. Representatives of the two teams performed a ceremonial jersey exchange to cement their partnership.

    During the jersey exchange ceremony, Juneidi Basha, President of the Ethiopia Football Federation, said, “We are happy to work with the U.S. in the area of women’s soccer in order to grow the sport here at home. Ethiopia has a lot to learn from the U.S., which has unrivalled experience in soccer.”

    The Seattle Reign FC is an American professional women’s soccer team based in Seattle, Washington. The team plays in the professional National Women’s Soccer League. The Reign finished the 2015 season in first place clinching the NWSL Shield for the second consecutive time. Seattle Reign coach, Laura Harvey was named Coach of the Year for a second consecutive year.

    The collaboration is supported by the US Embassy’s public diplomacy sports outreach program which has forged links and implemented programs for thousands of young Ethiopian boys and girls in collaboration with the Ethiopian Football Federation and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation. These programs include the semi-annual Community Outreach Youth (COYS) soccer tournament in Dire Dawa for boys and girls based in Oromia, Dire Dawa and Somali and Harari regions and two basketball clinics in Addis organized in conjunction with visiting stars from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

    “This is great opportunity to expand our sports diplomacy program and engage with young people in Ethiopia,” said David Kennedy, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy. “This strategic partnership is a great example of the possibilities linking Ethiopian and the American institutions and programs.”


    Juneidi Basha, President of the Ethiopia Football Federation and Teresa Predmore, owner of the Seattle Reign observing the jersey swap between Emebet Addisu and Lauren Lauren Barnes. (Photo: US Embassy)


    Left to Right: Emebet Addisu, Lauren Barnes, Elli Reed and Tsion Seyera (photo: US Embassy – Ethiopia)


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    Genzebe Sets New Indoor World Record

    Genzebe Dibaba broke a 26-year indoor mile record in Stockholm on Wednesday. (Photo: CBCOlympics)

    Associated Press

    Genzebe Dibaba set a new world record in the indoor mile on Wednesday, beating a record that had stood for 26 years.

    The Ethiopian’s time of 4 minutes, 13.31 seconds beat Doina Melinte’s record set in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in 1990 by nearly four seconds. It was the third consecutive year Dibaba had set an indoor world record in Stockholm, having previously set the 3,000 and 5,000 metre records.

    On a night of record breaking, Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman also set a new indoor record for the 1,000, streaking away on the final lap of the race to clock 2:14.20.

    The previous record of 2:14.96 had been set by Denmark’s Wilson Kipketer in 2000.

    Souleiman’s time still needs to be ratified by the ruling IAAF.

    Read more »


    Related:
    In Boston, Meseret Defar Runs World-Leading Time After a Long Absence

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    In Boston, Meseret Defar Runs World-Leading Time After a Long Absence

    Meseret Defar celebrates her win at the women's 3000m race in Boston on February 14, 2016. (Getty Images)

    IAAF

    Meseret Defar was gunning for her own 11-year-old meeting record of 8:30.05 in the women’s 3000m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, the second IAAF World Indoor Tour event of 2016, and she came tantalisingly close to it in her first race on a track since 2013, running a world-leading 8:30.83 on Sunday (14).

    “I didn’t have the confidence to push hard in the middle of the race after so long away,” Defar explained after her run in the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletics Center in the Boston suburb of Roxbury.

    “Now, after the race, I feel my confidence rising. I want to prepare for the World Indoor Championships,” where she is a four-time world indoor champion over 15 laps of the track.

    In a pre-meeting press conference on Friday in a city she referred to as her “second home”, and where she has now won eight times in nine appearances starting in 2002, the much-decorated Defar had outlined ambitious goals for a comeback which hadn’t yet truly begun.

    However, in the mixed zone after her victory, the reality that they might just be in reach was beginning to settle on her.

    “This,” Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic 5000m champion continued, with utter seriousness, “was the biggest race of my life.”

    World junior champion Dawit Seyaum went in to the women’s 1500m gunning for the meeting record of 3:59.98 but just slid off the pace in the middle of the race.

    Read more at IAAF.org »


    Related:
    Defar makes triumphant return in Boston

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