Sports Section

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)

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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)

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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

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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 among Oromo people 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.”

Read more at NBC News »


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 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
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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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

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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)

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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

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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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Meet Genzebe Dibaba’s Coach Jama Aden

With Genzebe Dibaba clocking an astonishing 1500m world record of 3:50.07 last year, her coach, Jama Aden, tells Athletics Weekly's Cathal Dennehy how she did it. (Photo: By Albert Salame/Athletics Weekly)

Athletics Weekly

Much has been written about Genzebe Dibaba’s historic season in 2015, but less is known about the man who masterminded the Ethiopian’s journey into the record books, coach Jama Aden.

A former elite miler from Somalia, the 53-year-old Aden has been the world’s most successful middle-distance coach in recent years, having coached Dibaba, Taoufik Makhloufi, Ayanleh Souleiman and Abubaker Kaki to championship success..

However, it is his association with Dibaba for which he has become renowned. “I don’t have words to express his contribution in my running career,” Dibaba said in Beijing when Athletics Weekly asked about Aden. “He has such a big impact. I broke five world records since working with him.”

“I don’t have words to express his contribution in my running career. He has such a big impact. I broke five world records since working with him” – Dibaba on Aden

In a discussion which offers an unprecedented insight into her performances, Aden speaks to Cathal Dennehy about how he transformed Dibaba’s training, why he believes she can run 3:47 for 1500m, and why he thinks doping accusations levelled at her are borne out of jealousy.

Read the interview at AthleticsWeekly.com »


Related:
Genzebe Dibaba and Coach Jama Aden Target Two Marks (TADIAS)

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Ethiopians Sweep Houston Marathon

Ethiopia's Gebo Burka made a final kick to slip past countryman Girmay Gebru to win the men's race in the 2016 Houston Marathon on January 17, 2016. (Photo: Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle)

San Francisco Chronicle

Through the first half of the men’s and women’s Houston Marathon, it looked like the Ethiopians’ grip on the race could be coming to an end.

Gebo Burka and Biruktayit Degefa made sure that didn’t happen. Both came from behind to win on Sunday.

This was the eighth straight year an Ethiopian man won in Houston and the 10th straight year an Ethiopian woman did so.

Burka, along with countrymen Girmay Gebru and Yitayal Atanfu, trailed Poland’s Artur Kozlowski by 1 minute, 1 second through 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) but rallied to overtake Kozlowski by 24.8 miles (40 kilometers).

Read more »

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

Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) has launched a new athletic scholarship project in Ethiopia's running mecca, Bekoji and Sodo towns with an aim to create running teams for teenage girls. (Photograph: GGRF)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, November 23rd, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — For the past nine years the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) has been supporting running teams in Ethiopia, which allows young and vulnerable rural girls to stay in school while pursuing their dreams of becoming athletes.

GGRF recently 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,” explains the founder Dr. Patricia E. Ortman, a former Women’s Studies professor and artist, who established GGRF in 2006 after reading a 2005 Washington Post article that discussed the difficulties faced by poor young women in Ethiopia.

“Our pilot program is doing fantastically well in Sodo and we have added a second class there as we scale up to a total of 60 students in the program,” Ortman tells Tadias. “And we are in the process of establishing the program in Bekoji this fall with a first year class of 20.”

The scholarship targets girls between the ages of 10 and 14 before their entrance into high school. “The reason is because that’s the age when they get pulled out of school by parents,” Ortman says.


GGRF started implementing the 3-year scholarship project in Bekoji in Fall 2015. (Photograph: GGRF)


GGRF’s partners include Abba Pascal School for Girls in Sodo & Center for Creative Leadership. (Photo: GGRF)

In addition to school tuition coverage and leadership skills the scholarship covers fees for healthcare, daily meals, uniform, books, tutoring, access to school clubs and library, showers and space to wash clothes on the weekend, as well as running clothes, shoes, transportation to races, coaches and running mentors.

“The Girls Gotta Run Scholarship Program represents a major breakthrough for our organization because it is the first time that we are implementing a program that was designed by us,” says the non-profit’s Chairperson, Ashley Griffith Kollme. “GGRF spent its first several years supporting other education and running-related organizations and learning about what works and what doesn’t work.”

Kollme adds: “We spent a lot of time gathering information on the needs of vulnerable adolescent girls in Ethiopia and designed a culturally competent running and education program that we feel very confident about. I believe the scholarship program is making a real difference in the lives and futures of our girls and their families. In the short time that we have been running the program, I have found that donors are more engaged because they feel a connection to their sponsored athletes, which is facilitated by letters and reports from Kayla Nolan, our Executive Director.” Nolan, who oversees the project in Ethiopia, interviews the students and parents before making the final selection into the program.

Ortman notes that “$600 a year or $50 a month will pay all expenses for one student.”

“I can’t believe we’ve been going at this for almost 10 years now,” Ortman says. “I think we’ve really found our formula for success.” She adds: “I am happy we are making a big impact on the lives of the girls now in the program and I am looking forward to replicating the program all over the country.”

Watch: video about the GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program in Sodo

Rewriting motherhood from CCL Ethiopia on Vimeo.


You can learn more and support Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) at www.girlsgottarun.org.

Related:
Why Girls Gotta Run: Tadias Interview with Dr. Patricia E. Ortman

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Genzebe Dibaba & Mo Farah Top Longlist for 2015 World Athlete of the Year Award

Genzebe Dibaba and Mo Farah. (Getty Images)

IAAF News

Mo Farah and Genzebe Dibaba have amassed the most votes in the middle/long distance category in the first round of voting for the 2015 IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.

Farah successfully defended his 5000m and 10,000m titles at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015. The British runner also clocked a world-leading time of 7:34.66 over 3000m, a world indoor best of 8:03.40 over two miles and a European record of 59:32 in the half marathon.

Dibaba won the world 1500m title in Beijing, having broken the world record in the event one month earlier with her time of 3:50.07 in Monaco. She also set a world indoor 5000m record of 14:18.86 and took the bronze medal at that distance at the World Championships.

Read more at IAAF.org »


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NYC Marathon Results: Top Ten Finishers

Top three women: Mary Keitany of Kenya (Center), Aselefech Mergia and Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia. Top three men: Stanley Biwott of Kenya (C), Geoffrey Kipsang of Kenya (L), and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia. (Getty Images)

The Associated Press

2015 New York City Marathon Results

Men:

1. Stanley Biwott, Kenya, 2:10:34.

2. Geoffery Kamworor, Kenya, 2:10:48.

3. Lelisa Desisa, Ethiopia, 2:12:10.

4. Wilson Kipsang, Kenya, 2:12:45.

5. Yemane Tsegay, Ethiopia, 2:13:24.

6. Yuki Kawauchi, Japan, 2:13:29.

7. Meb Keflezighi, United States, 2:13:32.

8. Craig Leon, United States, 2:15:16.

9. Birhanu Dare Kemal, Ethiopia, 2:15:40.

10. Kevin Chelimo, Kenya, 2:15:49.

Women:

1. Mary Keitany, Kenya, 2:24:25.

2. Aselefech Mergia, Ethiopia, 2:25:32.

3. Tigist Tufa, Ethiopia, 2:25:50.

4. Sara Moreira, Portugal, 2:25:53.

5. Christelle Daunay, France, 2:26:57.

6. Priscah Jeptoo, Kenya, 2:27:03.

7. Laura Thweatt, United States, 2:28:23.

8. Jelena Prokopcuka, Latvia, 2:28:46.

9. Anna Incerti, Italy, 2:33:13.

10. Caroline Rotich, Kenya, 2:33:19.


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Ethiopians Sweep 2015 Frankfurt Marathon

Sisay Lemma and Gulume Tollesa win the 2015 Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday, October 25th. (Photo: IAAF)

IAAF

Sisay Lemma and Gulume Tollesa Achieve Historic Ethiopian Double at Frankfurt Marathon

Sisay Lemma and Gulume Tollesa became the first Ethiopian duo to win both the men’s and women’s races at the Frankfurt Marathon when they triumphed at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday.

In a thrilling finish, three men entered the final kilometre together but Lemma then had enough in reserve to pull away from his Kenyan rivals Lani Rutto and Alfers Lagat and win in 2:06:26, improving his best by 40 seconds. Rutto and Lagat were second and third in PBs of 2:06:34 and 2:06:48 respectively.

The finish in the women’s race was even closer as Tollesa beat compatriot Dinkinesh Mekash in a sprint finish to win in a huge PB of 2:23:12. Mekash was given the same time in second place.

Read more at IAAF.org »


Related:
Ethiopian Runners Aim to Best New York Marathon Record (VOA News)

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Ethiopian Runners Aim to Best New York Marathon Record

Runners from around the world will compete November 1, 2015 in the 45th annual New York City Marathon.

VOA News

By Bernard Shusman

Last updated on: October 21, 2015

NEW YORK — More than 50,000 runners will make their way to the starting line in the borough of Staten Island on November 1, for the start of the world’s most famous annual races – the New York City marathon. The race course runs a total of 42.195 km through all five boroughs of New York City, ending up at the finish line in Central Park.

A Kenyan man has won the past three marathons and for the past two a Kenyan has finished 1st in the women’s group. But a group of Ethiopians is training hard, hoping to win back the top prize after five years of Kenyan dominance.

Many Ethiopian runners train in New York City under the auspices of the West Side Runners Club. A vast majority of the club’s runners are foreign born and this year there is a large Ethiopian contingent.

Read more at VOA News »

Watch: 50,000-Plus Runners Get Set for New York Marathon (VOA Video)


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Tiki Gelana Set for Amsterdam Marathon

Tiki Gelana pictured above during the Women's Marathon at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Getty Images)

IAAF

The 2015 TCS Amsterdam Marathon has signed up Ethiopia’s London 2012 Olympic Games marathon champion Tiki Gelana for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 18 October.

The 27-year-old hasn’t won a marathon since her victory in London three years ago but showed signs that the injury problems of 2013 and 2014 are now behind her when she but clocked 2:24:26 for third place at the Tokyo Marathon in February, her fastest outing since her Olympic triumph.

Gelana’s national record of 2:18:58 from the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon makes her the fastest in the women’s elite field and, whether coincidentally or not, has always run well in the Netherlands, setting several personal bests over shorter distances in Dutch road races.

She also won the Amsterdam Marathon back in 2011, setting what was then a personal best and course record of 2:22:08, so Gelana has some familiarity with the race itself and knows fast times can emerge if there are favourable weather conditions.

Two places behind Gelana in the Japanese capital at the start of this year was Kenya’s 2014 Commonwealth Games winner Filomena Cheyech, and the latter will also be on the start line in Amsterdam.

Read more at IAAF.org »

In Pictures: Tiki Gelana Wins Gold Medal at the 2012 London Olympic Women’s Marathon


Related:
Meseret Mengistu Leads Strong Ethiopian Women’s Team at 2015 Frankfurt Marathon
Berhane Dibaba and Yebrqual Melese added to Chicago Marathon
Ethiopian Runners Begin New Lives After Fleeing to the United States

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Meseret Mengistu Eyes Frankfurt Race

Ethiopian distance runner Meseret Mengistu Biru. (Getty Images)

IAAF

By Jorg Wenig (organisers) for the IAAF

Meseret Mengistu Biru, the winner of the Paris Marathon in April, will head a strong Ethiopian women’s quartet at this year’s Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday 25 October, the organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced.

Mengistu will arrive in Frankfurt aiming to continue her winning streak., having won her last three marathons. She won in Cape Town and Soweto last year but the 25-year-old had a breakthrough performance in the French capital, triumphing on the streets of Paris with 2:23:26, an improvement in her personal best of almost six minutes.

However, victory far from a foregone conclusion for Mengistu.

Among her rivals is Ashete Bekele, who has a very similar personal best. In Dubai at the start of this year, Bekele improved to 2:23:43 yet, such was the quality of the field, it was only good enough for 10th place.

Bekele also has the advantage of knowing the course of the Frankfurt Marathon already, having finished third here a year ago in 2:24:59. Another Ethiopian marathon runner on the Frankfurt start line will be Dinkinesh Mekash. Since 2012 she has been admirably consistent, running between 2:25 and 2:30 each year.

Read more at IAAF.org »


Related:
Ethiopia’s Olympic Champion Tiki Gelana Will Return to Amsterdam Marathon
Berhane Dibaba and Yebrqual Melese added to Chicago Marathon
Ethiopian Runners Begin New Lives After Fleeing to the United States

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Dibaba & Melese Make Chicago Marathon

Berhane Dibaba and Yebrqual Melese of Ethiopia. (Photo: International Association of Athletics Federations)

IAAF

Ethiopia’s Berhane Dibaba and Yebrqual Melese added to Chicago Marathon

This year’s Tokyo Marathon winner Berhane Dibaba has been added to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon women’s race on Sunday 11 October, the organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Monday (28).

The Ethiopian won in the Japanese capital in 2:23:15 and can boast of a best of 2:22:30 when she finished second in the 2014 Tokyo Marathon.

She will be the fifth fastest runner among the elite women in Chicago, although two of those who have gone quicker in their careers are veterans and US distance running greats Deena Kastor and Joan Samuelson.

Also added is Dibaba’s compatriot Yebrqual Melese, who has won both of her marathons so far this year, setting a personal best of 2:23:23 when winning in Houston in January and then finishing just 26 seconds shy of that time when she won in Prague in May.

Additions to the men’s field include the US runners Luke Puskedra, Brandon Mull, Mohammed Hrezi and Scott MacPherson.

Unfortunately, former Chicago and London marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede will no longer be participating in this year’s Chicago race due to an injury.

Read more at IAAF.org »


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Ethiopian Runners Begin New Lives After Fleeing to the United States

Ethiopian runner Genet Lire cries while looking through her photo album, having fled her home and family for a new life in the US. (Photograph: Toni L Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Guardian

BY Rick Maese

Genet Lire locked herself in a bathroom stall at Dulles International Airport and hid. The clock was ticking. If she was found, she would have to get on the plane and return home. She feared she would be locked up again, probably beaten, and her family terrorised. The time passed slowly: five minutes, 10, 15, 20. Feet tapped on the tile floor. Doors opened and closed. Every noise and shuffle made Lire’s chest tighten.

This was supposed to be a quick layover. Lire was a 17-year-old sprinter from Ethiopia, in the US to compete in the 2014 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon. But she had no intention of reaching the starting line. She and her team-mates flew in from Addis Ababa. They rushed to their gate, watched their bags board the big jet, and that’s when Lire saw her chance, slipping away to the bathroom as the flight began to board.

Read more at The Guardian »


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Almaz Ayana Wins IAAF Diamond League

Almaz Ayana leads from Genzebe Dibaba in the 3000m at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015. (Jean-Pierre Durand/IAAF)

IAAF

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — The highly publicised 3000m duel between a trio of gold medallists from the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 was supposed to be one of the highlights of the 2015 IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich and so it proved, with Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana coming out on top on Thursday.

Ayana and her compatriot Genzebe Dibaba, respectively the 5000m and 1500m world champions in Beijing, were helped initially by the Kenyan pacemaker Lydia Wafula, who took the pair through 1000m in 2:49.92, putting them nicely on course for a fast time below 8:30.

Poland’s Renata Plis then took over but the two Ethiopians wanted a faster pace than she could deliver and so, with just over three laps to go, Ayana went to the front, towing Dibaba behind her as she passed 2000m in 5:35.36.

With two laps to go, the gap between the two Ethiopians and the rest of the field had grown to about 80 metres.

Many pundits in the stands were assuming that Dibaba was just biding her time before pouncing on Ayana, but the latter has clearly grown in confidence after her world title and had other ideas.

Ayana started to pull away from her great domestic rival with 250 metres to go. Unlike in some other races in the past two years, Dibaba couldn’t respond and it was Ayana who took the honours and crossed the line in 8:22.34, a meeting record and just 0.12 outside her own national record.

Dibaba came home second in 8:26.54 but had the consolation of taking the Diamond Race and the US $40,000 winner-takes-all cheque that goes with it.

Read more at IAAF.org »


Related:
Mare Dibaba Wins Ethiopia’s 1st Women’s Marathon at 2015 World Championships (AP)
Genzebe Storms to 1500m World Title (Video)

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Mare Dibaba Wins Ethiopia’s 1st Women’s Marathon at 2015 World Championships

Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia after crossing the finish line to win gold in the women's marathon final during Day 9 of the 2015 IAAF world track and field championships in Beijing, China on Sunday. (Getty Images)

The Associated Press

By Pat Graham

Mare Dibaba won the first women’s marathon title for Ethiopia at the IAAF world track and field championships Sunday, holding off Helah Kiprop of Kenya in a sprint to the finish.

Dibaba finished in two hours 27 minutes 35 seconds in Beijing, but needed to pick up the pace after entering the stadium to beat Kiprop, who finished one second behind. Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain earned the bronze.

Two-time champion Edna Kiplagat was in contention until the end but faded to fifth place.

With the stadium in sight, Dibaba kept checking her watch, waiting to make her move. Just after entering the tunnel, she took control and raised her arms after crossing the line.

She certainly has a fitting name for a champion. However, she’s not related to Ethiopian long-distance greats Tirunesh and Genzebe Dibaba.

Read more »

Photos: Mare Dibaba Wins Women’s Marathon – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015


Related:
Genzebe Storms to 1500m World Title (Video)

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Genzebe Storms to 1500m World Title

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia celebrates after winning gold in the Women's 1500 metres final at IAAF World Athletics Championships at Beijing National Stadium on August 25, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Getty Images)

AFP

Ethiopian favourite Genzebe Dibaba stormed to the women’s world 1500m title as she stamped her authority with a sumptuous display of controlled running in Beijing on Tuesday.

The world record-holder strolled through a pedestrian first lap before taking the front, tracked by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon and Dawit Seyaum, also of Ethiopia.

But a second kick 200m from the line saw Dibaba stretch away to win in 4min 08.09sec, Kipyegon taking silver in 4:09.96 and fast-finishing Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan third in 4:09.34.

Dibaba last month ran 3:50.07 to shatter the world 1500m record set in 1993 by China’s Yunxia Qu, who competed under the guidance of controversial coach Ma Junren.

She also holds the world records for the indoor 1500, 3000 and 5000m events, continuing a family tradition that includes elder sister Tirunesh holding the world record in the outdoor 5000m.

Watch: Genzebe Dibaba become 1500m World Champ (Universal Sports)


Related:
Genzebe Dibaba Dominates Women’s 1500 at World Championships (Runners World)

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Genzebe Dibaba 10 Seconds Short of 5000 World Record at Oslo Games

Genzebe Dibaba at pre-race press conference at the 2015 Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway. (Athletics-Africa)

Associated Press

BY CIARAN FAHEY

OSLO, NORWAY — Genzebe Dibaba’s bid to take her elder sister’s 5,000-meter world record at the Bislett Games ended in disappointment when she finished more than 10 seconds off the mark on Thursday.

Having declared her intention to beat older sister Tirunesh’s record of 14 minutes, 11.15 seconds, set in the same stadium in 2008, Dibaba won in 14:21.29, ahead of Ethiopian compatriot Senbere Teferi, and Kenya’s Viola Jelagat Kibiwot.

“I tried hard but the pacemakers could not do what I needed. Of course, cold and wind also played a role, but overall I’m OK with the race. I did my best,” Dibaba said.

Dibaba, who set the indoor 5,000 world record in Stockholm in February, added, “I’m not sure whether I’ll try to break my sister’s record again. My full concentration will go towards the Beijing world championships (in August).”

Read more »


Related:
Dibaba World Record Tradition The Aim for Genzebe in Oslo (Athletics-Africa)
The Dibaba Sisters at the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco (Photos)

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FIFA Suspends 2026 World Cup Bidding

FIFA TIMELINE - all crooks. (Getty Images)

VOA News

Last updated on: June 10, 2015

FIFA said it has suspended the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup because of the ongoing corruption scandal involving the world football governing body.

It would be “nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being,” FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said at a news conference in Russia on Wednesday.

The host of the 2026 world football championship was set to be chosen by FIFA members during a 2017 meeting in Malaysia. It is not clear when the decision now will be made.

The United States, Canada, Mexico, and European countries are thought to be among the likely bidders for the tournament.


FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke speaks as he attends a news conference during his visit to the southern city of Samara, one of the 2018 World Cup host cities, Russia, June 10, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

A U.S. indictment issued last month charges nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives with offenses that include racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. Swiss officials are investigating separate allegations of mismanagement and money laundering connected to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

“Were there to be proof the state of Qatar was involved in subverting the process, then [Qatar] would have pretty limited legs to stand on in a legal context, because it would have gained the tournament illicitly,” Martin Lipton, deputy head of sport content at London’s The Sun, said.

Lipton called delayed bidding for the 2018 world cup less likely. “The time scale is incredibly tight,” he said. “We have a provisional draw for qualifying as soon as next month in St. Petersburg, but I think 2022 is different. … I think it’s moving toward a position where 2022 will be moved.”

If there’s going to be a change of venue for 2022, “then the needs of rotation mean that you have to change the list of potential bidders for 2026.” This requirement, he said, makes FIFA’s decision to hiatus the 2026 bidding process a prudent one.

Although he has not been formally charged with any crimes, FIFA President Sepp Blatter became caught up in the scandal and announced he would resign once a new president is elected sometime between December 2015 and March 2016.


FILE – FIFA president Sepp Blatter Franz Beckenbauer (R) chairman of the local organizing committee (LOC) and FIFA Confederations Cup Chairman Chuck Blazer. (Photo: Reuters)

Bribes

U.S. court records unsealed last Wednesday show that a former executive committee member of FIFA admitted accepting bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

Charles Blazer, a U.S. citizen who spent two decades as one of the world’s most powerful soccer officials, secretly pleaded guilty in November 2013 to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, according to the partially redacted transcript of the hearing.

Blazer told a U.S. judge that he and others on FIFA’s executive committee accepted bribes in connection with the choice of France as the host of the 1998 World Cup. He said he also accepted bribes linked to the 2010 event awarded to South Africa.


Related:
As FIFA Scandal Unfolds Obama Urges Integrity in Soccer (VOA News)
African Union Chair Dlamini-Zuma Implicated in Fifa World Cup Bribe Scandal (Mail & Guardian)
Fifa Corruption: Documents Show South Africa’s World Cup Bribe Payments (BBC News)
Gedion Zelalem to play for U.S. at FIFA Under-20 World Cup (Fox Soccer)

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Dibaba World Record Tradition The Aim for Genzebe in Oslo

Genzebe Dibaba (r) will compete in the 5,000m race at the 2015 ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway.

Athletics-Africa

June 10, 2015

In a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, Ethiopia’s world indoor 3,000m champion, Genzebe Dibaba has officially revealed to the media her intent to break the world 5,000m record on Thursday.

The 24-year-old star explained the importance of continuing her family’s fine record-breaking tradition in Oslo, with the task of eclipsing the 14:11.15 global twelve and a half lap mark – held by her elder sibling, Tirunesh Dibaba from her 2008 victory in the Norwegian capital – as the main goal.

With 29-year-old Tirunesh – a three-time Olympic champion, nine-time world champion, and winner here in 2003 and 2006 also – having moved away from the track in order to focus on the marathon distance, Genzebe Dibaba is determined to follow in her illustrious footsteps on the track:

The 2010 world junior 5,000m champion said of her appearance at the sixth leg of the worldwide IAAF Diamond League:

“I’ve spoken to my sister and she told me to use the unique atmosphere in the great stadium.

“My cousin, Meseret Defar (the 31-year-old double Olympic and world 5,000m champion) also broke the world record here (with 14:16.63) in 2007. She also won here in 2009 and 2013.

“I have run here before but I was never the one in focus – this time it is my turn to have the attention and I am looking forward to the experience.”

Having recorded three world indoor records during the space of two weeks during the 2014 winter season with 3:55.17 for 1500m, 8:16,60 for 3,000m and 9:00.48 for two-miles, respectively, Dibaba is eager to translate her indoor form to the outdoor surface this summer:

“It feels more safe to run indoors – this is my first time attacking the 5,000m outdoor world record so I am a bit nervous but I am confident it will go well,” she revealed.

Read more at Athletics-Africa.com »


Related:
The Dibaba Sisters at the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco (Photos)

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Following The FIFA Corruption Paper Trail

Thabo Mbeki is said to have authorised a payment to Fifa that US prosecutors say was a bribe. (Getty Images)

BBC News

By Ed Thomas

A BBC investigation has seen evidence that details what happened to the $10m sent from Fifa to accounts controlled by former vice-president Jack Warner.

The money, sent on behalf of South Africa, was meant to be used for its Caribbean diaspora legacy programme.

But documents suggest Mr Warner used the payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money.

The 72-year-old, who has been indicted by the US FBI for corruption, denies all claims of wrongdoing.
Fifa says it is co-operating with the investigation.

And South Africa’s Football Association has issued a detailed statement denying any wrongdoing.
The papers seen by the BBC detail three wire transfers by Fifa.

In the three transactions – on 4 January, 1 February and 10 March 2008 – funds totalling $10m (£6.5m) from Fifa accounts were received into Concacaf accounts controlled by Jack Warner.

At the time, he was in charge of the body, which governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Read more and watch video at BBC News »

Related:
African Union Chair Dlamini-Zuma Implicated in Fifa World Cup Bribe Scandal (Mail & Guardian)

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AU Chair Implicated in Fifa Bribe Scandal

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the current chairperson of the African Union, was South Africa's Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Mbeki when the alleged $10m bribe was paid to FIFA. (Photo: cctv-africa)

Mail & Guardian

A letter implicates the SA World Cup boss and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the $10-million payment now alleged to be a bribe.

South African 2010 World Cup boss Danny Jordaan asked Fifa to pay the $10-million that United States prosecutors allege was a bribe after he had “a discussion” with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, now the African Union chairperson.

Jordaan, a former anti-apartheid activist who re-entered politics as the Nelson Mandela Bay mayor last week, put the request to Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke in a December 2007 letter, which names Dlamini-Zuma and Jabu Moleketi, respectively foreign affairs minister and deputy finance minister under former president Thabo Mbeki.

Read Jordaan’s letter here

This supports the allegation, first contained in the US indictment of football officials internationally and unsealed last week, that the “government of South Africa” had agreed to a bribe, disguised as a football development contribution, for Caribbean football boss Jack Warner and two others.

The payment was allegedly to secure their support in the Fifa executive committee vote that won South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, speaking for the government, has insisted that the $10-million payment was intended as a bona fide contribution to football development in the Caribbean. But it is understood from a senior government source that members of President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet are privately not convinced of this.

Worldwide scandal

The allegations about South Africa have become the sharp end of the worldwide scandal unleashed by the US indictment, which describes “corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” in football. Among those in the firing line are Valcke, whom the New York Times has outed as the unnamed Fifa official allegedly central to the $10-million payment.

Read more »

Related:
Fifa Crisis: ‘Ex-President Mbeki Approved South Africa’s $10m’ World Cup Bribe (BBC)

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Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu and Aberu Zennebe Win Ottawa Marathon

Ethiopia's Aberu Zennebe was the first woman to finish the marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (Photo: Ashley Fraser / Ottawa Citizen)

Ottawa Citizen

By GORD HOLDER

The races within the race were the stories behind the Ottawa Marathon on Sunday.

To begin with, there was a third consecutive Ethiopian sweep of the men’s and women’s titles in the 42.195-kilometre race, with Girmay Birhanu and Aberu Zennebe claiming the $30,000 U.S. top prizes from Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend organizers.

Neither approached record times, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The elite competitors in both divisions pushed the pace well into the race, but paid for it near the end, particularly as they battled a steady headwind in the final kilometres along Sussex Drive, Colonel By Drive and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.

“I’m very happy with the result, but I was hoping for 2:06 or 2:07,” said Birhanu, who actually crossed the finish line in two hours eight minutes 14 seconds, more than 40 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Philip Kangogo and another Ethiopian, Chele Dechasa, but 80 seconds off the 2014 record established by Yemane Tsegay.

The lead pack of 15 male runners dropped to a dozen between six and 15 kilometres, and it was down to nine when they reached the 23K mark in just under 69 minutes. Birhanu, three Kenyans and one of the paid pacesetters surged ahead at that point, but there was still a group of four approaching 32K.

Then Birhanu pushed the pace again. Trying to repeat his April victory in a marathon in South Korea, the 28-year-old was leading by about 13 seconds as he left New Edinburgh and turned back onto Sussex Drive, and he ran the rest of the way alone.

“Yes, it was very difficult, not only because I was by myself, but (also) that it was very windy,” Birhanu said through an interpreter. “It was very challenging the last few kilometres.”

Zennebe’s victory was actually the sixth in a row in the Ottawa Marathon for Ethiopian women, following Merina Mohammed (2010), Kebebush Haile Lema (2011), Yeshi Esayias (2012-13) and Tigist Tufa, whose 2:24:30 was exactly a minute faster than the time Zennebe produced on Sunday.


Girmay Birhanu celebrates his marathon win at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Sunday May 24, 2015. (Photo: Ashley Fraser / Ottawa Citizen )

“I was uncertain (about winning), but obviously I was very motivated and I was fighting like I could win it,” Zennebe said through the interpreter. “If not first, at least one of the top three, and I was successful.”

Read more at the Ottawa Citizen »


Related:
Runners From Ethiopia Win Bolder Boulder 10K Race in Colorado

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Runners From Ethiopia Win Bolder Boulder 10K Race in Colorado

(Photo: CBS Denver)

The Associated Press

May 25th, 2015

Runners from Ethiopia won the Bolder Boulder professional 10K race on Monday while two Colorado residents were the top man and woman in the citizens’ race.

Belete Assefa finished more than 16 seconds ahead of Solomon Deksisa, also of Ethiopia, with a time of 29:04 to win his second Bolder Boulder. Meskerem Assefa was the first professional woman to cross the finish line in a packed Folsom Field at the University of Colorado.


Belete Assefa was the top finisher in the men’s elite race at the 2015 Bolder Boulder. (The Denver Channel)


Ethiopia’s Meskerem Assefa win 2015 Bolder Boulder. (The Denver Channel)

Read more »


Related:
Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu and Aberu Zennebe Win Ottawa Marathon

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Gedion Zelalem to play for U.S. at FIFA Under-20 World Cup

Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem (Photo courtesy: David Price/Getty Images)

Fox Soccer

BY Kyle McCarthy

FIFA has cleared Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem to feature for the United States and play in the upcoming Under-20 World Cup.

U.S. Soccer announced the decision on Wednesday afternoon and ended the protracted saga about Zelalem’s international fate in the process.

Zelalem needed to receive approval from FIFA to turn out for the U.S. after receiving his citizenship in December. He did not fulfill the immediate requirements of living five years in his adopted country prior to turning 18, but U.S. Soccer appealed his case to FIFA and successfully argued that Zelalem — also eligible to feature for Germany (his birthplace) and Ethiopia (his father’s native country) — should receive clearance based upon the specific circumstances in his case.

The decision paves the way for Zelalem to assume his place in the under-20 squad for the upcoming World Cup and subsequently state his claims for inclusion with the senior team in the future.

 

Read more at Fox Sports »


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