Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Merga and Dibaba sweep for Ethiopia in- Yangzhouiaaf.org-

Deriba Merga takes down a strong field in the RAK Half (Victah Sailer)

Deriba Merga takes down a strong field in the RAK Half (Victah Sailer)
The Ethiopian favourites did not disappoint in Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday

In the men’s race Ras Al Khaimah winner from this February in 59:24, Deriba Merga, was fastest as expected. The 28-year-old, who placed fourth in Beijing at the Olympic Games Marathon in 2008, emerged as a clear winner in 1:01:10. Merga, who raced in China for the first time in his career, was also fourth in Udine at the 2007 World Half Marathon Championships.

South African Steven Mokoka, 26, took second place in 1:01:42 getting close to his two-year-old personal best of 1:01:26. Mokoka’s best accomplishment is eighth place at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham.

In third place Zimbabwean Wirimayi Juwawo clocked 1:01:47 missing his PB by just nine seconds. Kenyans Jonathan Maiyo and Robert Kirui finished fourth and fifth respectively timed 1:02:28 and 1:02:44. The best Chinese athlete was Zhang Zhongji, who lowered his personal best down to 1:03:35 in seventh place.

Another pre-race favourite Mare Dibaba, also from Ethiopia, easily won the women’s race in a fast 1:09:41. The 21-year-old got close to her season’s best 1:08:57, which brought her third place in Ras Al Khaimah. Dibaba has a curious detail in her past as she represented Azerbaijan for 10 months in 2009 before returning back to Ethiopia. Kenyan Susan Tanui was second with a big personal best 1:11:07 cutting more than four minutes off her previous best.

The best Chinese athlete was in place three as 21-year-old Hao Xiaofan clocked 1:11:43, just outside her 1:11:24 PB from the 2009 edition of this same Half Marathon in Yangzhou. Just 16 years old, Liu Zhuang was fourth in 1:12:31 in her début and another junior, 19-year-old Cao Mojie was fifth in 1:13:23 missing her PB from December 2010 by three seconds. Kenyan Emily Samoei was sixth clocking 1:13:37.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sport Racism Kenyans were the stars of the London marathon - that's not boring Mmegi Online ::

Kenyans were the stars of the London marathon - that's not boring
When an African runner wins a marathon, we tend to overlook their achievement. Let's give them the credit they deserve.

London witnessed another swashbuckling performance by Kenya's incredible marathon runners on Sunday. Kenyan athletes finished in the top three places in the men's race (despite their biggest star, Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru, pulling out just weeks before the race), and also first and third in the women's race.

It began as a trickle - when Joseph Nzau won the Chicago marathon in 1983 - grew into a river, and has now become a roaring, unstoppable torrent. Last autumn, out of 42 elite men's marathons, 38 were won by Kenyans and four by Ethiopians. The spring marathon season has so far been an even more dominant story, with Kenyans winning the men's and women's prizes in virtually all of the big races so far, from Paris to Rotterdam, London to Dubai. This is all great news for Kenyans. I watched yesterday's London marathon in a packed bar in Eldoret, in Kenya's Rift Valley. It was like watching a football match, with the bar full of cheering, whistling fans. But for the rest of the world, all this dominance is becoming a problem. Not only are all the other runners being left for dust, but there is a gnawing fear among race organisers and, crucially, sponsors and advertisers, that global TV audiences are finding it all a bit boring. Just recently, the world cross country championships, which have been held annually since 1973, were changed to a biennial competition. The reason? East African dominance is killing interest in the event. And now the Utrecht marathon in the Netherlands has decided it has had enough. After four Kenyan victories in the past four years, it has applied the old adage: if you can't beat them, get rid of them. Last week it was revealed that the event organisers have used a grossly unbalanced prize money system as a way to "discourage" Kenyans from running.

By offering a Dutch winner Û10,000 against a mere Û100 to any foreign winner, the organisers say they are only trying to give local athletes a chance, but the move sets a dangerous precedent. Athletics Kenya has reacted furiously, asking all Kenyan athletes to withdraw from the race in protest. Such dominance in sport is not usually seen as a problem. Take Roger Federer, Tiger Woods or Manchester United, for example. No one has ever sought to exclude them from a major competition on the grounds they are too good. In fact, the opposite is usually true.

They are welcomed as sporting heroes. Usually, we love to watch the very best going head to head. But when the very best are all African, suddenly it becomes a problem. It's hard not to think there is an element of cultural ignorance going on here.

Africa is another world, I was once told when I started working for a national television news programme. Things happen there that would be huge stories if they happened in other parts of the world, but really, people are not interested in Africa. This may be part of the problem. We in the west just can't empathise with these runners. We have no understanding of their backgrounds, where they've come from. They just show up, win and disappear. In many ways sport is like a soap opera, and it is only when you get to know the characters involved that you begin to revel in the drama. But rather than relate to the top African runners as individual characters, each with their own back stories and personalities, the tendency is to lazily lump them all together as "the Kenyans" or "the Ethiopians".

Perhaps the athletes are partially to blame. Most Kenyan runners are shy when placed in front of the post-race press conference microphone. There are no Usain Bolt arrows, or Christian Ronaldo pouts. They are on the whole quiet and reserved. Yes, perhaps a little media training wouldn't go amiss.

But considering just how dominant these runners are, in the world's most accessible sport, how many of us can even name more than one or two Kenyan runners? Is there really a will to find out about them? Or is it the case, like the news stories, that we don't really want to know? If marathon running is a soap opera, then right now it's in the midst of one of its most gripping episodes. Particularly in men's marathon running, the winning times are getting faster and faster at an incredible rate. Just this week, BBC Radio 4 ran a programme on how soon we will see a sub-two hour marathon. These guys are quietly pushing back the boundaries of the most universal of sports, and all we can do is complain that it's boring.

One common response to their performances is to attribute their dominance to genetics, despite recent studies failing to find any genetic uniqueness to the people of Kenya or Ethiopia. Blaming genetics is an easy way out. There's nothing we can do, we say, throwing up our arms. The die comes pre-loaded. But blaming racial differences undermines the incredible dedication, focus and effort these runners are putting into their sport. It undermines their brilliance.

So rather than watching Sunday's race and saying, "oh, another Kenyan has won", I propose as sports fans we see Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany as individuals. We remember their names, and we celebrate their performances, as we would the victors in any other major sporting event. Guardian (UK)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

YouTube - Discussion program April 13.04.2011

Dutch Marathon Scrutinized For Discrimination

Dutch Marathon Scrutinized For Discrimination

Published: Apr 19th 2011 5:08 AM UTC by News

Some say the race’s unusual award structure is blatant racism.

There are cries of discrimination coming out of Holland. Organizers of the Utrecht Marathon have devised a plan to award the first Dutch citizen to cross the line 10,000 euros, while only giving the race’s overallwinner 100 euros.

Apparently, the reason for the large award is to incentivize Dutch runners. As in most places around the globe, cash races in Holland are dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians.

Tim Looten of the Art. 1 Dutch anti-discrimination organization says this award structure was designed to discourage foreign runners and was blatant discrimination. Louran van Keulen, the Utrecht Marathon race director, dismissed the allegations.

“There is talk of discrimination, racism, oh, yes,” he said. “It is too bad about all the politics.”

Some Dutch citizens see the race as a further example of nationalism and non-tolerance that, they argue, seem to be prevalent in their home country these days.

Gert-Jan van Wijk, a Dutch businessman who works in Nairobi, Kenya has promised to make up the 9000-euro difference.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The 'world record' that wasn't TODAYonline | Sports |

The 'world record' that wasn't
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya pulled away in the final quarter-mile yesterday to win the 115th Boston Marathon. His time, 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds, was the fastest marathon ever run by nearly a minute, beating the internationally recognized world record, 2:03:59, set in September 2008 in Berlin by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie. However, the time is not considered a world record, because the Boston course is not sanctioned as being record-eligible by the International Association of Athletics Federations. GETTY IMAGES

Open Race
Der Kenianer Geoffrey Mutai hat beim Boston-Marathon einen neuen Weltrekord aufgestellt.

Top Women Finishers
1.Caroline KilelKEN2:22:36
2.Desiree DavilaUSA2:22:38
3.Sharon CheropKEN2:22:42
4.Caroline RotichKEN2:24:26
5.Kara GoucherUSA2:24:52
6.Dire TuneETH2:25:08
7.Werknesh KidaneETH2:26:15
8.Yolanda B. CaballeroCOL2:26:17
9.Alice TimbililiKEN2:26:34
10.Yuliya RubanUKR2:27:00

Top Men Finishers
1.Geoffrey MutaiKEN2:03:02
2.Moses MosopKEN2:03:06
3.Gebregziabher GebremariamETH2:04:53
4.Ryan HallUSA2:04:58
5.Abreham CherkosETH2:06:13
6.Robert Kiprono CheruiyotKEN2:06:43
7.Philip Kimutai SangaKEN2:07:10
8.Deressa ChimsaETH2:07:39
9.Bekana DabaETH2:08:03
10.Juan Carlos R. Cardona, Sr.COL2:12:17

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon. GETTY IMAGES


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tens Of Thousands Take On Marathon Challenge

A man running backwards and a woman knitting a two-metre scarf are among thousands taking part in the London Marathon - which has seen a record-breaking win by a Kenyan runner.

Up to 36,500 competitors are taking part in 26.2-mile race, with fun runners and celebrities raise money for countless charities
Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, models Agyness Deyn and Elen Rivas, and former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke are among the famous faces pounding through the streets.
More than 100 marathon world records are being attempted, including the quickest person running backwards.
marathon runners
Get set, ready, go: Runners at the starting line
Trainee PE teacher Karl Twomey, 37, born in Dublin, admitted that preparation had been difficult.
"It's not so much neck ache, it's more landing on my butt. I've had a few falls in training. Obstacles are the problem," he said.
"I was veering in the wrong direction into poles, bins, you name it I've hit it."
Susie Hewer, 53, is hoping to knit a world-record scarf as she runs for Alzheimer's Research UK.

She said it will start to get "a bit tricky" when the scarf reaches the ground and she will have to wrap it around her waist and wear it over her shoulder.
Andy Jackson, 26, from south London, is dressed as Mr Happy in aid of Children with Leukaemia.
He said: "I've been in remission for eight years. I found out the cost of my treatment, which was £250,000. I'm trying to raise that, to give another person the same second chance of life."
Richard Whitehead double amputee runner
Britain's very own 'Bladerunner', Richard Whitehead, is hoping to make history
Double leg amputee Richard Whitehead is hoping to make history by beating his own world record at this year's marathon.
Despite having to run on prosthetic limbs, the 34-year-old is hoping to cover the route in just 4 hours and 42 minutes.
PC David Rathband, who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat, is running for his charity which supports emergency services personnel injured in the line of duty by a criminal act.
He said he had no finish time in mind for the marathon and was only aiming to "beat the road sweeper".
Agyness Deyn
Agyness Deyn swaps the catwalk for the marathon route
The race began in Blackheath this morning and the finishing line is in front of Buckingham Palace.
Four Kenyans overpowered a top-quality field - with Emmanuel Mutai running the fastest-ever elite men's race in a record time of 2:04.40.
The 26-year-old bided his time in a tightly bunched pack until the second of the two pacemakers dropped out after 30kms.
Kenya's Emmanuel Mutai
Emmanuel Mutai breaks the marathon's course record
He then surged to the front ahead of the leading group to win unopposed.
"My dream has come true," Mutai, who finished second last year, said.
"Between 36 and 38kms it was a little difficult but I just tried to push it and in the end I managed it."
Kenya's Mary Keitany
It was Mary Keitany's first London Marathon
Fellow countrymen Martin Lel, a three-time London Marathon winner, came second and Patrick Makau was third.
Compatriot Mary Keitany, 29, became the fourth Kenyan winner of the women's race, finishing in 2:19:17 - almost a minute ahead of defending champion Liliya Shobukhova.
She is now equal with Irina Mikitenko as the fourth fastest woman ever after finishing third in her marathon debut in New York last year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kebede the tiny is Big Man at London Marathon

By David Monti, Race Results Weekly
LONDON (15-Apr) -- He only stands 158cm (5'-2") tall and weighs just 50kg (110 lbs), but Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede is the Big Man at Sunday's Virgin London Marathon.

Related to this article

April 25, 2010: After defending champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya drops out, Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia wins the men's race at the Virgin London Marathon.

PHOTOS: Spotlight: Tsegaye Kebede
April 20, 2010: Photos of Ethiopian marathon runner Tsegaye Kebede.

Just 24 years-old, he already has a marathon résumé worthy of a man with ten years of racing under his belt: world championships and Olympic bronze medals; a personal best time of 2:05:18; and victories at the Paris, Fukuoka, and London Marathons.

At yesterday's press conference here, a confident Kebede proclaimed that he was capable of running at world record pace, if necessary. One athlete manager said today that Kebede had asked the organizers for a blistering 62-minute first half (the race hit halfway in 63:06 last year).

"Yes, it's possible," he said of taking a run at Haile Gebrselassie's 2:03:59 world record. "If the weather is nice you can run 2:04 or 2:03." He then seemed to hedge a bit, adding: "Yeah, I think some day I will run the world record."

Kebede's rise in marathon running has been astonishing. He won the little-watched Addis Ababa Marathon at high altitude in 2007 in 2:15:53, before making his international debut in Amsterdam later that year where he finished 8th in 2:08:16. He didn't gain wide notice until 2008 when he won Paris in 2:06:40, then backed that up with a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, and a victory at Fukuoka in 2:06:10, then the fastest time ever run in Japan. His 2009 season was just as good, taking second at London, the bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships, and yet another victory at Fukuoka, lowering his Japanese all-comer record to 2:05:18, which still stands as his personal best.

According to his manager, Valentijn Trouw of Global Sports Communications, Kebede has no wife or girlfriend, and lives in a house with his five sisters in Addis Ababa. He has been able to underwrite the education expenses for all of his sisters with his marathon winnings, and also supports his parents. His prize money and publicly-reported time bonuses for 2010 totaled $205,000, a figure which was surely tripled when appearance fees, private bonuses, and shoe company bonuses were added on.

"Before, I had nobody, nothing," Kebede said in English shaking his head. "I changed my parents' lives. I changed my life big, not small."

At Sunday's race, Kebede will face one of the toughest fields of his career. Although reigning World Marathon Majors and Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya isn't in the field, it is nonetheless the Kenyans who are most likely to beat him. His chief rival looks to be the Track & Field News #1-ranked marathoner of 2010, Patrick Makau, who has a 2:04:48 personal best and who both the Rotterdam and Berlin Marathons last year. James Kwambai (2:04:27 PB), Abel Kirui (2:05:04), Emmanuel Mutai (2:06:15) and three-time London champion Martin Lel (2:05:15) will also be out for victory.

Kebede didn't seem fazed by such a loaded field. "I am always relaxed," he said.