Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Monday, May 30, 2011

Ethiopia dominates Bolder Boulder again - USATODAY.com

Belete Assefa spread his arms out like an eagle when he entered Folsum Field to the roar of tens of thousands of amateur runners, then loped through the tape more than five seconds ahead of countryman Solomon Gonfa in the annual 10-kilometer men's race Monday.

"I heard the crowd and put my arms out," Assefa said. "That's when I knew I'd won the race."

Assefa, who finished in 29 minutes, 22.56 seconds, is the third straight Ethiopian to win the annual Memorial Day race, and he helped the Ethiopians win their fifth straight International Team Challenge, too.

The Ethiopian trio that broke away from the Kenyans early in last year's race and crossed the finish line together — Lelisa Desisa, 2009 champ Tilahun Regassa and Tadese Tola — didn't return this year. They were replaced by newcomers Assefa, Gonfa and Hussen Adelo, who finished ninth.

"I worked hard for this race," said Assefa, the seventh Ethiopian to win the men's elite title since 1999. "But I knew I'd win it. I knew it."

It wasn't all smiles for the Ethiopians, however.

Even though Ethiopia won its third straight women's team title, two-time defending champion Mamitu Daska was beaten by Kenya's Lineth Chepkurui, who also edged her in the San Francisco Bay to Breakers on May 15.

"It's so great to look how distantly your friend is behind you," Chepkurui said.

Chepkurui, a two-time winner of the Atlanta Peachtree, finished in 32:29.79, nearly five seconds ahead of Daska, with whom she broke away from the pack almost from the start. Ethiopia's Meseret Mengistubiri finished third, more than 90 seconds after Chepkurui.

"They set a tough pace," said fourth-place finisher Amy Hastings, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., who helped the Americans take second to Ethiopia in the women's' team standings. "They went out extremely fast. We were probably 20 seconds behind at the first mile."

Hastings finished 1:49 behind Chepkurui.

In the men's race, Assefa crossed the tape more than five seconds ahead of Gonfa and almost 13 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Allan Kiprono of Kenya.

James Carney of Boulder took fifth and U.S. Olympian Ryan Hall, coming off a fourth-place finish at the Boston Marathon, took seventh, helping the Americans place third in the International Team Challenge behind Ethiopia and Kenya.

After a disappointing 14th-place finish in his first Bolder Boulder three years ago, Hall, one of America's top distance runners, vowed to return one day and tear up the lung-searing road race through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Hall, who ran the Boston Marathon last month in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds, said he wouldn't be so defiant in defeat this time.

"I think I'm just learning to enjoy the ride a little bit more," Hall said. "And after having run 2:04 a couple of weeks ago, everything else is kind of like icing on the cake."


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kenya mourns death of Sammy Wanjiru in unexplained fall from balcony - Telegraph

He was described by London Marathon race director David Bedford as the greatest male marathon runner the world has ever seen but Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru was unable to outrun his turbulent private life.

Unfulfilled talent: Sammy Wanjiru celebrates winning the gold during the men's marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Photo: PA
By Simon Hart 5:47PM BST 16 May 2011
1 Comment
The athletics world was in shock on Monday after the 24 year-old, who became the first Kenyan to win an Olympic marathon in Beijing three years ago, leapt to his death from a first-floor balcony at his luxury house in the Rift Valley town of Nyahururu.
According to regional police chief Jaspher Ombati, Wanjiru’s wife, Triza Njeri, had returned home unexpectedly in the early hours to discover her husband in bed with another woman. It is understood she locked the pair inside and left the house.
Minutes later Wanjiru was dead after jumping from a balcony, plunging six metres and apparently striking his head on the concrete floor below.
“It is not yet clear whether it was a suicide or if he jumped out of rage, or what caused him to fall to the ground,” Ombati said.
“He jumped from his first-floor balcony to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth, and may have suffered internal injuries.”
Could tragedy have been prevented? 16 May 2011
Wanjiru commits suicide 16 May 2011
Marathon gold medal for Kenya's Wanjiru 24 Aug 2008
Wanjiru targets world record 22 Apr 2009
Wanjiru wins in record time 26 Apr 2009
Wanjiru’s Italian agent, Federico Rosa, told CNN World Sport on Monday, that he was “100 per cent certain” that the athlete had not committed suicide, insisting that he had seemed happy and relaxed when he spoke to him over the weekend.
Investigations into the circumstances of his death were continuing on Monday as police interviewed Njeri and Wanjiru’s unnamed female companion.
But the athlete was no stranger to domestic bust-ups, having been charged with the attempted murder of Njeri in December after allegedly assaulting her and threatening to kill her with an AK-47 assault rifle.
The pair were later reconciled and the allegations were withdrawn, as was a charge of wounding a security guard by hitting him in the face with the butt of the rifle. However, a charge of illegal possession of a firearm was still outstanding and was due to be heard next week.
To add to Wanjiru’s problems, he had also been involved in a car accident on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road in January, rolling his four-wheel drive vehicle several times while trying to avoid an oncoming truck. He was forced to pull out of last month’s Virgin London Marathon, citing a knee injury.
Wanjiru’s tempestuous private life was at odds with the polite, mild-mannered figure he cut during his media appearances at the big-city marathons.
But during races he was an aggressive competitor, launching attack after attack to try to break the resolve of his opponents. His greatest moment came in Beijing, when he ran away from his rivals to claim the gold medal in 2hr 06min 32sec — a remarkable time given the absence of pacemakers and the intense heat and humidity in the Chinese capital.
Many observers believed it was only a matter of time before he lowered Haile Gebrselassie’s world record of 2-03-59. Their showdown on the streets of London next year was set to be one of the highlights of the 2012 Games.
The year after his Olympic victory, Wanjiru won the London Marathon in what was then a course record of 2-05-10, and he also triumphed twice in Chicago, the last time in a thrilling duel with Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede in October.
His big-city successes brought him two overall World Marathon Majors titles, earning him an extra million dollars in prize money.
Bedford said Wanjiru’s death was a sad day for London — the Kenyan also finished runner-up in the capital in 2008 — and promised to create a lasting memorial to honour his contribution to the event.
“Like the rest of the world of athletics, and in particular marathon running, I am absolutely shocked to the core,” said Bedford.
“Samuel was, in my opinion, the greatest marathon runner that we have ever seen. That’s based on his amazing performance at the Olympics but also the fact that he then went on to win two Chicago Marathons and one London Marathon.
“He was viewed by most people in the game as the person most likely to break Haile Gebrselassie’s world record. He was a class athlete and a class human being. He had a great amount of fun in his character and was kind and generous with his time. He will be sadly missed.”
Gebrselassie, winner of Sunday’s Bupa Great Manchester Run, posted several tweets expressing his sadness at his young rival’s death. “I am totally shocked by the death of Sammy Wanjiru,” he wrote, adding: “Of course one wonders if we as an athletics family could have avoided this tragedy.”
In a statement, Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga said: “Wanjiru’s death is not only a loss to his family and friends but to Kenya as a whole and the entire world athletics fraternity.
“As an athletics nation, we looked forward to a sterling performance in the Olympic Games in London next year. Mr Wanjiru was one of our sure bets for gold in the contest. His death is therefore a big blow to our dreams.”

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kenya triumphs in Ethiopian race Daily Nation

Kiplimo Kimutai clocked one hour, three minutes and 10 seconds to finish ahead of Gishu Duda of Ethiopia (1:03:54).. Photo/ FILE
limo Kimutai clocked one hour, three minutes and 10 seconds to finish ahead of Gishu Duda of Ethiopia (1:03:54).. Photo/ FILE

Posted Monday, May 2 2011 at 19:32
Kenyans took the battle to the backyard of their equally illustrious Ethiopians at the weekend when Kiplimo Kimutai broke the course record in winning the second edition of the Every One Half Marathon in Hawassa.
The Kenyan armed forces 10,000 metres champion clocked one hour, three minutes and 10 seconds to finish ahead of Gishu Duda of Ethiopia (1:03:54).
The women’s race came down to a sprint finish and was won by Ethiopian Sisay Measo in 1:16:41.
The races took place at an altitude of 1,700 metres above sea level with temperatures rising to above 30 degrees towards the end of the morning.
World marathon record holder and distance running legend, Haile Gebrselassie, present at the race and who spoke at the pre-race media events, started the races and presented prizes to the winners.
He was accompanied by Gebregziabher Gebremariam, the reigning New York Marathon champion, Shiferaw Shigute, the President of the Southern Region and the Hawassa City mayor.
The Every One campaign aims to achieve reduction in newborn, child and maternal mortality in Ethiopia.
Elsewhere, Kenyans completed a double at the Globus Marathon in St Wendel, Germany. Wilson Melly clocked 2:19:24 to win the men’s race and Esther Macharia (2:41:52) won the women’s race.
There were more Kenyan wins in the Italian cities of Merano, Benevento and also in Puy (France), Spokane (USA) and Vancouver (Canada).
At Merano, Edwin Kipyego won the 18th Half Marathon in 1:04:11 with Moroccan Soumiya Labani (1:13:51) taking the women’s title.
At the 20th edition of Strabenevento road race in Benevento, Ezekiel Meli clocked 28:49 beating Italians Ottavio Andriani (30:40) and Cosimo Calliandro (31:00).
There was another Moroccan winner, Meryem Lamachi (34:11).In Puy, Ethiopian Dino Sefir won the 29th edition of the 15-kilometre road race clocking 43:57. Kenyan Sarah Chepchirchir was the best woman with 50:28.
In Vancouver, Bernard Onsare won the Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon in 2:19:59. Keddi-Anne Sherbino was the first woman to cross the finish line in 2:43:00.
Meanwhile in Spokane, Kenyan Simon Ndirangu used a final sprint to the finish line to win the men’s elite race in the 35th Lilac Bloomsday Run.
Ndirangu unofficially ran a time of 33:57, just six seconds off the Bloomsday record. It was Ndirangu’s second Bloomsday after running in 2007.