Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ethiopia makes it to 2nd round of CAN qualifiers - Africa - Sports - Ahram Online

Benin's dreams of CAN 2013 are over following Sunday's 1-1 draw with Ethiopia in Cotonou
Tarek Hefny, Monday 18 Jun 2012
Adane Girma

Ethiopia will join the party for the second round of 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers following their 1-1 draw against Benin in Cotonou on Sunday.
The in-form Benin squad had been expected to seal the deal in Cotonou, only to encounter a solid Ethiopian side confident in its ability to make the grade for the second round of qualifiers, as they did in 2014 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa (1-1) and Central Africa (2-0).
After a goalless draw in the first leg of qualifiers in Addis Ababa, victory was the Squirrels' only option, as another draw would mean Ethiopia's qualification.
Razak Omotoyossi's and Stephane Sessegnon's side was the one to attack, and, after missing a few chances, Mickaël Poté found the back of the net from close range following a beautiful pass from his teammate. The striker only had to push the ball under the Ethiopian keeper to bring the score to 1-0 at the 18th minute.
Only two minutes before the end of the first half, a missed shot turned into an assist for Adane Girma, whose shot from the penalty spot was good enough to beat the Benin goalkeeper and put the two teams back at a tie.
In the second half, Ethiopia managed to maintain its defences, countering all of Benin's chances to end the game at a 1-1 draw and qualify for the second round of the qualifiers for South Africa next January.
Ethiopia's last appearance at the CAN was in Libya in 1982, where they were eliminated in the first round, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
Teams that will take part in the second round of the 2013 CAN qualifiers include:
Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Togo, Sierra-Leone, Cameroon, Malawi, DR Congo, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Liberia, along with the winner of the second leg between CAR and Egypt (ended 2-3 in Cairo).
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Return of Tirunesh Dibaba - NYTimes.com

Tirunesh Dibaba after winning the 10,000-meter event at the Prefontaine Classic on June 1.Ted S. Warren/Associated PressTirunesh Dibaba after winning the 10,000-meter event at the Prefontaine Classic on June 1.
One of the most anticipated entrants at this year’s Adidas Grand Prix track meet in New York on Saturday is Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, the defending women’s Olympic champion at 5,000 and 10,000 meters and quite possibly the fastest finisher in the history of women’s distance running.
Dibaba, 27, is recovering from shin splints so severe they kept her out of competition every day of 2011 except the last, when she won the San Silvestre Vallecana 10-kilometer road race on New Year’s Eve, in Madrid. Last week, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., she continued her comeback, running — and winning — her first outdoor track race in almost two years, at 10,000 meters, and she did it in dramatic fashion.
The race was effectively the Ethiopian Olympic trials at the distance. Dibaba was the favorite, but her stomach cramped two-thirds of the way through, causing her to clutch her side. “I’ve had that kind of discomfort in the past,” she said in an interview this week, “but this was worse. In fact, with about three laps left I began to wonder how I was going to finish.”
The thousands of fans in the stands might have wondered the same thing. With less than a mile left, Dibaba dropped back into third place. At the sound of the bell signifying the last lap she crept into the lead, but she did so without the speed and authority she usually has had in the past. On the backstretch, she held off challenges from both of her competitors — Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat and Ethiopia’s Beleynesh Oljira — and as the three of them turned the corner into the final 100 meters, Dibaba finally let loose her eye-opening finishing kick. She beat Kiplagat by 10 meters and posted the fastest time in the world this year. It took Dibaba another 15 seconds before she could flash a smile, and then her face, weathered from the effort, showed the same youth and gentleness that at the beginning of her career earned her the nickname Baby-Faced Destroyer.
“I like the name very much,” she said when asked about it. She was sitting on a metal chair on a concrete island in the middle of Times Square. She wore a Nike zipper sweater in fluorescent yellow and black and white, and designer jeans with gold beaded pockets. She held her hands — her fingers in pink nail polish — gently in her lap, and she spoke in Amharic through a translator, every now and again calmly looking around at the giant billboard video screens flashing  advertisements and at the throngs of tourists who barreled past, completely unaware of the superstar in their midst.
When asked what would happen if we had been in Addis Ababa, where Dibaba lives and trains, instead of New York, she said modestly: “Because people are really fans of athletics, everyone knows me. I think a lot of people would have surrounded us.”
That seems safe to say. Her wedding in the fall of 2008 to the two-time Olympic silver medalist Sileshi Sihine was broadcast live on the country’s only television station, and hundreds of thousands of people crowded Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square to watch the couple carried through on a chariot. The celebrations spread over the course of two weeks and included a dinner hosted by the Ethiopian president and a piano serenade from the distance-running legend Haile Gebrselassie. “Because she did a traditional marriage ceremony, it added to the respect people have for her,” Teferi Debebe, who covers Ethiopian track for Letsrun.com, said. “She showed her respect for the culture. This is what everybody wanted to see.”
Around the same time, the government named a $13 million hospital gifted to the country by the Chinese government after her. And “many people started to name their children Tirunesh,” Debebe said.
Dibaba comes from a family of Ethiopian long-distance royalty. Her older sister Ejegayehu won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2004 Olympics, her younger sister Genzebe is among the favorites in the 1,500 meters at this summer’s Olympics, and her cousin Derartu Tulu has two Olympic gold medals and a bronze.
“We began running because of Derartu,” Dibaba said of her and her sisters. Each of them, at a young age, followed Derartu Tulu to Addis Ababa, and they all quickly found success on the track. “From the beginning I’ve only ever run,” Dibaba said. “That’s the only job I’ve had.”
In Dibaba’s absence from the track last year, Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot, who finished fifth in the 5,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics, stepped into her shoes, winning both distance races at the world championships. Dibaba took note. “Vivian has been running very well,” she said. “I know that she’s going to be my strongest competitor.”
On Saturday, Dibaba will run her first 5,000-meter race in nearly two years. Though Cheruiyot won’t be in the race, Dibaba’s countrywoman, friend, and longtime rival Meseret Defar will, and she should be a good test for Dibaba. Defar lost both of her last two races to Cheruiyot — by a combined total of eight-hundredths of a second.
“My primary focus has been on the 10,000 meters, and I’ve also been away from competition for quite a while,” Dibaba said. “I think I’ll be a little bit nervous, but I expect it’ll be a good race.”

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ethiopian marathon runner banned for doping-Daily Pakistan Times -

Ethiopian marathon runner banned for doping
COLORADO SPRINGS: Ethiopian marathon runner Ezkyas Sisay has received a two-year doping ban after a positive drug test at the 2011 New York Marathon, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced on Thursday. Sisay finished ninth in the race in two hours, 11 minutes and four seconds but was stripped of that result and all others since the November 6 event, which now marks the back-dated start of his two-year period of ineligibility for competitions. The US Anti-Doping Agency, which handled sample collection at the event for the IAAF, said the 24-year-old African runner admitted using the banned substance synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) after testing positive for it.

“This case is a prime example of why cooperation between national anti-doping organizations and international federations is so important in protecting the rights of clean athletes and preserving the integrity of competition,” US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis T. Tygart said. Sisay was also stripped of his victory in last January’s Carlsbad Half-Marathon in California. “It’s crucial for the IAAF to be able to rely on an efficient and innovative anti-doping agency, such as USADA, committed to eradicate doping on its territory,” said Gabriel Dolle, the IAAF medical director. “This case illustrates our joint efforts towards this common objective.” afp