Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nigeria/Ethiopia: 2014 World Cup Play-Off - Ethiopia Changes Date for Eagles Clash

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chiefs will have to shift forward by 24 hours all the plans they have put in place for the Super Eagles to play the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup play-off.
The reason is because the Ethiopians who have the right to pick the exact date for the crucial first leg match in Addis Ababa have picked Sunday, October 13 instead of the Saturday, October 12 that the Nigerian football officials believed is the day. General Secretary of the EFF, Yigsaw Bezuayehu, confirmed yesterday that the match will be played on October 13 and not October 12.
"We have played our home games on Sundays and the match against Nigeria will not be an exception," said the EFF top official. "Going by this revelation, the chartered flight arrangement earlier planed to airlift the Eagles and Nigerian delegation to Addis Ababa on Friday, October 11 would have to be shifted by 24 hours to Saturday. All other plans as regard beating the effect of the high altitude of Addis Ababa remain intact," revealed a football top official from Abuja last night.
Nigeria have picked Saturday, November 16 as the date for the return leg match at the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar. The overall winners of this playoff matches will qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil. But retired Nigerian FIFA badge referee, Dr Alex Mana, dismissed plans by the NFF to storm Addis Ababa less than 24 hours to the crucial world Cup play-off, insisting it was not enough to solve the high altitude problem.
Mana took a swipe at the decision insisting that the football body is unwittingly shortening the Super Eagles' survival opportunities against their Ethiopian counterparts, the Walya Antelopes.
"The 24-hour arrival plan is obviously laughable, we're giving Ethiopia undue advantage, we won't even gain much with weeks of acclimatization not to talk of one day acclimatization.
"It's bad not to acclimatize at all. There is a disadvantage there already due to the high altitude but if you acclimatise you can chance to bend the minuses a little.
"I know the NFF has a handicap, as majority of our players is everywhere in the world coupled with clubs varying restriction on the release of players for their national team assignment.
"That's why it's good for a country to have the nucleus of their players in one region not as it's in our case our players are virtually everywhere in the world thereby making it a daunting task to get the players together on time.
"Egypt dominated the continent for a long time before the recent crisis because majority of their players play on the continent," said the don of the National Institute for Sports (NIS) to supersport.com.
Though Mana is positive Nigeria will come out of the Addis Ababa duel unscathed he will prefer the nation queue behind Eagles manager, Stephen Keshi to get more domestic players on board of the national team. "Of course, the high altitude in Ethiopia will surely play its pranks on us but with little doggedness on the part of the players we may survive the scourge and emerge unscathed.
"But we can manage similar incident in future on permanent basis by encouraging the ongoing effort by Keshi to bring in more local lads in the team so that we'll depend less on the foreign-based players," Mana said.
Both sides will meet in the return leg in Calabar, Nigeria in November for the decisive leg in which the winners over the two legs will qualify for the quadrennial global football fiesta coming up in Brazil next year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria gets dates for Ethiopia clashes | NIGERIA ENTERTAINMENT | Top Nigeria Entertainment Site

Ethiopia will face  on October 13 in Addis Ababa in the first leg of a 2014 World Cup play-off, officials said Wednesday.
“The first game is here, the home game, and then they will go after to Nigeria,” Ethiopian Football Federation spokesman, Samsom Getachew, told AFP.
The teams will face off again in Nigeria on November 16, and the overall winners qualify for the 32-nation global football showpiece in Brazil next June and July.
Ethiopia defeated Central African Republic 2-1 this month to win Group A and eliminate South Africa from the World Cup.
The victory means Ethiopia’s ‘Waliya Antelopes’ will face much tougher opponents in Nigeria, who beatEthiopia 2-0 en route to winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last February.
While Nigeria’s ‘Super Eagles’ use a mix of local and Europe-based stars, the bulk of the ‘Antelopes’ squad is home based.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nigeria To Face Ethiopia In 2014 World Cup Play Off – www.channelstv.com

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were on Monday paired with Ethiopia for the 2014 World Cup play-off. The draw was supervised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt.
The Ethiopia-Nigeria fixture, like the other four pairings to decide Africa’s five representatives at next year’s FIFA World Cup, will be decided over two legs with the overall winner qualifying to play at the mundial in Brazil.
In the other pairings, Ivory Coast will face Senegal; qualifiers by default Tunisia will confront Cameroon; Ghana are paired with Egypt, the only country on the African continent to have a hundred per cent record in qualifying, while Burkina Faso will square it up with Algeria.
History favours the Super Eagles to fly above the Walia Antelopes as the Ethiopian national team are known.
Both countries have met seven times with Nigeria winning on four occasions. The last time out was at the Africa Cup of Nations early this year in South Africa. Two penalty kicks taken by Victor Moses separated them in the group match.
Two other meetings ended in draws, while the Ethiopians’ famous 1-0 win came on April 11, 1993 in a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations. That winner remains the only goal Ethiopia have scored against Nigeria since their first meeting in 1982.
Speaking with cafonline after Monday’s pairing, Sewnet Bishaw, head coach of Ethiopia said: “It is a good draw for both teams and we will be looking forward to playing Nigeria again after meeting them at AFCON 2013. At that time we were just happy to get back into top level competition and were inexperienced but now we have had many more matches at this level so we will give it a good go against Nigeria.”
Ethiopia host Nigeria between October 11 and 15 with the reverse fixture in Nigeria scheduled to hold between November 15 and 19.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eagles face a transformed Ethiopia - SuperSport - Football

Ethiopian supporters © Gallo Images

The 2013 Afcon champions will have the luxury to start the two-legged match campaign in Addis Ababa in October while the reverse fixture will hold in Nigeria in November.
The winners of the two-match play-off will automatically qualify for the Fifa World Cup coming up in Brazil next year.
Onigbinde said the only antidote for our qualification for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil is adequate preparations not the opponents as such.
"I've never bothered my head over whom I'm drawn against in any competition rather I pay undivided attention on preparations. So Nigerians shouldn't go dancing and drumming because they're drawn against Ethiopia rather commence immediate preparations.
"Football is a democrat, it's 11 players apiece at every point in time, I don't believe in the doctrine of minnows.
"Of course, nobody would have predicted in the 1998 France World Cup that Senegal will defeat France, so we need to prepare well to confront Ethiopia.
"Ethiopia of yesterday can't be same of today, that's why I almost laugh off my head when some teams said they're engaging spies on their opponents.
"I always want my side to be spied upon because a side you spied an hour ago will be a different side an hour later.
"Generally, the East Africans are known for possession of excess stamina while the West Africans are known for strength and speed, so we must deploy our comparative advantage to outwit whatever surprises the Ethiopians may come up with.
"Of course, no matter what favourable scoreline we're enjoying at any point in time we shouldn't relax until the whistle is sounded off.
"On paper people seem to believe a side gain by first playing away before wrapping it up at home, I know history has often rubbished the claim so for me adequate preparation is the key and we must not toy with preparing our team adequately for the play-off," Onigbinde said to supersport.com.
The Fifa technical instructor is upbeat Nigeria will grab one of the African slots for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
"I've not changed my nationality, I'm a Nigerian and will always wish my country well in every of their endeavours that include the World Cup play-off.
"We'll qualify but we must work hard to earn the World Cup ticket, it won't come cheap because Ethiopia want to be at the World Cup, too," he said.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Farah beaten in Great North Run - ITV News


Will it be mo' success for Mo Farah?

The three runners are neck and neck Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Mo Farah is currently leading the race with Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie in today's elite Great No

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ethiopia's running camp 'in the sky' - Yahoo! News

On a cold and wet morning in the lush green hills high above Addis Ababa, Ethiopian track star Kenenisa Bekele circles a brick red track, slowly, steadily rebuilding his strength.
His muscular legs hit the ground in a quick rhythm. The only noise in the serene silence is his breath, piercing through the thin air 2,700 metres (9,000 feet) above sea level.
The world-record holder in 5,000 and 10,000 metres and triple Olympic champion, who has suffered from a calf injury for three years, is running at the centre he opened late last year to improve training conditions for Ethiopia's renowned runners.
Now he is looking to attract foreign athletes too, transforming his camp in Sululta into what he hopes will be a world-class training centre.
"We are inviting athletes, we want to have other international athletes from all over the world, so we want to be part of training centres of the world," he told AFP, speaking after a training session on the track, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the capital.
He says the new training centre was initially set up because there were no adequate tracks in the country, but was now also welcoming professional distance runners eager to train in the ideal climate and altitude of the Ethiopian highlands.
Bekele is also hoping to attract running enthusiasts of all levels, finding a new way of marketing Ethiopia as a tourist destination and tapping into a growing market of 'hobby joggers' the world over who are eager to rub shoulders with east Africa's elite.
The size of the potential market related to the current running boom is certainly huge, with major big city marathons like London, New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo systematically selling out their tens of thousands of places within hours.
It's also a market that neighbouring Kenya, the other distance-running giant and Ethiopia's arch rival, is already tapping into.
In the Kenyan Rift Valley town of Iten, elite runner Lornah Kiplagat has opened a High Altitude Training Centre, offering the austere eat-sleep-run regimen and a diet of thin air, endurance boosting hills and simple, unprocessed organic food to a growing number of elites and enthusiasts.
Bekele hopes Sululta will be the next Iten, and has already hosted several international track runners, including Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi, the 2012 Olympic 1500m champion, and Sudan's Abubaker Kaki and Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman - both 800m specialists.
It is Ethiopia's second training camp, though Yaya Running Village on the outskirts of Addis Ababa -- sponsored by fellow Ethiopian distance legend Haile Gebreselassie -- lacks a track.
Bekele's facility has one of only two world-class tracks in Ethiopia. The other, in the congested and dusty capital, was only recently refitted with a suitable track for long distance training.
Bekele had long complained the old track was too hard and likely worsened his stubborn calf injury, which has stilted his performance in recent years.
Bekele won gold in the 10,000 metres in Athens, and followed up with the 5,000m and 10,000m double in Beijing in 2008. But since then he has been beset by injury, finishing 4th in the London Olympics and missing out on the Moscow World Championships in August.
"Every time we go over that track, (we were) getting injury. It's very strong, it's not good for muscle," he said.
"It's a big challenge for me... not only me, many athletes have injury over that track," the 31-year-old runner added.
Today, he is looking to regain his past fitness, training twice daily ahead of this month's Great North Race, where he will face Gebreselassie and Britain's Mo Farah.
The centre is part of Bekele's steadily growing business empire. In addition to a cinema and real estate in central Ethiopia, his first hotel opened in August on one of Addis Ababa's cramped thoroughfares.
Bekele said that in addition to boosting tourism he is keen to invest to spur industry and create jobs, leaving a lasting legacy once his legs can no longer perform on the track.
"If I get more money, if I have that money in my pocket, if I'm not spending to create jobs, if I am not sharing with other people, it's no sense," he said.
Today, near the existing 17-room hotel neighbouring the track, the outlines of Bekele's planned expansion stand tall.
It is the site of a new 100-room lodge, which will boast two swimming pools, a gym and basketball and tennis courts. He is also planning for a nine-hole golf course nearby.
Bekele said he wants to boost his business with these extra offers and hopes that, combined with the centre's close proximity to Addis Ababa, its safe environment and clean air, Sululta will become a top international sports destination.
Plus, he jokes, his own experience comes with the centre -- a chance for aspiring runners to be trained by a living legend.
"I will give my experience, I will share my experience," he laughs, exposing his characteristic toothy smile.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bekele sets sights on half clash, Rio marathon

SULULTA — Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele said Sunday he was still a long way off from thinking of retirement and is instead eyeing a step up to the marathon in time for the Rio Olympics.
Speaking to AFP at his training camp outside of the capital Addis Ababa, the world record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres said he hoped to display a return to form when he races Britain's Mo Farah and fellow Ethiopian great Haile Gebreselassie this month.
The three will be competing in the Great North Run in England on September 16, which organisers say will be the "greatest head-to-head in half-marathon history".
"I did great things in 5,000 and 10,000 metres and now after those races, my big goal is to run a good marathon and a good half marathon, to attack maybe the world record," said Bekele.
"My big hope is to compete in Rio," said the 31-year old.
Bekele won gold in the 10,000 metres in Athens, and followed up with the 5,000m and 10,000m double in Beijing in 2008.
But since then he has been beset by injury, finishing 4th in the London Olympics and missing out on the Moscow World Championships.
He has also been overshadowed by the rise of Britain's Farah.
Still, Bekele's rivals have yet to get within even spitting distance of his world records, set in 2004 and 2005.
"I'm challenging my injury to come back again to fitness, to compete in international races... I don't want to stop at this early age, so I think I will come back again," he said.
Bekele, a national hero in Ethiopia, said the half marathon showdown -- his first competitive outing over the distance -- will be a tough race and will live up to the organisers' billing as a "dream team" showdown.
His stubborn injury, not mention Farah's staggering finishing kick and Gerbselassie's years of road racing experience, will make for a challenging 21.1 kilometre (13.1 mile) race, he said.
"I will try my best, but of course the race is not easy because I'm competing with Mo Farrah and Gebreselassie and this race it will be my first half marathon," said Bekele, speaking after a morning session on his private track.
Farah, the reigning 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic and world champion, has raced two half marathons, winning both times, while Gerbselassie is by far the most experienced -- having been world champion at the distance four times between 1993 and 1999 and having won the Newcastle to South Shields race three years ago.
He held the marathon world record and has a personal half marathon best of 58min 55secs.
But Bekele said he is running twice a day, seven days a week and feels ready to take on those he described as his greatest competitors.
"I'm feeling good, I'm preparing to compete," he said.