Saturday, August 22, 2009

Team Ethiopia in Berlin- Day 7

The only event for Team Ethiopia on day 7 was women’s 1500M semi-final and it had a very successful outcome. Get used to this name because you will be hearing it a lot: KALKIDAN GEZAHEGNE. As expected, Gelete Burka and Maryam Jamal (the Ethiopian-turned-Bahraini, formerly Zenebech Tola) advanced to the final comfortably. But the real story in this event belongs to Kalkidan Gezahegne.

Kalkidan is an 18 year old teenage sensation who bravely fought her way to getting an automatic qualifying spot in Sunday’s final. Her biography shows that she only began international competition in 2008 and that same year won the silver medal in the 1500M at the World Junior Championships. A mere one year later she has chopped 8 seconds away from her personal best, and now competing as a senior, earned a spot in the final of a World Championship race. Ladies and gentlemen, this is overachievement by any standard!

Whatever Kalkidan does in the final race will be icing on the cake since she has already performed way above any reasonable expectaion. In my first blog at the beginning of these championships, I wrote that “the results from Berlin will be more indicative of the future of Ethiopian athletics than its current status.” Kalkidan Gezahegne along with Imane Merga and Wude Ayalew are the new revelation for Ethiopian Athletics.

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