Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 - End of Year Reviews

MEN'S MARATHON:

The depth in the men’s Marathon is getting deeper and deeper. Back in the 1990s a sub-2:10 result meant a place in the world elite; today, these times aren’t even enough to enter the world top-100...

...In 2010 the top 18 in this event come only from Kenya (10) and Ethiopia (8)... 

...The talk of the season was Ethiopian World record holder (2:03:59 in 2008) Haile Gebrselassie calling it a day following an unfinished New York Marathon in November. But Gebrselassie, who failed another bid at the World record winning in a season’s best 2:06:09 in Dubai in January, quickly reconsidered his emotionally charged decision and decided to continue his career.

Kenya dominates this event with well more than half of the athletes in world top 100 with a huge 59 entries. Ethiopia is a clear second with 28 with Morocco third place with just five.


WOMEN'S MARATHON:

2010 will be remembered as the year that 
Ethiopia overwhelmed this event. There have been since the 1990's a number of excellent female Ethiopian Marathon runners – Fatuma Roba, Gete Wami and Berhane Adere among others – but they have been brilliant individuals and not part of something that it any way merited an example of "a wave". But now...

Because - even though the very acute observer might have noticed the Ethiopian presence in the Marathon world lists showing an upward trend over the past decade - there was nothing really preparing us for the "tsunami" of 2010. The number of Ethiopian sub-2:26 runners had from 2000 to 2009 been 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 3 – 2 – 6 – 8 before now exploding to 18 (!) as of early December!

Actually Ethiopia this year provides over half of the 35 sub-2:26 marathon runners in the World. The distribution looks like this: Ethiopia 18, Kenya 6, Russia 3, Japan and China 2, France, Sweden, New Zealand and Portugal 1!

The age pattern also signals that this is no temporary phenomenon isolated to the year 2010: The 18 Ethiopians average 24 years while the 17 non-Ethiopians average 30 years! Of course in long distance running you can be competitive even into your 40's but the numbers still tell us that the Ethiopians are not likely to disappear from the scene before the others.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Great Ethiopia Run Results

Men's
Azmeraw Bekele 29:25
Yenenew Alamirew 29:26
Berhanu Bekele 29:27
Tigabu Gebremariam 29:30
Seboka Nigusse 29:33

Women's
Sule Utura 33:35
Abebech Afework 33:46
Ahaza Kiross 33:59
Bizunesh Urgessa 34:01
Makeda Arane 34:10

Azmeraw Bekele has had a break through year. He had won the Jan Meda cross country championship in Ethiopia and has had a few road race wins including a 30K race in Ethiopia.

We have previously bogged about 20 year old budding star Sule Utura who won the women's race. There is also this interesting interview she did.

Look for these names in international races in the coming years.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Haile Reverses Decision to Retire

As has been speculated by many over the past week, including this writer, Haile Gebrselassie announced today that he has reversed his decision to retire. Here is a video clip of an Ethiopian Television news report in Amharic announcing this development. The announcer is sports journalist, Fiker Yilkal. Translation is below:





"Athlete Haile Gebreslassie has announced that he will return to competition. It is remembered that Haile announced to the media his retirement from the world of competition, following his unexpected drop out at the recent New York marathon due to an unexpected illness he encountered. Today, at the occasion of starting a 10km race in Nekemte, Haile has exclusively informed the Ethiopian Television and Radio Agency that he will be preparing himself for the London 2012 Olympics. This report of Haile Gebrselassie's reversal of last week's decision to retire from competition has been filed by our reporter in the city of Nekemte, Fisseha Gebremichael."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Haile has run his last run!

And just like that Haile is done.





“I never think about retiring. For the first time, this is the day. Let me stop and do other work after this. Let me do other jobs. Let me give a chance for the youngsters.”


Haile has always been a class act and he will be missed in the running world. But for us Ethiopians, Haile is more than a great runner. He is a positive leader that has infused positive energy into the Ethiopian psyche. He showed us what is possible and declared "Yechalal" (it is possible). As Haile moves on to new goals we can look forward to great thing to come Ethiopia's way.


Geb Win's New York

The other Geb, Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam, on his Marathon debut displayed the patience of a veteran to win the NYC Marathon.

Moment's after Haile exited the race, Mutai, Goumri and Bouramdane picked up the pace. It was a surprised to see a very relaxed Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam among the leaders just gliding along and not pushing anything. When the race was down to him and Mutai, it was fascinating watching him stay patient until he found the moment when Mutai was vulnerable and strike to take control of the race.

I remember the first time Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam came on the international stage in 2002 when he won the Junior World Cross Country title. He won that race barefoot. That day I knew a start was born. But, his track career was good but not exceptional and to many including me that was a disappointment. Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam has never performs well when expectations are high. He does however have a knack of putting out some exceptional performances when no one is expecting.

Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam is a very talented runner. The marathon looks like a great fit for him. He be a force in marathon for years to come.

The Ethiopian marathon field continues to get deeper.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Haile's long last hurrah!

It took me a while to put my finger on it but the past week there subtle hints that the NYC Marathon is the beginning of Haile's farewell.

It feels like Haile has been with us for ages and we have seen seen him achieve so much but Haile can't run forever.

Haile has two things he still would like to archive, win an Olympic gold medal and improve his marathon world record.

In Ethiopia, all gold medals are not perceived equal. Nothing comes close to winning an Olympic gold medal in the marathon. Since 2008, Haile has repeatedly stated that he looks forward to running in the 2012 Olympics and what a way to end a career – with a marathon gold medal. There is nothing that can eclipse that as it would put him right up there with Abebe Bikila.

The London Olympics are only 19 months away and that translates to no more than five more marathons for Haile.

Look for Haile to run in Dubai, in order to qualify for the Ethiopia's London Olympic team and to improve his marathon world record. If he does not set a world record at Dubai look for him to run Berlin again. I am sure Boston and Chicago are two races that will push hard to have him before he retires.

I don't expect to see a complete champion like Haile in my lifetime. What he did on the track and on the road speaks for itself. What distinguishes Haile is his ease and the joy that he radiates. It's hard to imagine the running world without Haile.

So let's enjoy Haile's long last hurrah!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicago 10-10-10

We here at which at Roocha have been dormant since the Spring. This has been a year of actully training for a marathon rather than just commenting. But in the mist of a great marathon season it would be a shame not to have a few lines added to this blog.

What a great race to watch. I would say Tsegaye and Sammy Wanjiru at this moment are the top two marathon runners in the world. What a battle! Tsegaye made a few tactical mistakes and I am convinced he could have won this race. On any given day he can beat Wanjiru and Wanjiru can beat him. I look forward to many more such contests.

For me, the two takeaways from Chicago are that Tsegaye has been consistent at putting out very good performances at big races. In addition, he has shown that he can perform in hot weather conditions. At this moment I would say he has to be the top Ethiopian marathoner. The other takeaway is the emergence of Feyisa Lelisa among the elite of the elite. At 20 years old, barring injury, he will is a force to be reckoned with.

One can see the landscape for 2012 Ethiopian team changing a bit. Tsegaye's performance in London and Chicago as well as Feyisa Lelisa's emergence will put pressure on Haile Gebresillasie and Deriba Merge.

Deriba Merga brings a different dimension to the marathon and I am a big fan of his. Unfortunately, between his dramatic fades and his DNFs it's sometimes it's hard to take him seriously. Quittig Chicago will reinforce that caricature. In addition, young runner such as Bazu Worku, Chala Dechase have had better times than Deriba. There will be only three Olympic spots and if Deriba wants to be on the team he better come up with another big win.

Haile's Olympic spot is not a sure thing. He has the 4th best 2010 time behind Tsegay Kebede , Feyisa Lilesa and Bazu Worku. In addtion, Haile has avoided competition and has not won a big race other than Berlin. Many suspect he may not do well in a race as competative as today's Chicago marathon. To wipe out that reputation Haile needs to win the NY marathon.

I dream of Tsgaye and Haile in the same race. It could turn out to be a great race yet it could also be a disappointing race.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

London Marathon



Tsegaye Kebede who has been flirting with winning the London Marathon finally earned a huge breakthrough victory by actually winning it. I would venture to say this is the biggest of the major marathon races and is usually decided on a last minute sprint (last year Tsegaye lost to Wanjiru by 10 seconds) but this year Tsegaye won by more than a minute and just 5 seconds off the course record set last year. He ran an impressive 2:05:15 which is the 4th fastest time ever run by an Ethiopian. His half marathon split was 1:03:07 which means he ran the second half at 1:02:08 for a strong finish. Tsegaye becomes only the second Ethiopian to win the London Marathon. The other winner was Gezahegne Abera in 2003.

Since 2008 Tsegaye has been a very consistent top 3 finisher in top races. This victory may be a prelude to great things to come and in many ways makes him the top dog Ethiopian marathon runner. At 23 he has a long marathon career a head of him. It is very likely that he would attempt to break the world record in a few years.

The toughest Ethiopian runner Aselefech Mergia came in 3rd in the women's race at London. She was just 38 seconds off the winner. Bizunesh Bekele and Askale Tafa came in 4th and 5th for what I would call an overall impressive Ethiopian day.

Along with the Boston results this makes for an very good week for Ethiopian runners.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teyba Erkesso Wins Boston Womens

Teyba Erkesso Wins Boston Womens race at 2:26:11.

In the mens race Tekeste Kebede (an emerging star) finished 2nd with a time of 2:07:23 while defending men's champ Deriba Merga faded but finishes 3rd with a time of 2:08:39. The winner of the men's race Robert Cheruiyot set a course record at 2:05:52.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

World Cross Country Championships

It was a disaster today.

"Of the twelve individual medals at stake, only three escaped Kenyan runners: the senior men’s silver and bronze which went to Teklemariam Medhin of Eritrea and Moses Kipsiro of Uganda and Melkamu’s senior women’s bronze."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Abebe Bikila Vis-a-vis Siraj Gena

"An utterly stunning picture: Ethiopian Endeavor! The (full) picture with bared, shone feet in homage to an outstanding lineage; arms outstretched, reaching midstride for the flag whilst all the while draped triumphantly with the finishing ribbon across his body is surely an Iconic picture of obvious meaning. What is more is the backdrop of the Roman Coliseum with its own singular place in sport history which at this moment attends to serve as a witness to this new great champion as it once stood in awe of Abebe Bikila."

Debre Tabor

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Team Ethiopia in Doha - Day 3


Day 3 in Doha was one for the books for multiple reasons. Ethiopia collected more medals, crowned a teenage phenom as a world champion, and concluded a very successful championships in Doha. The Ethiopian fans in the stand were again enthusiastic and loud in their support of their team.

Two events were on the card for team Ethiopia- Women's1500M featuring defending champion Gelete Burka and the new kid on the block Kalkidan Gezahegne, and Men's 3000M with Tariku Bekele and Dejen Gebremeskel.

Women's 1500M
After the heroic come back to win her heat on Friday, it seems Kalkidan Gezahegne has garnered the attention and respect of the running world, and as a result the final today was highly anticipated. Add to the mix the defending champion Gelete Burka and her nemesis Natalie Rodriguez of Spain (who pushed Gelete out and was DQed in Berlin), this race promised to showcase quite a battle. As it turned out, the race unfolded without much drama till the very end as medals appeared to be within grasp. Coming to the homestretch Kalkidan showed she had an extra gear to pass Gelete, who had always been at the front, and took the gold medal with a comfortable margin. Rodriguez, in what must be vindication for her disqualification in Berlin, was also able to catch and pass Gelete at the very end and took the silver medal. The defending champ Gelete who did a bit of work pushing the pace during most of the race had to settle for the bronze.

In winning the gold, 18 year old Kalkidan Gezahegne becomes the youngest world champion in history, and also retains both men and women's 1500M title for Ethiopia for the second indoor championship in a row. Kalkidan came to this meet ranked #1 in the world but still was a relative unknown in the larger athletic circle. That is now past history. She says "my career is just beginning" but thanks to her heroic come back win after falling down, and now becoming the youngest world champion, the bright spotlight is on her and her immense talent which must someday translate to world records and Olympic gold.

Men's 3000M
Ethiopia's historical weakness in global championships (with minor exception) has been in the shorter of the distance events- 3000M and 5000M. Not much success has been had recently, particularly in the absence of Kenenisa Bekele, in these events. Today was no different in Doha. At the end it was obvious that noone in the 3000M, not just the Ethiopians, was a match for the impressive Bernard Lagat who took an easy win with one move at the bell lap.

To their credit, both Tariku and Dejen employed the only feasible tactic against Lagat who is a 1500M specialist with a stinging kick at the end. Dejen's role appeared to be supporting Tariku to defend his title and did a good job but was obviously over his head with the pace as he had drop back during the last few laps and finished 10th. Tariku pushed the pace from the beginning knowing that Lagat's kick off a slow pace would simply be devastating as we saw in Osaka 2007. In the end, Tariku's push seemed not to have done anything to Lagat who took the win while making it look effortless. Tariku ran out of gas 100M short of the finish line and was passed by two other runners leaving him in fourth place and out of the medals.

Men's 3000M and 5000M are two events that the Ethiopian coaches need to go back to the drawing board to figure out a different training and racing strategy.

Summary
Team Ethiopia finished the indoor world championships with five medals- three gold and two bronze. This was good enough to finish in second place on the medal table, trailing only the United States in number of gold medals. With the possible exception of the 2000 Sydney Olympics (and not counting Cross-Country events), this championship must be the most successful ever for an Ethiopian team. Five of the eight Ethiopian athletes who participated earned a medal. This is absolutely amazing accomplishment and may place Ethiopia at the very top in terms of quality of athletes fielded.

Ethiopia won both the men and women 1500M title again, and this time in a much more convincing fashion. Ethiopia's focus has been in long distance events for more than 40 years but it is now obvious that we have talent to compete and win middle distance races too.

One final note that must not be overlooked is the strength of Ethiopian women athletes. All four women that competed in Doha won a medal while only one of the four men did. Something is going right with the way the women athletes are training and racing and it has just gotten even better with the addition of one Kalkidan Gezahegne to their ranks.

Well done Team Ethiopia! You have made us proud!!
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Team Ethiopia in Doha - Day 2

For fans of Ethiopian athletics, some days can be agony and other days ecstasy. Day 2 in Doha was pure ecstasy as Ethiopia took gold in both events the athletes contested and three out of the four athletes that competed came away with medals.

Women's 3000M
Everything went according to form in this race with Meseret Defar taking Gold and winning her record fourth indoor world championship title. Still, the race was joy to watch as the Ethiopians and Kenyans battled it out to the very end. Cheruiyot of Kenya took silver and Sentayehu Ejigu put in a solid race to take bronze medal, her first medal in a global championship. Meseret was in clear command of the race going into the last lap and simply ran away from the field with a blistering kick that noone could match. The large Ethiopian crowd in the stands were truly overjoyed and it was fun to watch Meseret and Sentayehu celebrate victory with their supporters.

Mens 1500M
When Deresse Mekonnen won the indoor 1500M title two years ago in Valencia, Spain, it was a surprise for most people, and there were questions if it was a fluke win or if he was the real deal. Following that, Deresse only managed 6th place finish at the Beijing Olympics, but since then he has climbed to the top of his field and has made believers out of many doubters including myself. He followed his silver medal in Berlin’s outdoor World Championships last year with the fastest time of the year this season and went to Doha as the favorite to win the 1500M.

In today’s final, Deresse showed once again that he can beat the best in the world and has brilliant tactical acumen to go with the leg speed and strength needed to win the 1500M. The race itself turned out to be a wild one with much pushing and shoving and many changes in lead. Both Deresse and Mekonnen managed to navigate through all of the traffic and when all kicked for the finish line Deresse went to the front to take the gold while Mekonnen finished fourth with only 1/10th of a second short of the bronze medal.

All in all, Day 2 was very good for Team Ethiopia, and when all competition wrapped up, Ethiopia stood in 2nd place on the medal table, tied with Australia and just behind USA.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Team Ethiopia in Doha - Day 1

The first day of a global championship is all about setting the tone for the rest of the meet. Remember Tirunesh Dibaba's super effort to win the 10000M gold in Beijing? How about last August in Berlin when Kenyan women dethroned our Ethiopian ladies who had reigned supreme in 10000M for a decade?

Well, indoor World Championship is not at the level of the Olympics or the regular outdoor World Championship meet, but it is no walk in the park by any measure. In fact, due to the smaller track and shorter and quicker events, there is higher chance of disaster striking at any moment. And that is exactly what happened today in the Women's 1500M when Ethiopia's Kalkidan Gezahegne (familiar name?) was tripped and fell half-way thru the race. Befitting an athlete who has been watching Rambo movies, Kalkidan got up and continued with the race, and not only caught up with the other runners but actually won the race!

Team Ethiopia in Doha consists of eight athletes and noone disappointed today, with all eight advancing to finals in their respective events over the weekend. Dare we dream of the perfect meet where we come out with 4 gold and 4 silver medals??

Ethiopia has very good chance of taking gold in both men's and women's 1500M as well as women's 3000M. Meseret Defar is as fit as ever and is going for her fourth indoor world title in 3000M, which will be a record. Deresse Mekonnen is also the defending title holder in 1500M and has the world's leading time this year. The women's 1500M can be a breakout race for the young Kalkidan Gezahegne but she will have to contend with Gelete Burka.

Back in 2007, Gelete was running 5000M races and was struggling to compete against the established Ethiopian runners in the event. After the Pre Classic in June 2007 where she won the 1500M, I wrote the following:
[Gelete] is a very talented runner who looks very natural at her trade. She needs to seriously consider competing in 1500M or 3000M at the World Champs and Olympics rather than join the crowded field in the 5000M with Tirunesh, Meseret, and Meselech and miss out on her medal chances.
I am happy to see Gelete has gone to that route for the past two years. Her accident in the 1500M final in Berlin last August was very unfortunate. We will never know if she would have won the gold although she looked very capable of it. I hope she will be able to put that terrible memory behind her in Doha.

The underlying theme in Doha, same as it was in Berlin last August, is the continuing emergence of Ethiopia in middle distance races. Doha is now a meet set up perfectly to show Ethiopia is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in middle distance racing.

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You can watch all the races live on universalsports.com
You can get a more frequent update by following Roocha on Twitter here.
  • Team #Ethiopia in #Doha: Tomorrow 3/13 at 08:55AM EST Meseret Defar and Sentayehu Ejigu in Women's 3000M Final.
  • Team #Ethiopia in #Doha: Tomorrow 3/13 at 09:45AM EST Deresse Mekonnen and Mekonnen Gebremedhin in Men's 1500M Final.

Monday, March 08, 2010

News and Note: March 1 - March 8

Gemechu first Ethiopian runner to test positive for EPO
Olympic marathoner Shetaye Gemechu has received a two-year ban from the Ethiopian Athletics Federation after testing positive for the banned substance EPO. The 29-year old is the third high profile Ethiopian in the last six years to be charged with a doping offense but first to test positive for EPO. She denied the charges in an exclusive Universal Sports interview.

Ethiopia to send team to Qatar despite diplomatic strain
The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has announced that it will send a team to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha in March despite strained diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Qatar.

'Rambo tough' Gezhagne eyes Doha gold
Kalkidan Gezhagne may be the best runner you've never heard of. The 18-year old Ethiopian went from never stepping foot on an indoor track to improving world indoor junior records over the mile and 1500m, and grabbing wins in Boston and Stockholm. Now, Gezhagne is eyeing gold at the World Indoor Championships in Doha.

Komen dares Ethiopia's Bekele
World 3,000m record holder Daniel Kipng’etich Komen has dared Ethiopia’s long distance runner Kenenisa Bekele to break his record at the indoor outing in France on Friday.“The record is hard to break. Let him try. I believe he is well prepared as the task would not be a walk in the park. But there was no need for him to announce it,” “I will reward him [Bekele] with a five-acre parcel of prime land within Eldoret municipality should he break the record. And any foreign runner who makes it can take the prize and invest here in Eldoret.”

Bekele back on track with record intentions The Ethiopian, current holder of the fastest times ever indoors* at 2000m and 2 Miles and the indoor World record at 5000m (and outdoors at 5000m and 10,000m) had announced his intention to break the World Indoor 3000m record held by Kenyan Daniel Komen (7:24.90) since 1998.


Bekele unsure of world cross-country participation
Ethiopian distance star Kenenisa Bekele said on Monday he was uncertain of competing in the World Cross Championships in Poland later this month owing to a calf injury.

Bekele and Isinbayeva set for Prefontaine eventWorld record holders Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva will join American standouts Tyson Gay and Sanya Richards in the July 3 Prefontaine Classic at Eugene, Oregon, organisers said on Thursday.

Adere clocks 1:07:52, Lel beats Wanjiru at New Orleans Half Marathon
Former World Half Marathon champion Berhane Adere of Ethiopia won the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon in New Orleans, clocking the fastest time ever run by a woman on American soil for the distance.

Course record for Utura in Addis Ababa World Junior 5000m champion Sule Utura destroyed the course record to take victory in the 2010 Choice Women First 5km in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday March 6.

Tsegay takes Lake Biwa crownBreaking away from the lead pack after 22Km, Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia won the Lake Biwa Marathon on Sunday.

Gebrselassie hones in on third 10km title in ManchesterHaile Gebrselassie will chase a third victory when returning to compete over one of his favourite courses at the Bupa Great Manchester Run – IAAF Gold Label Road Race - on 16 May 2010.

Gebrselassie says Pinoys need role model
Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie says Filipino athletes need a role model in their bid to win an Olympic gold medal. Haile, was there last week during the launch of the G4S 4Teen program where he is the inspirational ambassador. The program groups together 14 of the world’s best young athletes who will be groomed for the 2012 London Olympics.

Other Running News:

When in Rome: Run the Marathon
For tourists coming to discover Rome, one of the best places to visit in Europe, the must visit list generally includes the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, the Vatican and the Pantheon, but chances are most tourists don’t consider visiting the Eternal City to take part in the Maratona di Roma , the Rome Marathon, held each March. This year’s 16th edition will be held on Sunday, March 21. Marathon is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the victory of Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila in the Rome Olympics Marathon of 1960

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News of Note: 15 February - 22 February

LetsRun.com: The Week That Was In Running: February 15 - February 21, 2010 - Includes a look at the Kenyan and Ethiopian XC trials.

World leads set, national records tumble on action-packed programme in Birmingham (20 February 2010) - Despite an absent Kenenisa Bekele, who pulled out of the men's 3000 due to a calf problem, there were some excellent Ethiopian showings. Tirunesh Dibaba came within 6 seconds of Meseret Defar's two-mile word record of 9:06.26, clocking the fastest time ever seen in the UK. Gelete Burka won the women’s mile in 4:23.53, while Kakedan Gezahegn came in second in a record-breaking 4:24.10. Deresse Mekonnen ran a 3:33.10 1500m, breaking the UK all-comers' record. Also see Dibaba’s two-mile win climaxes Aviva Grand Prix

Stunning 1:07:07 Half Marathon debut by Abeylegesse Ras Al Khaimah (19 February 2010) - Ethiopian born Turk Elvan Abeylegesse ran the fastest debut half marathon ever, finishing in front of Mare Dibaba and Aselefech Mergia. Eight women finished in under 1:09. Ethiopian Deriba Merga stepped off course in the men's race, with Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya taking the win.

Melkamu and unheralded A. Bekele take Ethiopian World XC trials titles (21 February 2010) - It was a surprise victory for Azmeraw Bekele at the senior men's race at the Ethiopian World XC trials. Favorite Meselech Melkamu took the woman's race and her fourth national title in the event.

Monday, February 15, 2010

News of Note: 8 February - 15 February

Interesting happenings in the world of Ethiopian running:

Mo Farah set to face Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele (10 February 2010) - Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will race again European 3000m indoor champion and British record holder Mo Farah in Birmingham on 20 February.

Another blazing 5000m run by Defar - Stockholm report (11 February 2010) - Meseret Defar comes within .42 seconds of breaking her own World record in the 5000m. At 14:24.79, she still clocked the second best time ever.
Bekele earns Laureus nomination (11 February 2010) - Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia has been nominated for the 2010 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, which recognizes sporting achievement during 2009.

Merga and Kosgei to defend Boston titles, will face four other former winners (11 February 2010) - Ethiopian Deriba Merga and Kenyan Salina Kosgei will defend their Boston Marathon titles on 19 April. Past champion Dire Tune will also run.

Burka targeting indoor Mile record in Birmingham (15 February 2010) - Gelete Burka, one of only 4 women ever who have run a sub-four minute indoor 1500m, hopes to break the one mile World record at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham.

Koech clocks World best in 2000m Steeplechase, G. Dibaba impresses in Gent (15 February 2010) - Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba won the 1500m in a lifetime best of 4:04:80, in the lead the entire race. Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech set a World Best with an impressive 2000m Steeplechase. See also Dibaba takes Gent 1500m on debut

Tune returns to lead deep field in Ras Al Khaimah (15 February 2010) - Dire Tune, defending champion, will be part of an impressive line-up at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Competing against 12 other sub-1:10 half marathoners, she planning on running at World record pace. Her competition includes fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia, who took second in 2009.

Monday, February 08, 2010

News of Note: 1 February - 8 February

Interesting happenings in the world of Ethiopian running:

Burka, Mesfin, and Gobena grab Ethiopian victories (2 February 2010) - A look back at the previous weekend's Ethiopian victories.
Fast 5000s in Boston - Dibaba dominates, Lagat breaks US record (7 February 2010) - Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's 5000-meter race in a world-leading time, but failed to set a third World record. Kalkidan Gezhagne beat Genzebe Dibaba in the women's 3000m. In the men's race, American Bernard Lagat passed fellow American Galen Rupp and Ethiopians Dejen Gebremeskel and Bekana Daba with 1.5 laps to go, breaking Rupp's American record in the men's 5000-meter run. Dejen came in second and Bekana third.
Jones-Ferrette shocks with 6.97 dash in Stuttgart (7 February 2010) - Meseret Defar won the women's 3000m in the third-fastest time ever, less than a second off the World record she set three seasons earlier. Deresse Mekonnen won with men's 1500m with a personal best, and Gelete Burka took the women's race with another world-leading time. Laverne Jones-Ferrette from the US Virgin Islands clocked the first sub-7.00 in a decade during the women's 60m. Also see No record for Defar, but triple Ethiopian triumph in Stuttgart

Other interesting running news:
Kipkorir prevails at Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon (7 February 2010) - Kenyans Jonathan Kipkorir and Daniel Njenga take 1-2 at the 59th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.


Monday, February 01, 2010

News of Note: 25 January - 31 January

Ethiopian sweep at Marrakech Marathon (1 February 2010) - Yared Daganw Sharew clocked a career best, beating fellow Ethiopian Gebressellassie Tsegay Reda in the men's race of the Marakech Marathon. Ethiopian Gelaw Tsega was victorious in the women's race, beating Kenyan Georgina Rono and Ethiopian Gebre Zebenaye Moges.

With late race charge Gobena triumphs in Osaka (31 January 2010) - Ethiopian Amane Gobena became the first Ethiopian to win the Osaka Ladies Marathon, with a personal best of 2:25:14.

Mesfin comes of age with 21st birthday victory at Cinque Mulini (31 January 2010) - Humegaw Mesfin of Ethiopia won the 78th Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, Italy. Humegaw recently made headlines when he beat Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam on 10 January in Amorebieta, Spain.

Defar and Dibaba To Take Separate Cracks At 5000m Indoor World Record (28 January 2010) - Meseret Defar, Ethiopia's most decorated indoor runner, has two world record attempts lined up--the world indoor 3000m on 6 February and the 5000m on 10 February. Tirunesh Dibaba will make a world record attempt at the 5000m on 6 February.


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Monday, January 25, 2010

News of Note: 18 January - 25 January

Gelana shocks with 2:07:37 victory as course records tumble in Houston (18 January 2010) - An Ethiopian sweep of the Chevron Houston Marathon was celebrated on 17 January, with Teshome Gelana taking the men's race and defending champ Teyba Erkesso the women's race, both setting new course records.

Gebrselassie fights off back pain and late race challenge to collect third Dubai victory (21 January 2010) - Haile won the Dubai Marathon for the third straight year, but did not achieve his World record attempt. Ethiopian Mametu Daska was the surprise winner of the women's race, over favorites Bezunesh Bekele (4th) and Askale Magarsa (6th). Check out the race in pictures, and read about how Wanjiru wants to grab crown from ‘King Haile’
Jelila continues winning streak, unknown Jida takes shock men’s title - Sululta Cross Country (24 January 2010) - The 3rd Sululta Cross Country meeting took place in Sululta, the fourth part of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation's domestic cross country series. Koreni Jelila, winner of the 2009 Great Ethiopian Run 10K, too the women's senior titile, while unknown Gishu Jida won the men's senior race over favorite Abera Chane.

Komon and Goshu the convincing victors at Elgoibar Cross Country (25 January 2010) - Ethiopian Ferhiwot Goshu won the women's race over Kenyan Ann Karindi Mwangi, while Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya was the winner in the men's race.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

News of Note 11 January - 18 January

The latest happenings in the world of Ethiopian running:

Ebuya, the modest prince who dethroned King Kenny (11 January 2010) - A look at Joseph Ebuya of Kenya, who beat Kenenisa Bekele by a a shocking 36 seconds in Edinburgh.

Ethiopians set course records at Houston Marathon (17 January 2010) - Ethiopian Teyba Erkesso defended her title and broke the women's course record, while fellow Ethiopian Teshome Gelana surprised by setting a record time in the men's race. Also check out Gelana shocks with 2:07:37 victory as course records tumble in Houston

Ethiopian sweep at the Cross della Vallagarina (17 January 2010) - Ethiopia took the win in both the men's and women's races, with Abere Chane and Asmeraworch Bekele victorious.

Komon takes down Gebremariam, business as usual for Masai in Seville (17 January 2010) - Kenya’s Leonard Komon and Linet Masai won the men's and women's races at the 28th ‘Cross Internacional de Itálica', with Ethiopia’s reigning world champion Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam finishing sixth.

Ndiso and Urgesa take Mumbai titles (17 January 2010) - Newcomers Ethiopian Bizunesh Urgesa and Kenyan Denis Ndiso beat the defending champions and top contenders at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Bizunesh led an Ethiopian sweep, with defending champion Haile Kebebush taking second and Ethiopian women taking the top 10.

Kastor, Bairu, And Naser Set Course Records At P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona (17 January 2010) - Ethiopia’s Terfe Yea won his second P.F. Chang’s title, while fellow Ethiopian Taaybe Naser set a course record in the women's race with a time of 2:30:39.

Going the distance: Bekele and Dibaba out to maintain domination (18 January 2010) - Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba spoke to Nicola Bamford of Sky Sports about their goals during 2010.

Monday, January 11, 2010

News of Note 4 January - 10 January

Exciting week in the world of Ethiopian running:

Gebrselassie expected to tower over his opponents in Dubai; competitive women’s field (5 January 2010) - A look ahead at the 22 January Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

Cherkos and Kalovics take the honours at the 53rd Campaccio XC (6 January 2010) - Reigning World Junior 5000m champion Abraham Cherkos Feleke from Ethiopia won the Campaccio International Cross Country race in Italy. Previous Ethiopian winners include Haile Gebrselassie (1994), Fita Bayesa (1995), and Kenenisa Bekele (2002).

Fast wins for Keitany and Regassa in Abu Dhabi Half (8 January 2010) - Kenyan's Mary Keitany and Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia clocked fast victories at the Zayed International Half Marathon in Abu Dhabi. Tilahun set a new career best at 59:19. Also see Zayed Half Marathon Results, Recap, Controversy

Ebuya despatches Bekele, 4th, with ease; Business as usual for Dibaba in Edinburgh (9 January 2010) - In a surprise upset, Kenyans Joseph Ebuya and Titus Mbishei beat eleven-time World Cross Country champion Kenenisa Bekele at the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country. Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's race.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Mesfin out-sprints World champion Gebremariam in Amorebieta (10 January 2010) - Humegaw Mesfin defeated fellow Ethiopian and reigning World Cross Country champion Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam in a shocking finish at the 56th Cross Internacional Zornotza.

Monday, January 04, 2010

News of Note: 28 December - 3 January

Breaking record is on Gebrselassie’s mind (29 December 2009) - Haile Gebrselassie reveals the training schedule he has in place to prepare for a bid to beat his own marathon world record in Dubai.

Supremacy battle between Kenya, Ethiopia in running continues (31 December 2009) - A look at 2009's mid, long distance, and road race results for Ethiopian and Kenya.

Gebrselassie leads Ethiopian victories in New Year races (1 January 2009) - Haile Gebrselassie wins in Trier; Emebet Anteneh finished second in the women's race. Sule Utura wins the women's race in Bolzano, with Imane Merga taking second in the men's race. Abera Chane and Asmerawork Bekele won the men's and women's races in the Austrian San Silvestre.

Ethiopian runner wins Luanda's yearend marathon (1 January 2010) - Ali Mohamed wins Angola's 10 kilometre yearend race.

Ethiopia’s African meet misses CAA label (1 January 2010) - For the fifth year, the Pan African category B athletics meeting in Addis Ababa has missed the Confederation of African Athletics three-tier competition standard.

Lilesa and Bayisa lead Ethiopian sweep in Xiamen (2 January 2010) - Feyisa Lilesa is victorious in the men's race, followed by Negari Getachew Terfa; Ethiopian Atsede Bayisa becomes the first foreign runner to win the women's race.
Bekele back in the mood for Edinburgh International Cross Country race (3 January 2010) - Interview with Kenenisa Bekele, in which he discusses training with his younger brother Tariku as he aims for his fourth victory in Edinburgh.

Thursday's Abu Dhabi Half is Loaded - A look at the competition in the 2010 Zayed Half Marathon, to take place on Thursday, 7 January.


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