Sunday, March 14, 2010

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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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This season has been great. We have seen the "rebirth of Sentayehu" and the almost sure dominant future of "Kalkidan Gezahegn".