Saturday, August 27, 2011

Clean Sweep Plus

First the good news. The only bright spot so far in Daegu is that middle distance and steeplechase runners have all advanced to the next stage. Fantu Magiso has made it to the women's 400M semifinals.

We had suspected that Ethiopian Athletics is in decline. But 1-2-3-4 for Kenya? The truth is that Ethiopia has not been developing talent on the track for a while. 5,000 and 10,000 doubles medals by Tirunesh and Kenenisa had obscured the problem. With Tirunesh out the lack of talent was painfully clear.

Long gone were the days of Gete Wami, Derartu Tulu, Berhane Adere, Workinesh Kidane - all of whom were capable of medaling on any given day. There is only Tirunesh and she is injured. Haile was never the same after this first major injury. Who knows how Tirunesh will perform when she comes back?

It's time to acknowledge something is wrong to fix the problem. It took years to get here and it will take years to recover from it.


roocha said...

Maybe it's time we start looking at foreign coaches. Something fundamental is broken in the Ethiopian system, and it is certainly not talent. If top footballing nations can hire foreign coaches for national team, we should consider it also. Just because we have good runners, it does not mean we have good coaches. I think it's time they are held accountable for the talent that has been placed in their hands but keeps coming up empty handed too many times.

I am convinced that the success the athletes have had is despite the coaches, not because of. Haile and Kenenisa basically are their own coaches. In the 400M today, the Ethiopian runner was frozen in her blocks and gave atleast 1 sec at the start, though she had great finish. In the 3000M hurdles, they ALL have horrible techniques and it's exactly the same one where they spend too much time ON the hurdle and restart every time they hit the ground. All of these point to poor coaching. They don't factor weather, competition, etc when training, racing.

I think we need a MAJOR overhaul at/by the federation. It is shame a more talented nation with a bigger talent pool always trails the much smaller Kenya in the depth chart. This mess has gone on far too long and they need to be called on it!

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