Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seyfedin Aman Wins Addis Ababa Summer Cycling Championship

By Tilaye Wube (PhD) -

Addis Ababa (September 16, 2009) - Seyfedin Aman of Mebrat Hayl (EEPCO) was declared the overall winner of the Addis Ababa Summer Cycling Championship despite finishing 2nd in the fifth and final stage of the tournament here on Sunday. Ashenafi Tekeste of Ehil Nigd (Grain Trade) was the surprise winner.

The final stage was entertaining as riders constantly fought to break away from the group. The fast tempo set by Ashenafi was just too much for most riders including Abubeker, who finished 2nd in the overall standing, and they were forced to drop back or quit. Only three riders, Seyfedin, Elias and Taye Hailu were able to sustain the grueling speed and keep up with him.

With few rounds left, Taye was forced to drop back, leaving the remaining three riders to engage in fierce sprint battle. Seyfedin and Elias, who are considered better sprinters than Ashenafi, were shocked by the latter, who scored his first victory in the tournament.

The championship was sponsored by Garad PLC, which included prize money for riders finishing up to six places in the overall standing and also itemized prizes such as watches and duffel bags to stage winners in the final event. The Overall winner also received a cup trophy.

Overall standings:

Seyfedin Aman (Mebrat Hayl)
Abubeker Sefa (Individual)
Anteneh Wakenie (Mebrat Hayl)
Surafel G/Hiwot (Mebrat Hayl)
Ashenafi Tekeste (Ehel Negid)
Tarekegn Wolde (Garad)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zambia invited to Cecafa Cup

Zambia have been invited to take part in this year's Cecafa Cup which kicks off in Kenya on 28 November.

Kenya will host the tournament for the first time in 17 years.

The official mascot was unveiled in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Cecafa general secretary Nicholas Musonye said two other southern African nations had asked to participate.

But Zimbabwe and Malawi were told that there was only room for one team from their region.

The Zambians have been the guests of this competition since 2007 when they walked away with the spoils in Ethiopia.

Joining them and hosts Kenya in this year's event are Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Zanzibar.

Two groups will be based in Nairobi while the third will be at the Mumias Complex, on the Kenya-Uganda boarder.

A total of 26 matches will be played over the tournament's two weeks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kenenisa Bekele plans to invest his IAAF jackpot in Ethiopia

According to Addis Fortune magazine, Kenenisa Bekele has specific plans on how he will spend his share of the jackpot earned in the IAAF Golden League events. Bekele won all six of his events in the Golden League series, which earned him a $333,333 check. The jackpot is $1 million, but the total was divided among three athletes who won their events -- Bekele, sprinter Sanya Richards and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.

Elshadai Negash at Addis Fortune has a lengthy look at Bekele's earnings over the year, and how one of the greatest distance runners of all time earns significantly less than other superstar athletes. According to Negash, Bekele will earn approximately $1.141 million dollars in 2009, including the IAAF jackpot and other appearance fees and prizes.

Bekele told Addis Fortune that he plans to invest the money in several projects he is working on, saying: “I am building a hotel and a modern athletics centre. These two projects need a total investment of about 15 million dollars. These prizes will go towards that.” Bekele also acknowledges that world-class runners still earn significantly less than athletes in other sports.

Kenenisa Bekele has certainly had an amazing season, and he tells the Team Ethiopia website that he has some special people to thank for his victories. Number one on his list? His wife, Danawit Gebregziabher. He tells the site, "She gives me psychological and morale support. Sometimes you need to be told that you are the best in the world and that no one will beat you." He also credits his manager, brother, father-in-law and physio with helping him finish out an incredible season.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ethiopia Wins International Team Challenge at Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Kenya’s William Chebor Takes Men’s Title; Ethiopians Sweep 1-2-3 in Women’s Race

Click here for race photos!

Virginia Beach, VA - September 6, 2009 - 19-year-old half marathon junior world record holder Abebu Gelan led a sweep of the women’s professional race, leading Ethiopia to victory in the first International Team Challenge at the ninth annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Country women Tiki Gelan and Meseret Mengistu finished second and third. The Ethiopian women were ably supported by second an d third place finishes by their teammates Feyisa Lilesa and Zenbaba Yigeze in the men’s professional race behind race winner William Chebor of Kenya.

Kenya’s William Chebor Takes Men’s Title
The Ethiopian total of eight points, in the low-score format, was easily better than the 21 points compiled by the Japanese squad in second place. Kenya with 24 points finished in third place, but their chances all but disappeared when defending women’s champion Edith Masai was hit by a hamstring pull in the first mile, forcing her to jog, rather than race the 13.1-mile distance.

“The youth of Ethiopia prevailed today,” said FSN TV commentator Toni Reavis. “When Masai went out early, the Kenyans had no one to step into the breach. But notwithstanding, the Ethiopian performance should not be discounted. They ran beautifully as a team, and were worthy champions.”

The professional women started 15 minutes ahead of the men and the 20,000 regular runners in front of the Virginia Beach Convention Center on 19th Street. Even under near ideal conditions, the women began conservatively with a 6:00 first mile. They formed up into a nine-woman lead pack after a 5:42 second mile, with all three Ethiopians joined by the four-woman Japanese team, 2006 & 2007 champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and Europe’s top woman Daniela Cirlan of Romania.

Abebu Gelan led a sweep of the women’s professional race.
The professional men began their journey as aggressively as if catching the lead women were their task. Led by Ethiopian’s Zenbaba Yigeze and Feyisa Lilesa, they hit 4:41 for mile one, then strung together five consecutive mid-4:30 miles, putting the 2005 course record of 1:00:42 in jeopardy. At mile four the race turned into a two man dual, with Lilesa, the 19-year-old from Ethiopia joined by Chebor, who earlier this year won the Azkoitia Half Marathon in Spain. Each tried unsuccessfully to drop the other in a series of punishing surges as the route turned to the backside of the course from miles five through nine.

“This was as no holds barred of a competition as we’ve seen in a long time,” said FSN color man Todd Williams, himself a two-time Olympian. “The surges were all out blasts. It was hard to believe they were racing a half marathon.”

Up ahead the lead women remained together in a pack of six, having passed 10k in 35:35, with the three young Ethiopians and Japanese still holding their fire. It would remain so until the final sprint up the famed oceanfront boardwalk when Abebu Gelan edged away for the win in 1:13:43, followed by Tiki Gelana and Meserte Mengistu. The Japanese duo of Hiroko Miyauchi and Yumi Hirata finished closely behind in fourth and fifth.

The men’s competition finally broke as the course looped back along General Booth Boulevard just past nine miles. For maybe the tenth time in the race Chebor surged ahead, and this time Lilesa could not cover the move.

“The course was very nice, I like the Rock ‘n’ Roll,” said Chebor, who finished seventh in the 2004 race. “All the other runners on the course were cheering and it made me go.”

With victory assured, Chebor managed his lead to the finish line, with a time of 1:01:29 Lilesa followed in 1:02:15, with Yigeze in third in 1:03:24. Chebor trains with 2002 Virginia Beach Champion and former marathon world record holder Paul Tergat. Chebor also was coming off his debut marathon in Australia this July, a 2:11 victory at the Gold Coast Marathon.

Cele Rodriguez was the top American male, finishing in tenth at 1:05:17. Veena Reddy, from Virgina was the top American female, also finishing tenth with a time of 1:20:11. Europe and the U.S. tied for fourth in the team competition with 42 points.

In its first year, the team challenge matched five countries competing cross-country style for a $10,000 first place prize. Points were awarded on the basis of finishing place, the Ethiopian team, with the lowest score of 8 total points, was declared the winner.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon will celebrate its tenth anniversary in Virginia Beach on September 5, 2010. For more information please visit,

Top-5 Results

Individual Men

1. William Chebor, 26, Kenya, 1:01:29

2. Feyisa Lilesa, 19, Ethiopia, 1:02:15

3. Zembaba Yigezu, 26, Ethiopia, 1:03:24

4. Samuel Ndereba, 32, Kenya, 1:03:50

5. Noritaka Fijiyama, 25, Japan, 1:03:50

Individual Women

1. Abebu Gelan, 19, Ethiopia, 1:13:43

2. Tiki Gelana, 29, Ethiopia, 1:13:45

3. Meseret Mengistu, 19, Ethiopia, 1:13:46

4. Hiroko Miyauchi, 26, Japan, 1:13:52

5. Yumi Hirata, 28, Japan, 1:13:56

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Burka attempts to forget Berlin with assault on 2000m mark in Brussels - ÅF Golden League

Brussels, Belgium - Ethiopian Gelete Burka had been in superb form this year setting a personal best of 3:58.79 for the 1500m in Hengelo, but then when leading the final in Berlin disaster struck.

The women’s World Championships 1500m final in Berlin was to say the least dramatic and sparked furious debate especially across Spain and Ethiopia, the two countries whose athletes were involved in a last lap collision which sent Burka crashing to the floor and Natalia Rodriguez side stepping off the track to avoid her opponent’s falling torso.

The rest as they say is history, and that’s also what Burka hopes to create when she returns to the track for the first time since her fall in Brussels at the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme - ÅF Golden League this Friday (4).

The 23-year-old has the World 2000m record of Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan in her sights. A statistical target which Burka hopes will act as her perfect ‘pick-me up’ after Berlin.

5:25.36 is O’Sullivan’s time (1994) which Burka is targeting. The Ethiopian who is the reigning World Indoor 1500m champion and a former winner of the now defunct short course title at the World Cross Country Championships, has a PB over 2000m of 5:37.80, set on the way to her career best 3000m time of 8:25.92 in Stockholm on 25 July 2006.

Pushing Burka all the way and perhaps with the record even more realistically in her sights will be World 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot. The 25-year-old Kenyan has a personal best at 2000m of 5:31.52 which she set this year when winning in Eugene on 7 June.

And don’t discount one or two of the others from the World Championships 1500m final to make their presence felt too especially USA’s Christin Wurth-Thomas, who was fifth in Berlin and last Friday in Zürich.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Adere leads Ethiopian trio to Great North Run

Newcastle, UK - Former champion Berhane Adere is one of the early contenders for what will be a star-studded field women's in the BUPA Great North Run on 20 September.

The BUPA Great North Run is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Adere, the 2006 race winner who is a former World champion on the roads and track, is currently in terrific form and will start favourite to chase another success in the world's biggest half marathon race.

Adere will be joined by fellow Ethiopian's Ejegayehu Dibaba and Worknesh Kidane, who both have the credentials to challenge for victory over the 13.1 mile distance.

Dibaba is a former Olympic 10,000 metres silver medallist whilst Kidane, a former World Cross Country champion, finished third in the Great North Run four years ago.

The Great North Run achieved a new entry level for 2009 of 54,000. The course starts on the Central Motorway in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishes 13.1 miles later by the coast of South Shields.