Friday, April 16, 2010

Cinderella Team Dedebit FC Faces Mounting Obstacles in Second Round

Addis Ababa – Newly promoted Dedebit FC created the biggest surprise of the season when it finished the first round of the 2009/10 Ethiopian Premier League with 13 wins, 3 ties and only 1 defeat, well ahead of defending champions, St. George FC.

Apart from drawing 0-0 with mighty St. George, Dedebit defeated some of the country’s reputable and experienced sides like Ethiopian Coffee (1-0), Ethiopian Banks SC (1-0), Ethiopian Insurance (2-1), EEPCo (2-0) and Adama City (1-0 away). Furthermore, the team remained undefeated until Week 15 when it lost 1-0 to Mugher Cement in Ambo.

However, Dedebit is facing mounting obstacles in the second round as the team won 2, drew 3 times and lost 3 of its matches (9 pts total), compared to 6 wins and 2 draws (20 pts) during the first round.

The team lost three valuable points at home when it was defeated 2-1 by Awassa City and drew 1-1 with Harar City, compared to a 0-0 tie with Awassa and 3-0 victory over Harar away during the first round.

Dedebit scored 11 goals during the first 8 matches of both rounds but conceded 10 more goals during the second. Such slip up has cost the team dearly as it now trails defending champions St. George by 8pts with the latter having one more game in hand.

Dedebit will face a much improved Ethiopian Coffee this Saturday.

Meanwhile Week 26 of the EPL will continue this week with the following matches:

Saturday, April 17:

Addis Ababa

Banks SC vs EEPCo at 3pm

St. George vs Trans Ethiopia at 5 pm

Sunday, April 18:

Addis Ababa

Insurance vs Metehara Sugar at 3pm

Eth.Coffee vs Dedebit at 5 pm


Adama City vs Dire Dawa City at 3pm


Mugher Cement vs Sebeta City at 3pm


Meta Abo Brewery vs Harar Beer at 3pm


South Police vs Defence at 3pm


Sidama Coffee vs Awassa City at 3pm

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Merga cruises to Dongio 10Km win

Dongio, Switzerland - Ethiopian Imane Merga, fourth in the 10,000m at last year’s World Championships, won the 26th Giro Media Blenio in Dongio, Switzerland, on Monday.

Merga beat Kenyans Moses Mosop, the defending champion, and Richard Matelong, the 3000m Steeplechase world silver medalist, in the final sprint. Merga crossed the finish line in 29:02 holding off Mosop and Matelong by three seconds.

A large pack initially led by local swiss runner Stephane Joly formed the front group at the end of the third lap. The group, which also featured Geoffrey Kusuro and Martin Toroitich from Uganda, Mosop, Matelong, Chengere Tolossa from Ethiopia, Simon Tesfay from Eritrea and Vasiliy Matvichuk from Ukraine, went through the third lap in 11:42. The pace got considerably faster during the fourth lap when Toroitich, Kusuro, Matelong, Merga, Matvichuk and Mosop injected a 3:38 split reaching the halfway mark in 15:20.

A trio formed by Mosop, Matelong and Merga increased the pace over the fifth lap and broke away from the rest of the field. Matelong and Mosop ran in the front closely followed by Merga who decided to run closely in third place until the last lap.

At the bell Matelong took a slight lead over Mosop clocking 22:10 after a split run in 3:27, but Merga was well in control in third place, although he never took the front for most of the race. The Ethiopian, who won the 5000m at the World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki in 2009, launched his attack during the last lap and edged Mosop and Matelong by three seconds. Merga added his name to the prestigious list of past winners of the Media Blenio following in the footsteps of his legendary compatriot Haile Gebrselassie who won in 1995.

“I enjoyed this race. It was my final test before the Ethiopian Championships where I will run the 5000 metres”, said Merga.

Mosop, who was looking for a second consecutive win, had to settle with second place in a close finish over Matelong. “The conditions were very bad because it was too windy but I love running here in Dongio,” said Mosop, whose will race next in the Berlin 25Km on 9 May. “Maybe I will make my debut over the marathon distance next year,” he added.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Leading results –
1. Imane Merga Jida (Ethiopia) 29:02
2. Moses Mosop (Kenya) 29:05
3. Richard Matelong (Kenya) 29:05
4. Geoffrey Kusuro (Uganda) 29:28
5. Martin Toroitich (Uganda) 29:33
6. Vasiliy Matvichuk (Ukraine) 30:00
7. Simon Tesfay (Eritrea) 30:13
8. Chengere Tolossa (Ethiopia) 30:19
9. Slimani Kaddour (Italy) 30:28
10. Migidio Bourifa (Italy) 30:44