Gov’t awards money prize for Berlin winning athletes

Kenenisa adorned with gold medal attached with national flag. The Ministry of Youth and Sports have given money prize for winning athletes participating in the 12th edition of IAAF World Championships in Athletics at a reception held in the Grand National Palace on 28th September 2009.

Accordingly 40,000 birr has been awarded for gold winner, 30,000 birr for silver winners and 20,000 birr for bronze medalists, respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Youth and Sports, Aster Mamo said the result achieved by the national squad during the Berlin World Athletics Championships was "outstanding" in the face of fierce competition from other competing nations.

She called on the general public to actively participate in athletics sport so as to broaden the opportunity for the succeeding athletes.

President Girma Woldegiorgis urged the stakeholders in athletics sport such as the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ethiopian Olympic Committee, among others to coordinate their effort to improve the status and performance of athletics in domestic and international competitions.

The president reiterates the government commitment to support the growth of athletics sport in the country.

Meanwhile, Kenenisa Bekele has been honored in front of the president of the country and senior government officials for his courage and stamina for winning two gold medals to his country in the men 5000 and 10,000 meters competitions during the Berlin World Athletics Championships. Kenenisa was adorned with gold medal attached with the flag of the country.

Coaches and delegation members have also received certificate and money prize ranging from 10,000 to 2,000 birr for their valuable contribution in the hands of the President Girma.

Ethiopia finish seventh with two gold, two silver and four bronze medals out of 201 countries during the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics held in Berlin from 15-23, August 2009. (EFF)

“I want to further improve my world record and win the gold at the London Olympics in 2012” Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie took the real- Berlin Marathon in 2:06:08, missing his own world record of 2:03:59 after slowing considerably during the final seven kilometers Sunday.
But the great Ethiopian still broke a world record in the German capital. He had passed the 30km mark in 1:27:49. This time is still unofficial since official hand timing results were not available immediately after the race. Berlin race director Mark Milde had foreseen the possibility of a 30km record and had placed official timekeepers at that mark.

While Haile Gebrselassie became the first runner to win the Berlin Marathon for a fourth time (Uta Pippig, Renata Kokowska and Ingo Sensburg have three wins) Atsede Besuye made it an Ethiopian double triumph in Berlin. She took the women's race in a personal best of 2:24:47. Silvia Skvortsova (Russia) finished second with 2:26:24, while Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia) took third in her debut in 2.26:38.

The much anticipated duel between Duncan Kibet (Kenya), who remained the world leader this year with his 2:04:27 from Rotterdam, and Haile Gebrselassie had come to an early end, when the Kenyan dropped out after 30k. He had lost contact with the World record holder earlier in the race.

A record number of 40,923 runners from 122 nations had entered the 36th edition of the Berlin Marathon. Around one million spectators lined the streets. Weather conditions were very good for much of the race, though it got warm during the final stages with temperatures above 20° Celsius in the sun.

A group of seven pacemakers guided the two favorites Haile Gebrselassie and Duncan Kibet to split times that were well in schedule for a world record. The leading group passed 10km in 29:15 and 15 k in 43:58 minutes. This pace as well as the half marathon time of 61:44 minutes was good for an estimated finish of 2:03:30. But before the half way point was reached there was a surprise. From 19 kilometers onwards Duncan Kibet could no longer keep up with the speed of the leading group. He dropped back further and further and finally ended his race at the 32km point. Kibet suffered a hip problem which he developed during the race.

But Kibet’s problems had no influence on the pace of the leading group. Especially Kenyan half marathon runners John Kales and Sammy Kosgei did a great job, constantly clocking kilometre splits of around 2:55, 2:56 minutes.

The 30km point was reached after 1:27:49. While Kales had stopped his peacemaking job at 29km Kosgei carried on to 32km. It was shortly afterwards when Gebrselassie suddenly ran into problems, which had nothing to do with the withdrawal of the pacers. The Ethiopian’s step looked much heavier during the final seven kilometers. Now Gebrselassie needed well over three minutes for a kilometer. The 40th kilometer was probably the slowest he ever ran in a marathon: 3:19 minutes.

But at that time the World record had been out of reach for a while.

“Already after 33 kilometers I knew that I would not be able to break my world record today," confirmed the winner. "It simply got too warm. Suddenly I felt very tired, although I had been very well prepared for this race. But I have learnt today that it is not possible to run a world record in temperatures of 17 degrees Celsius or more. It may have been a bit of a mental problem as well. My head said to my body that it is getting too hard now. It felt as if I would run into unknown territory,” confirmed Gebrselassie, who earned 50,000 Euros for the win plus 30,000 of time bonuses.

Then he turned to Mark Milde and said: “If Mark would allow me to come back next year I will be back!”

Asked if he might give up on attempting attacking his world record in future Gebrselassie answered: “Come on, this is not a serious question. I will not stay home and sleep!” Talking about his future goals before the race Haile Gebrselassie had said: “I want to further improve my world record and win the gold at the London Olympics in 2012.”

Francis Kiprop meanwhile had shown a very strong race in Berlin on Sunday, when he was the fastest runner of the field in the second half. He covered this part in 62:46 minutes and achieved a personal best of 2:07:04. After the 35km mark it looked as if Kiprop might be even in for a major upset. At 25km he had still been 2:28 minutes behind Gebrselassie, but at 35km the Ethiopian’s advantage had been cut to 1:35. But then Kiprop could not quite keep his pace as well and so in the finish 56 seconds separated the two. Though when Gebrselassie learnt at the press conference how well Kiprop had done he congratulated Francis Kiprop and said: “You should have run with me!”

“Running in the chasing group we were a bit too slow in the first part, so I was not able to catch Haile,” said 27-year-old Kiprop. “But nonetheless I am satisfied, because I clocked a personal best.” The Kenyan had travelled to Berlin with a PB of 2:08:30.

As expected the Ethiopian women dominated the race in Berlin. But as in the men’s race there was an unexpected casualty of a favourite: Ethiopia’s Askale Tafa Magarsa, who had clocked a PB of 2:21:31 behind Irina Mikitenko (Germany) in last year’s race in Berlin, and at first had been in the leading group. But at half way she was already more than a minute behind. Shortly afterwards she dropped out. The three Ethiopian leaders – Genet Getaneh, Atsede Habtamu and Mamitu Daska – reached that point in 1:12:29.

After the 30km mark Mamitu Daska dropped back first, then five kilometers later Atsede was all on her own, when she had left Getaneh behind as well. The 21-year-old took the race with a personal best of 2:24:47.

There was plenty of action behind her, where Russia’s Silvia Skvortsova made up a lot of ground and came through to second in 2:26:24. While Mamitu Daska was third (2:26:38) Italy’s Rosaria Console also finished strongly, taking fourth place with 2:26:45. The first four women clocked personal bests.

"I am happy to have reached my goal and achieved a time of sub 2:25. From 30 k onwards I had problems with my left big toe, but despite this I felt strong and confident,” said Atsede Habtamu. (IAAF)

Imane Merga to test Kenyan rivals in Sicily road race

Ethiopia’s Imane Merga, who won the 5000m men’s race in the Greek city Thessalonica, will run in the 20th Memorial Peppe Greco, the famous 10km road race to be held in the Sicilian city of Scicly on Sunday night.

Imane has been one of the rising stars of this season, as he was 4th in the worlds’ 10,000m in the IAAF world championship in Berlin. Race organizers predicted that Imane will be a tough competitor to Kenyan 3000m steeplechase winners.  

Also from Ethiopia comes also Feleke Cherkos, 2008 world junior champion on the 5000m, who in 2006 as a youth ran 3000m in 7:32.37 and 5000m in 12:54.19.

One month ago they finished first-second in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF world championships in Athletics in Berlin. On Saturday night, Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi and Richard Mateelong will try to dominate on the flat road.

Kemboi and Mateelong are two of the protagonists of the “stellar field” that organizer Gianni Voi has built up as usual. Haile Gebrselassie (four times), Paul Tergat and Martin Lel (twice), Kenenisa Bekele, Charles Kamathi are among the former winners of the Peppe Greco.

Nether Kemboi or Mateelong need presentation to athletics’ lovers, as the former was also the 2004 Olympic champion and three times runner-up at the World Champs, while the later has two World bronze medals at Osaka 2007 and Beijing 2008.

Contesting the victory with the steeplechasers wearing bib number 1 will be Edwin Soi, the Olympic 5000m bronze medalist, who last year won the beating the World marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru. Soi didn’t qualify for Berlin, as he closed the Kenyan Trials in 4th place, but in Zurich one month ago he ran a strong 12:55.03.

But the greatest favorite of all is of course, Micah Kogo, the World record holder for the 10km distance. He ran a stunning 27:01 in Brunssum on 3 March, improving by one second the previous time by Haile Gebrselassie. He closed in 7th place in the 10,000m in Berlin, but at the World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki he took second place in the 5000m in a blanket finish ahead of Soi.

Stefano Baldini, the home-hero, the former Olympic marathon champion is also entered. Baldini has run many times in Sicily and the crowd simply adore him. After his Athens Olympic victory he was beaten by Sileshi Sihine in 2004, but one year later he won ahead of Paul Kirui. Last year we closed in 5th place.

“I want to further improve my world record and win the gold at the London Olympics in 2012” – Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie took the real- Berlin Marathon in 2:06:08, missing his own world record of 2:03:59 after slowing considerably during the final seven kilometers Sunday.

But the great Ethiopian still broke a world record in the German capital. He had passed the 30km mark in 1:27:49. This time is still unofficial since official hand timing results were not available immediately after the race. Berlin race director Mark Milde had foreseen the possibility of a 30km record and had placed official timekeepers at that mark.

While Haile Gebrselassie became the first runner to win the Berlin Marathon for a fourth time (Uta Pippig, Renata Kokowska and Ingo Sensburg have three wins) Atsede Besuye made it an Ethiopian double triumph in Berlin. She took the women's race in a personal best of 2:24:47. Silvia Skvortsova (Russia) finished second with 2:26:24, while Mamitu Daska (Ethiopia) took third in her debut in 2.26:38.

The much anticipated duel between Duncan Kibet (Kenya), who remained the world leader this year with his 2:04:27 from Rotterdam, and Haile Gebrselassie had come to an early end, when the Kenyan dropped out after 30k. He had lost contact with the World record holder earlier in the race.

A record number of 40,923 runners from 122 nations had entered the 36th edition of the Berlin Marathon. Around one million spectators lined the streets. Weather conditions were very good for much of the race, though it got warm during the final stages with temperatures above 20° Celsius in the sun.

A group of seven pacemakers guided the two favorites Haile Gebrselassie and Duncan Kibet to split times that were well in schedule for a world record. The leading group passed 10km in 29:15 and 15 k in 43:58 minutes. This pace as well as the half marathon time of 61:44 minutes was good for an estimated finish of 2:03:30. But before the half way point was reached there was a surprise. From 19 kilometers onwards Duncan Kibet could no longer keep up with the speed of the leading group. He dropped back further and further and finally ended his race at the 32km point. Kibet suffered a hip problem which he developed during the race.

But Kibet’s problems had no influence on the pace of the leading group. Especially Kenyan half marathon runners John Kales and Sammy Kosgei did a great job, constantly clocking kilometre splits of around 2:55, 2:56 minutes.

The 30km point was reached after 1:27:49. While Kales had stopped his peacemaking job at 29km Kosgei carried on to 32km. It was shortly afterwards when Gebrselassie suddenly ran into problems, which had nothing to do with the withdrawal of the pacers. The Ethiopian’s step looked much heavier during the final seven kilometers. Now Gebrselassie needed well over three minutes for a kilometer. The 40th kilometer was probably the slowest he ever ran in a marathon: 3:19 minutes.

But at that time the World record had been out of reach for a while.

“Already after 33 kilometers I knew that I would not be able to break my world record today," confirmed the winner. "It simply got too warm. Suddenly I felt very tired, although I had been very well prepared for this race. But I have learnt today that it is not possible to run a world record in temperatures of 17 degrees Celsius or more. It may have been a bit of a mental problem as well. My head said to my body that it is getting too hard now. It felt as if I would run into unknown territory,” confirmed Gebrselassie, who earned 50,000 Euros for the win plus 30,000 of time bonuses.

Then he turned to Mark Milde and said: “If Mark would allow me to come back next year I will be back!”

Asked if he might give up on attempting attacking his world record in future Gebrselassie answered: “Come on, this is not a serious question. I will not stay home and sleep!” Talking about his future goals before the race Haile Gebrselassie had said: “I want to further improve my world record and win the gold at the London Olympics in 2012.”

Francis Kiprop meanwhile had shown a very strong race in Berlin on Sunday, when he was the fastest runner of the field in the second half. He covered this part in 62:46 minutes and achieved a personal best of 2:07:04. After the 35km mark it looked as if Kiprop might be even in for a major upset. At 25km he had still been 2:28 minutes behind Gebrselassie, but at 35km the Ethiopian’s advantage had been cut to 1:35. But then Kiprop could not quite keep his pace as well and so in the finish 56 seconds separated the two. Though when Gebrselassie learnt at the press conference how well Kiprop had done he congratulated Francis Kiprop and said: “You should have run with me!”

“Running in the chasing group we were a bit too slow in the first part, so I was not able to catch Haile,” said 27-year-old Kiprop. “But nonetheless I am satisfied, because I clocked a personal best.” The Kenyan had travelled to Berlin with a PB of 2:08:30.

As expected the Ethiopian women dominated the race in Berlin. But as in the men’s race there was an unexpected casualty of a favourite: Ethiopia’s Askale Tafa Magarsa, who had clocked a PB of 2:21:31 behind Irina Mikitenko (Germany) in last year’s race in Berlin, and at first had been in the leading group. But at half way she was already more than a minute behind. Shortly afterwards she dropped out. The three Ethiopian leaders – Genet Getaneh, Atsede Habtamu and Mamitu Daska – reached that point in 1:12:29.

After the 30km mark Mamitu Daska dropped back first, then five kilometers later Atsede was all on her own, when she had left Getaneh behind as well. The 21-year-old took the race with a personal best of 2:24:47.

There was plenty of action behind her, where Russia’s Silvia Skvortsova made up a lot of ground and came through to second in 2:26:24. While Mamitu Daska was third (2:26:38) Italy’s Rosaria Console also finished strongly, taking fourth place with 2:26:45. The first four women clocked personal bests.

"I am happy to have reached my goal and achieved a time of sub 2:25. From 30 k onwards I had problems with my left big toe, but despite this I felt strong and confident,” said Atsede Habtamu. (IAAF)