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  • Ethiopia's Olympic protester hopes to compete for his country

    Ethiopian Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa still hopes to compete for his country - despite being exiled since last summer's Games.

    Lilesa has been living in the US on a temporary visa after making an anti-government gesture when he finished in second place in Rio.

    He believes his life would be in danger if he returned to his homeland.

    "I've always wanted to run for my country and for my people," the 26-year-old told BBC World Service.

    "I would like to see myself in a country where the current government is removed and the people get freedom, so I can run for my country - not for a different country."

    Read more at BBC

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  • Almaz Ayana crowned Female World Athlete of the Year 2016

    Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana have been named the male and female World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016, held at Sporting Monte Carlo on Friday (2).

    Ayana had a record-breaking year. After recording the fastest 10,000m debut in history in June, the Ethiopian went on to win the Olympic title at the distance in a world record of 29:17.45.

    She added to her Olympic medal haul in Rio by taking bronze in the 5000m, her only loss of the year. Having recorded three of the eight fastest times at 5000m, she ended the year as the Diamond Race winner for that discipline.

    She becomes the third Ethiopian woman to win this award, following Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 and Meseret Defar in 2007.

    "I don't have words to explain my feelings right now, I'm so excited," said Ayana whose award was presented by International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. "Really, I'm so pleased."

    Source: IAAF

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  • Ethiopian champions speak to the press ahead of the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016

    Several reigning world and Olympic champions met with the media in Monaco today on the eve of the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016. Here is a sampling of what some of them had to say.

    Haile Gebrselassie, Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana speak to the press ahead of the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016 (Philippe Fitte / IAAF)

    Olympic 10,000m champion and world record holder Almaz Ayana

    On her first experiences and progression in athletics:

    When I started running I began on the flat, not in the steeplechase, with the 5000. But when I came to Addis I was pressured to try the steeplechase. And I didn’t like running the steeplechase at all. I was not very good for many years. 

    Then I switched to the events I like the most like the three (thousand) and five (thousand). I changed to what I wanted to run.

    On her plans for 2017:

    This year I broke the (10,000m) record, and next year I want to improve my performance in all events. And hopefully to run again for my country.

    Her favorite event:

    The 3000 is too short for me. In the 5000 I want to try and break the world record. For me now the 10,000 is my favourite event (laughs).

    World 1500m champion and world record holder Genzebe Dibaba

    On her pre-Olympic preparations this year:

    I was determined, I was training well, indoor and outdoor. But a few months before Rio I became injured. Just to compete was not easy for me. So I’m very happy with the silver medal in the 1500 metres. Just to be able to race was great for me.

    On running indoors:

    What’s special for me about indoors is that we run the indoor season after we take a rest, so I’m fresh. I’m also good on the turns - I’m very fast on the curve, so that really helps me indoors.

    On her plans for 2017: 

    It’s going to be a year that I just want to improve my performances and just do something good again. The 1500 is still my distance. But if I can I’ll try to double (at the 2017 world championships). But that decision will come later.

    Distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)

    On the relationship and rivalry between Ethiopia and Kenya:

    One thing we can’t forget, and what I always say to Kenyans, ‘Without Ethiopians, there would be no Kenyans. And without Kenyans, there would be no Ethiopians.’ We need each other. We improve because of each other. We have a great relationship off the track, outside sports.

    Source: IAAF

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  • IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2016 finalists announced

    With less than a month to go until the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016, the IAAF can reveal the names of the finalists for the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards.

    The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

    Usain Bolt (JAM)
    Mo Farah (GBR)
    Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

    Almaz Ayana (ETH)
    Elaine Thompson (JAM)
    Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

    The finalists were determined by a three-way voting process. The IAAF Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, the IAAF Family’s* vote counted for 25% and a public vote, conducted via social media, counted for 25% of the final result.

    The World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016.


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  • Ethiopian long-distance legend named President of Athletics federation

    Ethiopia's world famous athlete Haile Gebresellasie has won the Presidency of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation after garnering 9 out of 15 votes in Saturday's elections. Gebrselassie attributed a lack of results at the Olympics and the backwards system of work at the Federation as what motivated him to run for presidency. Earlier on in the day, CCTV's Girum Chala sat down with Gebresellasie as he revealed his plan of action.

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