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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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  • Ethiopian Deba named rightful winner of 2014 Boston Marathon



    BOSTON (AP) -- Blood, sweat and tears stained the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon, so the next year's running of America's most famous footrace was understandably all about redemption.

    Now the rightful winner of the 2014 women's race - Buzunesh Deba - is finally getting her due.

    Race organizers formally declared the 29-year-old Ethiopian the 2014 champion on Monday, two months after Kenyan rival Rita Jeptoo was stripped of the title and banned from international competition for four years for doping.

    Sweetening the bitterness of her ordeal, Deba also was recognized as the current course record-holder. Her blistering finish of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 59 seconds made it the fastest women's race in Boston's 121-year-old history, besting the previous mark of 2:20:43 set in 2002 by Margaret Okayo of Kenya.

    "I feel great and really happy being named the 2014 Boston Marathon champion, the most prestigious marathon in the world, and I encourage all concerned stakeholders to work on a clean sport," Deba, who lives in New York City with her husband and coach, Worku Beyi, said in a statement.

    It was a long road to victory for Deba.

    Her 2014 clocking in Boston was her fastest ever over the 26.2-mile span, and it catapulted her to the top of the sport.

    But at the time, all the adulation - to say nothing of the first-prize winnings - went to Jeptoo, who was credited with the win in the first edition of the Boston Marathon since two bombs planted at the finish line killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

    The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, says it's still working to recover the $150,000 prize and $25,000 course record bonus.

    In October, the Court of Arbitration for Sport doubled Jeptoo's initial ban to four years. The 35-year-old tested positive for EPO in a September 2014 sample given during training for the Chicago Marathon. She's since been stripped of the 2014 Chicago title as well.

    "Buzunesh Deba's sub-2:20 performance in 2014 was a magnificent achievement," BAA chief executive Tom Grilk said Monday. "To emerge victorious in the fastest women's race ever run in Boston was remarkable. We look forward to awarding her the praise she rightfully deserves in 2017."

    Deba hasn't yet said whether she'll race Boston next year.

    source:

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  • Ethiopia: Marathoner has nothing to fear after Olympic protest - CNN


    (CNN) Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa has nothing to fear because of a protest gesture he displayed as he crossed the finish line, Ethiopia's communication minister said Monday.

    Lilesa won a silver medal Sunday with his arms crossed over his head in a sign of solidarity for Oromo-protest in Ethiopia.

    Lilesa said he wanted to draw attention to the government's ongoing persecution of the Oromos, but he feared that his protest had put himself into such danger that he can't go home.

    Ethiopia's Communications Minister Getachew Reda described Lilesa as "an Ethiopian hero," saying he "shouldn't at all be worried" to return.

    Lilesa said he feared he would be killed or imprisoned. Some of his family members are already in prison, he said, and he said he's worried about the safety of his wife and two children.

    In response, Reda told CNN in it's "a bit of a stretch to assume that your loved ones will be at risk because you have made one gesture or another. I can assure you nothing is going to happen to his family nothing is going to happen to him."

    Before Reda's response, Lilesa said he may stay in Brazil or go to Kenya or the United States, depending on whether he can obtain a visa for those moves.

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  • Rio Olympics 2016: Jemima Sumgong wins women's marathon for Kenya


    Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic marathon, beating Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain.

    Ethiopia's world champion Mare Dibaba took the bronze medal as her compatriot and race favourite Tigist Tufa pulled out before the halfway mark.

    London Marathon winner Sumgong, 31, finished in two hours 24 minutes four seconds to end a run of three straight silvers in the event for Kenya.

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  • World champion Dibaba leads Ethiopia's Olympic marathon selections


    World marathon champion Mare Dibaba is one of six athletes who will represent Ethiopia in the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

    The Ethiopian Athletics Federation has confirmed its selections – along with several reserves – for both the men’s and women’s marathon. 

    The men’s team comprises the winners of three of the world’s biggest marathons so far this year: Dubai Marathon champion Tesfaye Abera, Boston Marathon champion Lemi Berhanu and Tokyo Marathon champion Feyisa Lelisa. 

    Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele, who finished third at this year’s London Marathon, has been named as a reserve, along with world silver medallist Adhane Yemane and 2013 world silver medallist Lelisa Desisa. 

    Dibaba, who equalled her lifetime best of 2:19:52 when winning last year’s Xiamen Marathon, is joined on the women’s team by two-time Berlin Marathon champion Aberu Kebede and three-time Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia. 

    Dubai Marathon champion Tirfi Tsegaye, who clocked a world-leading 2:19:41 earlier this year, and Tigist Tufa, who won the 2015 London Marathon and finished second in this year’s race, are the reserves for the women’s team. 

    ETHIOPIAN MARATHON TEAM FOR RIO 

    Men: Tesfaye Abera, Lemi Berhanu, Feyisa Lelisa
    Reserves: Kenenisa Bekele, Adhane Yemane, Lelisa Desisa 

    Women: Mare Dibaba, Aberu Kebede, Aselefech Mergia
    Reserves: Tigist Tufa, Tirfi Tsegaye

    Source: iaaf.org 

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