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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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  • Ethiopia lobbies to relocate CAF headquarters

    The Ethiopian Football Federation will lobby for the relocation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

    Federation spokesman Wondemkun Alayu told the African News Agency that the country was in a great position and, as the seat of the African Union (AU) and other international organisations, Addis Ababa was also the right city for the CAF HQ.

    “We will do whatever it takes to bring CAF to our capital,” he said. The $3-million (R41.88-million) support from FIFA  would be used to prepare requirements.

    It is believed that the CAF congress in Addis Ababa in March will present an opportunity for the idea to be lobbied at the highest level.

    However, experts say that given the tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River, this move could create further problems.

    Local media quoted a football federation source as saying Ethiopia was seeking support from many CAF members who believed Cairo was “far from them, and it’s difficult to get direct flights to the north African country”.

    The spokesman echoed this view: “What we know is that as a founding member country we are more fit to host CAF and we are ready.”

    Established in 1957, CAF currently has 56 members. The confederation was actually set in motion outside Africa – in Lisbon, Portugal in June 1956 – according to the CAF website.

    Source: Africa News Agency

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  • AIMS presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Haile Gebrselassie

    Haile Gebrselassie

    At the Best Marathon Runner Awards to be held in the birth place of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on 11 November 2016 AIMS will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Haile Gebrselassie.

    Haile’s unparalleled career of success across many disciplines of distance running will be recognised on behalf of AIMS’ 410 members from 110 countries and territories, including the BMW Berlin Marathon — a race Haile famously won on four consecutive occasions between 2006 and 2009, setting new World Records in 2007 and 2008.

    He has been widely referred to as the greatest distance runner in history. AIMS has previously presented Haile with the AIMS World Athlete of the Year Award for three consecutive years; 2006, 2007 and 2008.

    Born in Asella Ethiopia in 1973, Haile first gained international attention when he won the 5000m and 10,000m races at the World Junior Championships in Seoul, South Korea in 1992. He won two Olympic gold medals (both in the 10,000m) and won many marathons around the world. He also has an impressive collection of gold medals from indoor and outdoor World Championships in Athletics. Throughout his career he has set World Records at a variety of distances from two miles to the marathon.

    AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We are honoured to be able to recognise the achievements of Haile Gebrselassie and his unrivalled contribution to the Marathon Movement and world sport. Haile’s success has been an inspiration to so many throughout Africa and around the world and his dedication is an example we can all follow.”

    Haile Gebrselassie comments: “I am very happy that AIMS and their members and sponsors have chosen to honour me in this way. I am looking forward to attending the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Dinner to spend a wonderful night with my friends in the marathon community in the home of the Marathon, Athens, Greece.”

    Summary of Haile Gebrselassie Career Achievements
    Marathon Performances
    2005 Amsterdam Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2006 Berlin Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2006 Fukuoka Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2007 Berlin Marathon 1st (Gold Medal) 2:04:26 – World Record
    2008 Dubai Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2008 Berlin Marathon 1st (Gold Medal) 2:03:59 – World Record
    2009 Dubai Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2009 Berlin Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2010 Dubai Marathon 1st (Gold Medal)  
    Olympic Games
    1996 Atlanta 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2000 Sydney 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    World Athletics Championships
    1993 Stuttgart 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    1995 Gothenburg 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    1997 Athens 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    1999 Seville 10,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    World Indoor Athletics Championships
    1997 Paris 3,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    1999 Maebashi 3,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    1999 Maebashi 1,5000m 1st (Gold Medal)  
    2003 Maebashi 3,000m 1st (Gold Medal)  

    Source: AIMS


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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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