Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Olympic committee to raise 23 million Birr

The Ethiopian Olympic Committee plans to raise 23 million Birr to get ready for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Athletics federation selected 250 athletes to be screened out before the event kicks-off. The executive body of the committee has publicly said it needs 30 million birr for the Olympic campaign. Ever since Abebe Bikila’s Marathon gold in Rome running has been Ethiopia’s signature sport but this time the plan is to take part in four events; including cycling and boxing and, for the very first time, swimming. Three national committees have been named to organize fund raising, marketing and promotion. In the mean time the Ethiopian athletics federation came out with its list of the 250 athletes who have been selected for the national squad. Twenty five national coaches were also named from nine disciplines. There will be three trial events in seven months leading up to August 2012 in London. ”It is not this selection but the final call that is the most important aspect,” living legend, Haile Gebreselassie told reporters after the big convention. The athletics federation is working early to buildup its squad after a poor showing in the World Athletics Championship.