Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Ethiopian athletes’ suspension lifted

After a week of imposition the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) lifted the suspension on 35 world renowned Ethiopian athletes on grounds of failure to report for the 2012 London Olympic national preparation. The shocking suspension list includes Beijing double gold medalists Kenenisa Bekele and Trunesh Dibaba.
The lifting of the suspension gave delight to the national athletics fans. The very federation that down played the Dageu world athletics championship failure gave a bold decision that took the planet’s athletics worshippers in sheer surprise. All time greatest world cross country athlete Kenenisa Bekele, world great  women distance runner Trunesh Dibaba and her husband Olympic silver medalist Seleshi Sehin, world championship 5,000 meter bronze medalist Meseletch Melkamu, and world 10000m bronze medalist  Wude Ayalew are among Ethiopian elite athletes the federation suspended. These athletes among 223 national athletes called for early preparation in a camp under the scrutiny of the already assigned coaches including Yilma Berta (Dr) yet they failed to report in the given duration.”What turned most amazing  about the incident is that of the federation’s rush decision to expel these athletes who flew the tri-color all over the globe while no one among the federation high officials took accountability for what ever happened in Dageu” Yetnayet Assefa remarked. “It took them months to face the public back from Dagueu’s bad result. But though they lifted they took the most unexpected decision,” Yetnayet added.
When the removal of the ban was announced on Tuesday, January 24, the athletes said that the decision came at the right time. The Ethiopian athletes such as Asselefech Mergia were invited to participate in the Dubai race. If it was not lifted it was impossible for Asselefech to win the Dubai marathon on Friday at a time of 2 hours 19 minutes and 31 seconds. The third place was also won by her compatriot Mare Dibaba.  Asselefech successfully defending her title in 2:19:31. She held off Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu by 3 seconds. “This is special day for me,” Asselefech said. “Last year, I was first and then again this year. It brings me great happiness.” Third in the 2010 London Marathon, Asselefech said she turned to her experience to edge Kabuu.
“Lucy can run a fast half-marathon but in this case I am the experienced marathon runner,” Asselefech said. “I had the advantage. The last few kilometers were very tough because there was big competition between us. But after 41 kilometers (25.5 miles), there was a gap between us and I knew that I was going to win the race.”
The lifting of the ban brought this international success. So it is now time to focus on national duties rather than running for individual benefit.