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Beijing Olympic double gold medalist and world champion Kenenisa Bekele’s performance at the London Olympic ends as the most talked about Olympic issue among Ethiopians. The truth is that Kenenisa coming back from a long absence due to an injury.
However the make believe campaign of EFF made the public anticipate the usual gold from 27 year old Kenenisa. Back from nursing a serious injury, Kenenisa’s lack of training alas, the competition ended up being too heavy of a burden for the former IAAF athlete of the year. Rather than organizing event after event so that he could achieve minimum time, EFF should have done him a favor by letting him go on to rest until proven healthy. Lack of a commanding figure at the EFF meant that Kenenisa was not as prepared as he should have been to represent Ethiopia in the sport they dominated for 16 years.
However, many Ethiopians were disappointed that Kenenisa failed to once again bring the gold medal. Many asked why he appeared knowing he was not up to the big event. But it is not because of Kenenisa that Ethiopia missed the gold medal, it is because the federation pressured him to join the party. EFF may deny pressuring him but why all that trial to help him clock a minimum time rather than letting him off the hook like Kenya did over world marathon record holder Macau. Macau went to Olympic trial and finished sixth then KAF announced him off the London Olympic squad.
This should have been what was done by EFF so that to help the king recover in time at the same time do justice to Lelisa Disasa who worked hard to book a place for London but instead travelled to America for a competition. A day after a call came from London to replace the seriously injured Gebregziabher Gebremariam.
It all backfired and lame excuse after excuse from the London travelled 29 member delegates that it was impossible to have subs at Olympic village. Hard working Tariku Bekele’s heroic effort fails for he burnt out doing everything in front by himself all through the 25 laps while GG tried hard to forget his carrier threatening injury.
Kenenisa stayed with the same pace all through the race and finished fourth but heartbroken for failing Ethiopians so accustomed with a gold gift from him. All this mess was not because Kenenisa failed to win but because of EAF’s “who cares” attitude to do the right thing at the right time. Sadly experience tells us no one will be held accountable as it all happened before at the Dageu world athletics championship.