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Ethiopian athletics legend Miruts Yifter’s funeral is scheduled to take place today January 1, 2017 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Addis Ababa.

Popularly known as the gear shifter, one of the world’s greatest sporting figures, died on Friday December 23, 2016, at the age of 72 at a hospital in Toronto Canada.

The former Olympic champion was widely regarded as the greatest athlete of all time.

He had been suffering from respiratory illness; a condition that was complicated by sustained infections.

Tributes to the first Ethiopian who won double Olympic gold medals have been pouring in from across the world. The IAAF was the first to express its deep shock about the death of great Miruts Yifter.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the other global sports body among those who sent messages that says the IOC is shaken by the death of the great athlete.

Born in Tigray State in 1944, Miruts shot to fame by winning his first double in Moscow Olympics in 1980.

Nicknamed “Miruts the Shifter” the Ethiopian beat Kaarlo Maaninka of Finland in Moscow to win his first Olympic gold medal in the  5,000m and became the first Ethiopian athlete to get two gold medals in one Olympics.