24 April 2018

Ethiopia: Tirunesh Pulls Out From London Marathon

Ethiopian great athlete Tirunesh Dibaba pulled out from London Marathon on Sunday. She was expected to set a new world record before the start of the race. Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele won the third place clocking 2 hours 21:30.

Eliud Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the third time on Sunday, with Mo Farah breaking the British record as he finished third, while there was a surprise victory for Vivian Cheruiyot in the women's race.

Ethiopa's Tola Shura Kitata finished in a surprise second place, 32 seconds behind Kipchoge.

Kipchoge, who skipped last year's race to attempt a sub-two-hour marathon in Italy, could not break Dennis Kimmetto's world record as high temperatures made running conditions difficult in the English capital.

Women's favorite Mary Keitany attempted to break Paula Radcliffe's "mixed race" record -- assisted by male pacemakers -- but the Kenyan struggled late on in the race, eventually finishing fifth and unable to add to her three London titles.

That allowed Cheruiyot in to take her first London crown, having won her first career marathon in Frankfurt only in October.

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei (2:20:13) finished second, with Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele (2:21:30) third.

Radcliffe's record, set in 2003, did seem under threat at first as Keitany comfortably led for the majority of the race but the conditions got the better of her in the end.

The men's race went out at a blistering pace, with early leader Guye Adola clocking four minutes 22 seconds in the first mile, and Farah stayed with the group until a bizarre incident when he missed his drinks bottle around the 10-mile mark, which delayed him after a heated exchange with a steward.

"The drink station was confusing, I was table four, I went to pick it up," Farah told the BBC. "The staff were helpful at the end but at the beginning they were trying to take a picture rather than giving me the drink."

Kipchoge overtook Adola early on and led from the front, with the pace remaining on course for a world-record time until the second half of the race, when the heat intensified.

The winner Kipchoge (Center, Ethiopian Tola Shure and third placed Mo Farah

Tola Shura Kitata of Ethiopia stayed with Kipchoge until close to the end but the 2015 and 2016 champion strode clear to win with a time of 2:04:17 -- two minutes 20 seconds off the world record.

Officials initially gave Kipchoge's time as 2:04.27 but revised the times after discovering a computer error.

Athletics - London Marathon - London, Britain - April 22, 2018 Britain's Mo Farah finishes third in the men's elite race REUTERS/Paul Childs

Farah came home in third, finishing with 2:06:21 and breaking Steve Jones's British Marathon record which has stood since 1985.

"I enjoyed the race very much," Kipchoge said. "I still enjoy the win and I'm happy to be able to win for the third time in London."

Keitany was a colossal 32 seconds ahead of Radcliffe's 10-mile time, with Ethiopian rival Tirunesh Dibaba for company.

However, after Tirunesh Dibaba pulled up and withdrew from the race, Keitany slowed dramatically, with her 5:50 22nd-mile time proving costly as Cheruiyot stormed past her fellow Kenyan to snatch a surprising victory in 2:18.31.

"The reason it was so good for me today was because I started slowly," Cheruiyot said. "I saw Mary and I got her and I thought: 'yes, today I am going to be a winner of the London Marathon'."

In the men's wheelchair race, Briton David Weir stormed to a eighth London victory after a thrilling finale with three athletes racing for the line, while Australia's Madison de Rozario won a shock first title in the women's event.

Will heavy penalty help avoid crowed violence in Ethiopia?

The country's football governing body, the Ethiopian Football Federation, EFF, imposed heavy penalties on Woldiya City, Mekele City, Wolwalo Adigrat University and Wolayita Dicha for crowed disturbance.

True, the season has been marred by crowed violence. The season's match was opened by the interruption of Woldiya City and Mekele City match which was intended to be played at Sheikh Mohammed Alamudi stadium in Woldiya.

The Woldiya fan violence that eventually led to the death of two people flared up four hours before the start of the game.

Apart from the Woldiya incident the break out of violence was also registered at Jima. Reports confirmed that Jima Abajifar's arena was banned for two matches as a result of fan disturbance during their first day match against Hawassa City. The EFF looks determined to impose harsh penalty to control the looming football hooliganism in its bud but the danger of its rising trend has been visible.

The Woldiya City and Fasil City match was level at 1-1 up to the 88th minute but the eruption of crowed violence came right after the visiting side Fasil City converted the spot kick just a minute from the final whistle.

That completely changed the atmosphere and led to the interruption of the game. In addition to the interruption of the match, the crowed who invaded the pitch beat referee Lemi Nigusse and his assistant Mustefa Meki. Woldiya City head coach Zemariam Woldegiorgis was also hurt by the crowed. The trio were hospitalized after sever injury.

The EFF last week imposed a 250, 000 Birr money fine on Woldiya City, their home pitch also suspended for one year.

Woldiya City Coach Zemariam Woldegiorgis and Midfielder Biruk Kalbore were banned for one year with an addition of 10, 000 Birr money fine. Both were punished for their attempt to beat the referee.

Fasil City got a 3-0 win over Woldiya City on forfeiture.

Woldiya City appealed to the higher body citing the fact that the penalty is harsh. Playing their home match 500km away from Woldiya will cost them up to 300, 000 Birr per match.

The EFF also imposed 70, 000 Birr fine on Wolwalo Adigrat University side for their fans disturbance in the match against Mekele City who also faced a 90, 000 Birr money fine for their sides active participation in flaring up the incident.

The Wolwalo Adigrat Uiversity and Mekele City play that took place in Adigrat arena was interrupted at the break.

The third 100, 000 Birr fine was imposed on Wolayita Dicha. The penalty came after their match against Hawassa City was marred with fans violence. The Wolayita Dicha home pitch was banned for two matches.

By the Ethiopian standard these are heavy penalties. The penalty imposed on Woldiya is even harsher than the rest.

In truth the Ethiopian regional or federal security forces stand guard as fans throw flares during March's match between Woldiya City and Fasil City.

Well as clashes before and after league matches, hundreds of fans invaded the pitch in Woldiya in March to oppose the award of a penalty to the guest team, Fasil City in the dying minute.

The EFF didn't impose on the team to play in an empty stadium apart from the hefty financial penalty.

On an almost weekly basis fights break out at grounds throughout the country, whether between supporters of the same team, members of different ultra (organised fans) groups or between fans and against rival teams fans.

Many fans are unhappy about the EFF financial imposition complaining that they are being punished without considering their financial status. Every one agreed the penalty imposed on those who are engaging in the violence to ensure the safety of all but the imposition should not lead to the break up of the financially weak sides.

Crowd trouble has become a familiar sight at league matches in regional venues. The fans blame the regional security forces for lax security guards inside the stadiums. In the capital Addis Ababa the security forces are better organized and prepared to put things under control before the violence erupted.

The EFF, which organises the competition, is determined to put an end to the problems.

The EFF said that as far as the federation is concerned, everyone is responsible for violence in stadiums - everyone.

"In the wake of any crowed disturbance the federation closely watch the reports of the referee and the match commissioner. The federation works hard to figure out a way to eradicate this issue," the EFF said in a statement.

It is also said that the federation held meetings with all the parties involved and they listened to what they want in an attempt to change things. "This is important, to sit together at the same table with team officials, fans and with all stakeholders. Despite this the federation found it difficult to stop crowed violence," the federation lamented.

But in the eyes of many people this exorbitant money fine and suspension will not deter the fans from taking action inside the stadiums. Spreading awareness and fixing camera at the stadiums is highly likely to eradicate the issue at hand.

Wolayita Dicha and St. George are out of Confederation Cup

The Ethiopian representatives Wolayita Dicha and Saint George are out of the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs on Wednesday.

St. George who travelled to Congo to face CARA Brazzaville with a 1-0 first leg advantage suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of CARA in the return leg. That led to penalty shootouts to determine the winners after having a 1-1 final result. CARA went through to the group stage with 4-3 win in penalty shootouts.

Wolayita Dicha who hosted the Tanzanian side of Young Africans had a 1-0 win at the Hawassa international stadium but they were not able to overcome the 2-0 deficit they faced in the first leg held in Dar es Salaam.

Using that advantage Young Africans advanced to the group stage with a 2-1 aggregate result. This is the turn of Wolayita Dicha to face exit after managing to knock out the Egyptian giants Zamalek in the preliminary.

The season's Confederation Cup qualifiers showed that East African clubs Al Hilal of Sudan, Gor Mahia of Kenya, Rwanda's Rayon Sports and Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania all qualified for the group stage of the Confederation Cup.

No club from east Africa has won a continental club title since 1989 when Al Merreikh of Sudan won the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup.

Jima Abajifar maintain league leadership

Following a 4-0 comfortable win over Electric on Sunday Jima Abajifar extended their Ethiopian Premier League leadership to five points. Jima Abajifar joined the elite league at the start of this season.

The two times Ethiopian Premier League title winners Electric have only 18 points from 21 games. They are suffering at the relegation zone.

Mekelakeya who hosted Hawasa City also hammered them by the same 4-0 margin to improve their position to the seventh position.

Adama City beat the struggling Dire Dawa City 1-0.

Mekele City beat Dedebit 2-1. The long time league leaders Dedebit failed to retake their top spot with continuous defeat.

Mekelakeya take Ethiopian championship title

The strong Mekelakeya side took the Ethiopian athletics championship title for the sixth time in a row.

This was seen as best achievement in the country's athletics history.

The Ethiopian Athletics Federation President Haile Gereselasse said that this was good competition with tremendous achievements.

Ethiopia

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