ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian athlete Chala Beyo claimed victory in 3, 000m steeple chase at a time of 8 minutes and 13.71 seconds leaving behind Kenyans Lawrence Kemboi Kipsang and Emmanuel Kiprono to take second and third places at the first Diamond League event of the season.
In 1, 500 meters the other Ethiopian Teresa Tolosa came out first at 3:35.07 while Kenyan Manangoi, George Meitamei clocking 3:35.53 and Kiplagat Justus Soget 3:35.71 finished second and third, in the order of that.
But in the women’s 1, 500m South Africa's Caster Semenya set a national record as she claimed victory while Ethiopian Habtam Alemu won the third place.
The domination of Ethiopians was visible in Dohain the men’s event. Last year the Ethiopian representation was not that high but this this time it indicates that the Ethiopians are making good progress.
Semenya, who won gold in the discipline at April's Commonwealth Games, posted three minutes 59.92 seconds in Doha.
The 27-year-old, who is a two-time Olympic 800m champion, could be impacted by new rules around testosterone levels in female runners.
When asked about the ruling, Semenya said: "I don't talk about nonsense."
Athletics South Africa said on Thursday it would challenge the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the new rules.
IAAF chief Lord Coe has since said that the rules, which will affect track events from 400m up to the mile, are "appropriate for the sport".
"I wanted to go faster, but had to slow down a little," Semenya added.
"It's always been a dream to set the national record and continue to push beyond my personal best. I think we definitely achieved what we came here for."
South African National Federation have vowed to fight the impending International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules on hyperandrogenism that threaten to diminish her effectiveness, did not betray any anxieties on the track tonight.
At the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season the world and Olympic 800 metres champion, who faces having to take medication to lower her natural testosterone levels when the new regulations come into place on November 1, set a 2018 best in the 1500m.
Heavy penalty, suspension fail to avoid the ugly spectacle of football violence
A week after 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,
a new disturbing spectacle of football violence took place at the Addis Ababa stadium.
This time Wolwalo Adigrat University players and the team leader attacked the referee during their match against Mekelakeya last week Monday.
ETV footage showed that the Wolwalo team leader Maru Gebretsadik beat referee Iyasu Fente time and again.
A day after that incident, the Referee Association decided to temporarily suspend officiating the national and Premier League matches. The EFF had a meeting with 16 Ethiopian Premier League participating teams on Thursday.
The EFF President Joneidin Basha expressed his anger by what has been done by the players, coaches and team leaders against referees. The President said that the regulation doesn’t allow for any one to take the law in to their hands and take action against whom they think the wrong doers. “There are regulations how to punish the referees when they make mistakes. Attacking the referee is not allowed under any circumstance,” Joneidin said angrily.
Joneidin appreciated the action of the Wolwalo Adigrat University club for suspending the team leader right after the incident but he added that is not enough.
It seems now heavy penalty or suspension failed to stop crowed disturbance and attacking of referees.
What is observed is that the season has been marred by crowed violence. The record show that 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 it seems the punishment failed to produce the desired result.
Look again at these facts. A month ago another incident took place in Woldiya in a match between Woldiya City and Fasil City. Their match was level at 1-1 until the eruption of crowed violence that came right after the visiting side Fasil City converted the spot kick just two minutes 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 two weeks ago imposed a 250, 000 Birr money fine on Woldiya City, their home pitch also suspended for one year. (After the appeal the 250, 000 Birr money fine was reduced to 150, 000 birr, the suspension of the stadium is also reduced to three matches.)
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.
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.
Opposite to what was expected, the Wolwalo players and the team leader were engaged in another round of referee attack in Addis Ababa in less than two months in their match against Mekelakeya. This incident happened when referee Iyasu Fente awarded a controversial ball claiming that it crossed the line at 88th minute. That put Mekelakeya in a 2-1 lead.
The sad part was that there was no good number of security forces at the Addis Ababa stadium last week Monday during the Mekelakeya and Wolwalo match. This is not tolerable. The EFF must be careful in taking proper safety measure.
On a 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 or against referees.
Crowd trouble has become a familiar sight at league matches in regional venues. The fans blame the regional security forces for lax security guard 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 but last Monday this was not done.
Hooliganism is deeply rooted with European football fans in particular England’s fans. English fans abroad, whether of clubs or country, have a lengthy rap sheet and the nadir came at the 1985 European Cup final when Liverpool supporters charged at Juventus followers inside the Belgian national stadium, Heysel. There were 39 deaths and the ramifications, which saw the country’s clubs banned from European football for five years, were severe.
But still, episodes of hooliganism would return periodically even in Ethiopia. So the federation must prepare in advance how to keep the safety measure, in this case having proper security forces and fixing security camera to identify the wrong doers.
As it is seen hefty penalty and suspension can’t stop attacking of referee and crowed violence. The good answer for this, probably, is having vigilant security officers assisted by security camera.
Tombstones for two big athletics names
Athlete Miruts Yifter and national head coach Dr. Woldemeskel Kostre passed away after writing their names in gold in the world of athletics. Both were buried at the Holy Trinity Church.
Miruts was the first Ethiopian athlete to win double gold medals in 5, 000m and 10, 000m Moscow Olympics in 1980. He was gear changer who made a difference in the Ethiopian athletics history.
Dr. Woldemeskel Kostre was the head national coach starting from 1992 when Ethiopia collected the 10, 000m female gold medal in Barcelona through Derartu Tulu.That was a breakthrough for the Ethiopian female athletes in the Olympics. After gaining the first gold medal in Barcelona, the Ethiopian female athletes again and again take their share in the Olympics.
The tombstones for the two Ethiopian big names were constructed by their families in association with the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The legendary athlete Haile Gebreselassie, President of EAF, said on the occasion that the tombstones were constructed to remind the people that these were heroes of the country.
Dr. Ashebir Woldegiorgis, EOC President, also said Miruts and Dr. Woldemeskel are our heroes who made remarkable achievement in the international arena. This will help inspire the young people to do the same for the country.
All Oromia Games concludes
The 21st All Oromia Games came to a colourful conclusion on Sunday in Debrezeit, renamed as Bishoftu, some 50 km east of the capital.
The Games that began a couple of weeks ago attracted 4, 000 men’s and women’s participants.
The Games that served as qualifiers helped Oromia to select their representatives for the All Ethiopian Games that is expected to be staged in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, 700km north of Addis Ababa. The All Ethiopia Games is set to take place this year.
Dawit Atsbha passes away
Dawit Atsbiha passed away at his early age due to car accident while he was in the training to take part at the Addis Ababa motor race, the national Motor Association said in a statement.
According to the Association Dawit took part in the international race representing the country. “He was a very promising motor contender. We are sad for his untimely death,” the Motor Association said.
Dawit Died on April 1, 2018. His 40th day memorial service is set to be observed at the weekends, the Association added.
By Solomon Bekele