Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia’s new athletics president?

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In Summary

* Haile Gebrselassie, arguably the world’s greatest distance runner of all time, will this weekend be running a different race – that of gunning for the presidency of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).
* The federation’s elections will be held on Sunday in Addis Ababa. Born in Asella, Arsi zone of Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in 1973, Gebrselassie won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the World Junior Championships in Seoul, South Korea, in 1992.
* Besides his athletics career, Haile Gebrselassie is a businessman and employs more than 2,000 people in his businesses that include real estate projects, four hotels and a coffee plantation.

Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie. PHOTO | GLOBAL SPORTS COMMUNICATION
Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie. PHOTO | GLOBAL SPORTS COMMUNICATION

(Daily Nation) –Haile Gebrselassie, arguably the world’s greatest distance runner of all time, will this weekend be running a different race – that of gunning for the presidency of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).

The federation’s elections will be held on Sunday in Addis Ababa. Born in Asella, Arsi zone of Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in 1973, Gebrselassie won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the World Junior Championships in Seoul, South Korea, in 1992.

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He then won two Olympic 10,000m gold medals, four outdoor world titles along with numerous big city marathons.

“Athletics changed my life completely and I’m thankful for that,” Gebrselassie said through his management company, Global Sports Communications of Nijmegen, Netherlands, on Wednesday.

“I have gained a lot of experience throughout my athletics career and now it is time to give back to my country and sport.

“I’m looking forward to use this experience and work together with all the people involved in EAF to bring Ethiopian athletics to a higher level,” he added.

Gebrselassie was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and will be recognised at the fourth annual AIMS awards dinner in Athens next Friday.

Along with his numerous track titles and records, Gebrselassie won four straight Berlin Marathon titles between 2006 and 2009, setting world records in 2007 and 2008.

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In June, Gebrselassie led fellow athletes in a protest march to the EAF offices in Addis Ababa, irked by the federation’s Olympic selection criteria that locked marathon star Kenenisa Bekele out of the Rio Games.

The EAF is currently chaired by long-serving female sports administrator Bisrat Gashawtena whose deputy is Nega Gebre-Egziabher.

In his stellar career, Gebrselassie clocked 27 world records and 61 Ethiopian records alongside his two Olympic gold medals and eight world championship titles.

Besides his athletics career, Haile Gebrselassie is a businessman and employs more than 2,000 people in his businesses that include real estate projects, four hotels and a coffee plantation.

Gebrselassie is also the distributor for Hyundai vehicles in Ethiopia and is also a United Nations goodwill ambassador. He has also built several schools in his residential area.

Increasingly, Ethiopian athletes are easing themselves into management positions in the country’s sport, with respected multiple Olympic and World silver medallist Sileshi Sihine also vocal of the sport’s management.

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Sihine is also former World and Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba’s husband.


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4 Comments

  1. He is the right person Who is going to help the growth of our Athletic standard. The summary you wrote it doesn’t reflect his big achievement. Take it away your summary. Because his internationally a well respected versatile man, the Daily nation wrote it correctly what it suits him . Viva Haile! You are the man who created a new paradigm in Ethiopian Athleticism and the life of Athlete and now I’ve full confidence that you will make a difference in the management of the federation.
    God bless Haile and our best athletes,

  2. He is the right person Who is going to help the growth of our Athletic standard. The summary you wrote it doesn’t reflect his big achievement. Take it away your summary. Because his internationally a well respected versatile man, the Daily nation wrote it correctly what it suits him . Viva Haile! You are the man who created a new paradigm in Ethiopian Athleticism and the life of Athlete and now I’ve full confidence that you will make a difference in the management of the federation.
    God bless Haile and our best athletes,

  3. Is this the same guy who surprised a BBC reporter by saying “democracy is a luxury”. See the video clip below. What in the world would he bring to the table? As you can hear in the video he is interested in lining his pocket by being an apologist to the brutal regime in power.

    Judge for your self

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqDylK8r4lg

    Tazabi

  4. Is this the same guy who surprised a BBC reporter by saying “democracy is a luxury”. See the video clip below. What in the world would he bring to the table? As you can hear in the video he is interested in lining his pocket by being an apologist to the brutal regime in power.

    Judge for your self

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqDylK8r4lg

    Tazabi

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