Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Gebrselassie elected new President of Ethiopian Athletics
By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 06, 2016
Haile Gebrselassie in an interview with Sports News Arena at his home in Addis Ababa in 2014.(Photo SNA File)
Long distance legend Haile Gebrselassie was on Saturday elected the new President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation in Addis Ababa.
The double Olympic champion in the 5000 and 10000m secured 9 of the 15 votes and immediately promised to work on a great future for Ethiopian Athletics.
“I feel so honoured to be elected president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation. I will work on a great future for Ethiopian athletics,” said the 43-year old after his election.
He will be deputised by Dr Bezabih Wolde. The former world marathon record holder takes over from long-serving president Bisrat Gashawtena. Her deputy Nega Gebre-Egziabher also failed to recapture his seat.
“I am very honoured that they trust me in this position. I am looking forward to working together with all people involved in the EAF to work on a great future for Ethiopian athletics,” he said after his election.
Double Olympic silver medallist Sileshi Sihine was elected the Ethiopian athletes’ leader and will be assisted by Meseret Defar, Olympic gold winner in London and Athens.
Other members of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation include Dr Gatlok who will represent Gambella Region, athlete Gebreegzabher Gebremariam who will represent the Tigray region, Ato Farid Mohamed who will sit as the delegate from the Harari region.
Ato Belayneh Kinde was voted as the area representative from Amhara region, Ato Admassu Sajin was voted as the member from South region.
Gebrselassie’s march to the Ethiopian presidency gained momentum in July when he led a protest by local runners to the Federation office, incensed by the Rio marathon selection process.
The runners argued the selection fro Rio was biased, with the legendary runner particularly concerned with the exclusion of the 2016 Berlin marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele.
Since announcing his retirement earlier in the year the gold medal winner from Atlanta and Sydney has focussed on growing his businesses across the horn African nation.
The long distance track and road runner is considered one of the richest men in Ethiopia, a one party state, which has recently been experiencing a new round of unrest with thousands of campaigners including leading athletes, calling for a regime change.
Gebrselassie, who won nine marathon has interests in real estate, gold mining, car dealership, coffee farming among others.
He also organises the largest annual 5 and 10km runs in his country dubbed the Great Ethiopian run.
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