Ethiopian favourite Yemane Tsegay Adhane won a thrilling battle at the conclusion of the 2013 De Lage Landen Marathon Eindhoven, crossing the line in 2:09:11 and ending a 14-year Kenyan winning streak in the Dutch city on Sunday (13).
Heavy rain meant that the course record of 2:05:46 was unlikely to be challenged this year but there were still three men were in contention for the honours with barely a kilometre to go.
The 28-year-old Tsegay Adhane, who can boast of a personal best of 2:04:48 when winning the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, then surged as the trio entered the old market area in the centre of Eindhoven and shook off his younger compatriots Bazu Worku and Belay Assefa, who finished second and third in 2:09:19 and 2:09:31 respectively.
“I am happy for the win, but not so happy with the time. I said before that I wanted to run under the course record (set by Kenya’s Dickson Chumba in 2012) but it was not possible with this weather. I’m sorry, I wanted to do better,” said Tsegay Adhane, although no apology was necessary after his valiant performance after battling with the elements.
Sisay Lemma made it a quartet of Ethiopians in the top four as he came home fourth in 2:09:44.
The weather forecast had changed dramatically less than 24 hours before gun went in the Dutch city and the runners had to race in driving rain, a strong breeze and cooler conditions than expected, with the temperature just six degrees at the start.
A pack of 14 runners, including four pacemakers, went through 21km in 1:04.11, well off the 1:02:35 target time that had been discussed the day before at the technical meeting.
Shortly after the halfway point, runners started to steadily drop off the back of the leading group.
Six men – Tsegay Adhane, Worku, Lemma and Assefa, along with their Kenyan pacemakers Timothy Kiptoo and Sammy Kigen Korir – went 25km in 1:15:48.
Kiptoo was to drop out shortly afterwards but Kigen Korir carried on driving the pace with the four Ethiopians slipstreaming behind him as they went through 30km in 1:30:59.
At that point, a winning time just inside 2:08 was still on the cards but, as Kigen Korir started to drop back just before 32km although he stayed in the race to the finish, the Ethiopians then started to concentrate on racing each other rather than against the clock.
Lemma began to lose contact three kilometres before the finish as his fellow Ethiopians commenced their three-way duel, with Tsegay Adhane eventually triumphing in emphatic fashion to continue his streak of winning at least one Marathon every year since he started racing over the classic distance in 2008.
Tsegay Adhane, eighth at the IAAF World Championships in August, has now won six Marathons in 18 outings.
Kenya’s Ruth Wanjiru was a convincing winner of the women’s race in 2:34:48, winning by 51 seconds from local runner Andrea Deelstra.
By BERNARD NAMUNANE
A clash between French-speaking and English-speaking African countries sunk a move to withdraw Africa from the International Criminal Court in Addis Ababa at the weekend.
A combination of factors — including a division between Anglophone and Francophone countries and endless conflicts in the continent — put paid to efforts by some countries to have the African Union announce its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
They instead issued five demands to the ICC and its guarantor, the United Nations Security Council, to meet and pave the way for new relations with the court on crimes against humanity and high level impunity.
They also warned that should their list of demands not be met by November 12, the date set for President Kenyatta’s trial at The Hague, they will convene another Special AU Summit to make far-reaching resolutions. (VIDEO: Uhuru urged to skip ICC trial)
Sources at the AU executive council and the Heads of State meeting said that Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania and Algeria pushed for the immediate declaration of the withdrawal from the Rome Statute. Algeria is a French-speaking nation and is not a member of the ICC.
Kenya’s delegation at the executive council meeting, led by Foreign Secretary Amina Mohamed and Attorney-General Githu Muigai was said to have reminded their colleagues that what ICC was doing to Kenya could be done to any African country in future.
This was the reason, they said, decisions should be taken to stop the ICC. They were aghast that the ICC had failed to respect elected African presidents and time had come for the continent to flex its muscle by renouncing its ICC membership.
It was said that they were disturbed by remarks made by the lead prosecutor in the Ruto case, Mr Anton Styneberg, that Kenya could appoint someone else to play the Deputy President’s role to allow the substantive holder of the position to be tried without interruption.
The remark, they said, bordered on lack of respect for elected African leaders.
However, Francophone countries were opposed to the proposal for mass withdrawal, saying, the AU should pursue their concerns with the UN Security Council and the State Parties forum.
Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali and Burkina Faso were unhappy with the slow pace at which the AU has been moving to resolve conflicts in Africa.
Joined by Botswana, they argued that while they were in agreement that the ICC should not prosecute sitting presidents, Africa — which has a long list of conflicts — should not be seen to be taking a move that will create room for such dark acts. They cited civil war in Eastern Congo, the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria and events in Mali where the AU failed to act on time.
The Francophone countries were further opposed to the proposal that all AU members who wish to invite the ICC to investigate cases in their countries should first consult the union. This, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire argued, would deny countries their right to solve internal problems.
It was also understood that Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan, which have cases at the ICC, wanted their position in the final statement from the Special AU Summit to be strongly reflected as was Kenya’s. Their delegations argued that while the Kenya case was urgent, their own situations also merited being included higher up in the resolutions.
Perhaps, this was the reason AU chairman Hailemariam Dessalegn, also Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, said in his opening remarks: “It should be underscored that our goal is not and should not be a crusade against the ICC, but a solemn call for the organisation to take Africa’s concerns seriously.”
The Special Summit apparently had attracted the attention of the UN and the ICC.
Sources at yesterday’s meeting said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called each of the presidents in attendance, seeking to persuade them against resolving to withdraw from the ICC.
Mr Ban promised to use his position to amend the Rome Statute charter to bring on board the concerns that were being raised by the continent.
It is understood that President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, a strong supporter of severing links with The Hague, reminded the UN boss that he has “no teeth” to push for the amendments.
AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zumba, in her welcoming remarks, said:
“I met ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda early in the week and expressed to her the concern that the UN Security Council and the ICC should work with us to enable the elected leadership of Kenya to fulfil their constitutional obligations by urgently considering deferment of the ICC proceedings against the President and Vice-President of Kenya in accordance with Article 16 of the Rome Statute.”
There is celebration in the land, celebration that was not seen in the first half. A first half that made a mess of all those stupendous predictions by overzealous fans who believed that Ethiopia will be meat for supper.
It was fun listening to radio and television programmes where Nigerians predicted two or three goals victories for The Super Eagles. Yes, why not? It was okay to be patriotic and optimistic, but reality was yesterday.
Reality was our defence working overtime and Enyeama being called to make breath taking saves.
Was it the white jersey? Don’t laugh. It seemed even the Ethiopians played on our psychology because their preferred yellow dominated jersey was substituted for green to deny us our top choice.
The first half was torture for Nigerians. Nothing that the Eagles did right. Yes, analysts have blamed the altitude, the weather, pressure and wind that worked against Nigeria. Did I see the Ethiopians going for water break?
Whatever it was, Ethiopia used the first half to earn respect and prove to us that they did not get to this stage by fluke. Ethiopia played as a team. They understood each other perfectly and strung passes that made our defence look amateurish.
That they recorded over 60 per cent possession in the first half was an indication of their control, so much that we started praying for a goaless draw, believing that perhaps when we get to Calabar we will finish it off.
The second half started like the first with the Ethiopians all over the place. It took Enyeama’s effort in the 55th to keep us alive.
Two minutes later, If the referee believed that the first incident against Nigeria had not crossed the line, his second assistant did not allow him to think twice about the second, ruling that Enyeama had plucked the cross from inside the goal post.
One goal down, panic!
Then came Emenike, that moving train, the tanker, the modern day Amokachi, African Nations Cup highest goalscorer who manufactured a goal from nothing with a stupendous shot in the 67th minute. That was the tonic the Eagles needed to prove that one on one they were the better team, even if on paper.
The same Emenike it was whose solo effort ended in a penalty call from Camerounian referee Alioum Neant. Now that we have seen Ethiopia, now that we know Ethiopia, we will certainly respect them come November 16. But I make bold to say that this same Ethiopian side can be slaughtered, if we play traditionally, like Cote Divoire, Ghana and Cameroun would have done.
The Ethiopians played like the English. European football if you ask me, a football that Mikel and Moses are used to, where the opposition has the ball and you allow him all the space to caress, dress, move into position, pass and take possession until they miscue and you take over.
If we crowd the Ethiopians in Calabar, power play them, bulldoze may not be the word, but there will be need to utilize our muscle against their frail nature and bombard them to submission, in which case we can score more than three goals.
Well that is the future for you. For the present, it is celebration galore. a 2-1 victory away is a great result, one that sees us one and a half leg in Brazil. We congratulate Keshi and his glory boys, we congratulate Nigerians for this great step.
Ethiopian state media have reported that a bomb blast in the capital city Addis Ababa has killed at least two people.
The attack took place Sunday in the city’s Bole district, which is home to a large Somali population. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Ethiopia says it has thwarted plots of attacks in the past two years and blames rebel groups based in the south and southeast, as well as Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents.
Ethiopian troops have been fighting al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants in Somalia since 2011, alongside African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi and Kenya.
Last month, al-Shabab led an attack on a shopping mall in Kenya in which at least 67 people were killed. The al-Qaida-linked group said the attack was retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
Out of a sense of duty, for the last few years, I have been attentively following and researching the organizational behavior and the financial activities of the Ethiopian Sport Federation in North America, ESFNA.
I am aware that you – the board of the Federation along with your Executive Committee – are holding your annual meeting in Addison, TX from October 12, 2013 to October 14, 2013. For that reason, I am writing this open letter to prompt you to provide me and, by extension, the Ethiopian communities, a response regarding issues I have been raising about your organization in the articles I have been publishing since December 15, 2010 – which I have emailed to the board and the Executive members of your organization.
Nothing would please me more than having you, the board, negating the assertions I have been making in my articles. So I would appreciate a reply – which is long overdue – from you proving me wrong rather than right.
Note: The purpose of this open letter is not to assign blame about potential mismanagement of your exempt organization’s public resources. But to encourage your organization to realize its full potential and to increase the Ethiopian communities awareness about one of your unfortunate organizational behavior – the ferocious cycle of the infighting between the board and the EC – has been mainly caused by nothing but who gets a turn to mismanage your organization’s public resources, money – which you generate at the expense of your players and vendors.
On December 15, 2010, in my article titled Non-transparent ESFNA, I have encouraged you, the board, to consider running your organization transparently, without success. On the same article, I promised my readers to provide data that most of the ESFNA venders lose money by vending at your tournaments. I am withholding the data, hoping you might start running your organization effectively and improve handling of your vendors. Concerning your handling of your players, I provided the general public data on August 29, 2013 in my article titled Should the ESFNA Solicit Leadership from the Community which shows you have not been thoughtful enough about them.
Based on my observations, your organization has become more secretive than ever about its financial information since I shared my articles with you. For instance, your Executive Committee has been refusing to easily and willfully distribute your organization’s financial reports to the board and to the general public. To illustrate, I sent an email on October 7, 2013 to your EC members including your President Getachew Tesfaye to request a copy of your 2012 tax return to be emailed to me. Thirty five days after I made the request, your EC has not provided me a copy of the tax return although it has a legal obligation to do so.
If you are not aware, “responsible persons of a tax-exempt organization who fail to provide the documents as required may be subject to a penalty of $20 per day for as long as the failure continues.” There is a maximum penalty of $10,000 for each failure to provide a copy of an annual information return, according to the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Requirements for Exempt Organizations to Disclose IRS Filings to the General Public.
I inferred that you, the ESFNA board, do not review the Federation’s tax returns prior to filing it. You also do not receive a copy of the tax return in a timely manner after it is filed. I gathered that as of this article date you have not been able to obtain a copy of the Federation’s 2012 tax return from your EC due to your EC refusal to distribute the tax returns to its board. When I learnt, your EC has only allowed you, the board, to see the IRS electronic tax filing confirmation that the Federation’s 2012 tax return is accepted instead of the tax returns I was stunned.
A question that begs for an answer is that who is governing the ESFNA? Is it the board or the Executive Committee?
By the way, a board’s inability to govern, monitor, and manage an organization via an Executive Committee is a breach of fiduciary duty. In a court of law, proving a board’s breach of its duty is easier than proving fraud, embezzlement, and/or mismanagement of the organization’s resources by its Executive Committee.
Your Organization’s Disproportionately Higher Expenses than Incomes
On August 29, 2013, in my article titled Should the ESFNA Solicit Leadership from the Community, I have discussed: the progress of your organization, your organizational behavior, your organization’s disproportionately higher expenses than income, etc. For example, I documented that your former EC members – some of whom are active current board members – from 2006 to 2011 might have mismanaged $1.6 million public money of your Federation. To date the ESFNA board has not taken responsibility, or it has not countered the assertions I made in the article. Since the board has not addressed the allegations I made, its silence implies its consent.
Your Executive Committee Contradictory Declarations
The first declaration, the Federation’s 2013 tournament held at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland was the most successful tournament the organization ever hosted; there were about 33K attendees which helped the Federation generate roughly $651K gross ticket sales revenue.
The second declaration, according to the Federation’s 2008 tax returns, the gross ticket sales revenue from its 2008 tournament at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C was $848K; a public turnout of about 55,858 attendees.
The third declaration – which is contradictory of the information on Federation’s 2008 tax returns – the gross ticket sales revenue from the Federation’s 2008 tournament at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C was $712K; a public turnout of about 47K attendees.
Using the Federation’s historical and current financial data, media reports, and attendees’ testimonies, I have estimated 47K to 65K guests attended the 30th anniversary, 2013 tournament, at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. However, your EC is claiming that the number of attendees of your 2013 tournament were only 33K.
Put another way, I have estimated $940K to $1.3M as your gross ticket sales revenue of 2013 tournament. However, your EC is reporting to you that your 2013 tournament gross ticket sales revenue is only $651K. The difference between your EC reporting and my estimate is quite large – which is $289K to $649K.
In summary, I have not been putting pen to paper just for the sake of writing, but to contribute my fair share to take your organization to the next level and to unveil your organization’s tragic internal infighting – which has been causing me and, therefore, the Ethiopian Diaspora enormous anguish. So I would appreciate a letter from you, the board, proving the assertions I have been making in my articles about your organization are wrong rather than right.
I look forward to hearing from you very soon.
The writer can be reached at LJDemissie@yahoo.com