Team Ethiopia – how did they do?

Ethiopian Athletes Celebrate

Ethiopian Olympic athletes perform a celebratory Conga during the Olympics Closing Ceremony

The London 2012 Olympics may have drawn to a close but Team Ethiopia will be returning home with proud smiles and their pockets full of medals. The 2012 Ethiopian team, made up of a modest 35 athletes, won a total of 7 medals at this year’s games – almost half of these gold. True to form, all the medals were in athletic events, and the country was ranked 32nd in the world for total medals won and 24th for gold medals. According to www.medalspercapita.com, which offers results that take into account other factors such as population size or GDP, Ethiopia ranks 9th in the world based on total medals by GDP.

Medal Winners

Ethiopia’s 2012 medal winners:

  • GOLD: Defar Meseret (Women’s 5,000m), Tiki Gelana (Women’s marathon), Tirunesh Dibaba (Women’s 10,000m)
  • SILVER: Dejen Gebremeskel (Men’s 5,000m)
  • BRONZE: Tariku Bekele (Men’s 10,000m), Sofia Assefa (Women’s 3,000m steeplechase), Tirunesh Dibaba (Women’s 5,000m)

Standout moments for Ethiopia this year included Tiki Gelana’s surprise win at the Women’s marathon where she achieved an Olympic record time of two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds after a grueling race-long battle with her runners-up. Also, Tirunesh Dibaba successfully defended her 10,000m title and was the only Ethiopian athlete this year to win two medals, the other being a bronze in the 5,000m. She was beaten in the 5,000m by fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar, who reclaimed the Gold title she last won in Athens in 2004.

Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba

Meseret Defar (L) celebrates with team-mate Tirunesh Dibaba after winning gold in the Women's 5000m

For more information on Ethiopia’s 2012 Olympic story and for photos of the athletes, see:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/countries/ethiopia and http://www.london2012.com/country/ethiopia/

Legendary Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie honoured at opening ceremony

Olympic Flagbearers

Haile Gebrselassie with the other flag bearers at the opening ceremony

He narrowly missed out competing in this year’s Olympics, but Ethiopian long-distance legend Haile Gebrselassie was by no means absent from the Games. The 39-year-old and two-time Olympic 10,000m championwas one of eight specially selected flag-bearers at the London 2012 opening ceremony which was testament to his popularity and impact throughout the world. Haile was also chosen as an Olympic torchbearer, carrying the flame through South Shields on the 16th of June.

Haile carrying the flame

Haile carries the Olympic torch through South Shields

Gala in honour of Ethiopian Olympics team

Ethiopian Olympic Team

Honouring the Ethiopian Olympians

The Link Ethiopia team were lucky enough to attend a gala in honour of Ethiopia’s Olympic heroes hosted by the Ethiopian Embassy. The award-winning musical troupe Dankira played live as over 500 guests, including members of the National Olympic Committee, Ethiopian and British dignitaries, media representatives, celebrities, and members of the Ethiopian community, gathered to celebrate the achievements of the Ethiopian team.

Dankira

Dankira performed for over 500 guests at the gala

You can visit www.ethioembassy.org.uk/news_archive/Honouring_Ethiopian_Athletes.pdf for a full report of the event.