Ethiopia is building a strong athletics team for the Beijing
2008 Olympic Games, a senior sports official said on Friday.
Mulualem Bessie, secretary general of the Ethiopian Olympic
Committee, said that Ethiopia had kicked off the preparation for
the Beijing Olympics two months ago. They have wrapped up the
budget planning and will start training within Ethiopia one month
As for the world renowned Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele,
Mulualem have full confidence in his compatriot. "Surely, Bekele
will win the 10,000 meters in the Beijing Olympic Games," he
The official added that Tariku Bekele, younger brother of
Kenenisa, will participate in the Olympic Games as well.
Although Tariku Bekele has been defeated by Moses Kipsiro from
Uganda and Kiprono Menjo from Kenya in the men's 5,000 meters in
the ninth All-Africa Games this July, the performance of Ethiopians
in the Osaka world championships has proved their competitiveness,
In addition, the African athletic power had organized the first
All Ethiopia Games this year, which attracted more than 4,000
One aim of the Games was to prepare proper talents for the
Beijing Olympics, noted Mulualem.
"We have got lots and lots of athletes, and we were in confusion
about how to choose people," he said.
Like its neighbor Kenya, Ethiopia has also taken steps to
diversify its gold events in the Olympic Games. "We have strived to
diversify the possible gold events by trying to be qualified for
the competitions ranging from 1,500m, 5,000m to marathon," said
Ethiopia mainly focused on 10,000 meters and marathon in the
past Olympic Games.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2007)