Category: "Beijing 2008"

China to honour Olympian Dibaba with hospital

June 4th, 2009

China to honour Olympian Dibaba with hospital

China is to construct a multi-million-dollar hospital in Ethiopia and name it after Olympic double gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba, state-media said on Monday.

The 23-year-old set a landmark for any woman athlete when she claimed both the 5,000m and 10,000m during the Beijing Games last August — becoming only the sixth athlete to do so.

“A cornerstone will be laid next week for the construction of the ultra-modern hospital,” the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted Chinese ambassador Gu Xiaojie as saying during an inauguration of a Chinese-funded road project.

The hospital, which will be known as “Tirunesh Beijing Referral Hospital” will be established in Akaki, in the outskirts of the capital at the cost of US$8.4mil, ENA said.

“The hospital would serve over 300,000 people upon going fully operational after 18 months,” it added.

Dibaba has become a successful entrepreneur in the Horn of Africa nation, following in the footsteps of her double Beijing gold-medal winner team-mate Kenenisa Bekele and the legendary Haile Gebrselasie. — AFP

Ethiopia - Dibaba becomes a Chief Superintendent, Bekele has a street named

September 26th, 2008
Tirunesh Dibaba at a ceremony in Addis Ababa (Photo Kassahun Yilma for IAAF)

In a week of awards for Ethiopia’s Beijing heroes, Dibaba becomes a Chief Superintendent, Bekele has a street named after him


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- The list of honours Ethiopian runner Tirunesh Dibaba has earned in her short, but illustrious career already has many of her rivals running for minor positions when they line up against the double Olympic 5000m/10,000m champion: double World 5000m and 10000m champion; world indoor and outdoor 5000m record holder; and three-time World Cross Country long course champion.

The latest addition to Dibaba’s incredible CV came yesterday evening when her club, the Prisons Police, bestowed the rank of Chief Superintendent for her services to club and country.

Aged just 23, Dibaba, who will this year marry long-time fiancée and fellow club mate Sileshi Sihine, has not only amassed major titles and World records, but has also quickly risen up prisons police ranks.

She may be nicknamed the Baby Faced Destroyer, but there was nothing “baby faced” about the manner in which Dibaba received her latest honour.

Sileshi Sihine at a ceremony in Addis Ababa (Photo Kassahun Yilma for IAAF)

Dibaba marched all the way from her seat to the podium at a ceremony held on Thursday evening saluted Maeregu Habtemariam, State Minister for Federal Affairs, who bestowed the new rank on her shoulders. She then saluted Habtemariam and marched back to her seat to the amusement of guests and the media.

She has now surpassed distance running ace Haile Gebrselassie, who is a Major with the Omedla Police club, and is equal in rank with Derartu Tulu, who is also a chief superintendent. Sihine, meanwhile, also moved up a rank going up to Major Officer. She has also achieved more in six years than both Tulu and Gebrselassie managed in careers spanning two decades.

Also included in the awards were other athletes who represented the Prisons Police club at the 29th Beijing Olympics. African 1500m champion Gelete Burka rose to Deputy Officer, African 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Mekdes Bekele and Yacob Jarso, fourth in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase final in Beijing, both move up to Warden. Their club coach Hussein Shebo, who is also the assistant coach of the national team, moved up to Superintendent.

A week earlier, Tsegaye Kebede, bronze medallist in the Olympic marathon and winner of this year’s Paris Marathon, earned the military rank Deputy Sergeant from his club, Defence forces.

Street named to honour Bekele

In a busy week of awards and commemorations, Ethiopia’s Olympic double 5000m/10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele had an avenue in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa named after him by the city’s administration. “The Kenenisa Avenue” will run in one of the city’s major sections and will bear his name for visitors.

On the other hand, Dibaba has a hospital on the outskirts of the city named after her. “The Tirunesh Dibaba Hospital” is currently under construction in a joint collaboration between the Ethiopian and Chinese governments and is located in the Akaki-Kaliti sub-city in the suburbs of Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s Beijing medallists have also been raking up cash prizes and gifts over the past week. Both Bekele and Dibaba received a Toyota Corolla 2000 (current market value USD 40,000) each from the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi two weeks ago. In addition, Bekele was awarded ETB 100,000 (USD 10,000) from his club Muger Cement for his outstanding services to the club.

The awards ceremonies are expected to continue with regions and regional administrations across the country also awarding the athletes.

Elshadai Negash for the IAAF


Related Links

Ethiopia awards Beijing Olympic gold medalists vehicles

President Girma awards 13th Paralympics participants

Ethiopian athletes return to rapturous welcome

Team Ethiopia had a magnificent Olympic in Beijing

In Pictures: Team Ethiopia

Special Section: Athletics

Ethiopia - President Girma awards 13th Paralympics participants

September 24th, 2008

Ethiopia - President Girma awards 13th Paralympics participants

Ethiopia's President Girma Woldegiorgis on Monday provided financial reward and certificates to participants of the 13th Paralympics games held in Beijing, China.

President Girma on the occasion stressed need for concerted efforts for the development of multi-sports events for people with disabilities.

Among the awardees is Athlete Tesfalem Gebru, who finished the 5,000 mt. race fourth, and the 1,500 mt. race 5th.

Athlete Ferej Mohammed who finished 10th the 1,500 mt. race and 13th the 5000 mt. also received award.

A nine member Ethiopian delegation headed to Beijing for the Paralympics games.

After giving awards to the participants, President Girma called upon concerted efforts to develop the sector.

He said the government has attached due attention to the sector.

Minister of youth and sports, Aster Mammo for her part said satisfactory results can be achieved through strengthening efforts to the sector. She said the government is committed to supporting the sports.

Ethiopia began to participate in Paralympics games in 2004.

Ethiopia - Athletes, Coach Awarded Toyota Lancer

September 11th, 2008

Ethiopia - Athletes, Coach Awarded Toyota Lancer

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Ethiopian athletes are values that the nation offered to the rest of the world.

Meles made the remark on Wednesday at an awarding ceremony held in Sheraton Addis Hotel to athletics team.

He said the government of Ethiopia would attache due attention to produce more successful athletes and sportspersons.

Gold medalists’ athletes Kenenisa Bekele and athlete Tirunesh Dibaba and their coach, Dr. Woldemeskel kostre have received a Toyota Lancer 2000 Model each from the premier.

Athlete Sileshi Sihen has also received 100,000 Birr.

Meles said the award is an expression of the honor and pride the athletes brought to the Ethiopian people and government.

Some 18 athletes and a coach who won medals so far in the Olympic Games have also provided a special reception of honor at Bole international Airport when they go and come from abroad.

Ethiopia awards Beijing Olympic gold medallists vehicles

September 11th, 2008

Ethiopia awards Beijing Olympic gold medallists vehicles

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Ethiopia has awarded two Beijing Olympics double gold winners —Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele — new Toyota Lancer vehicles worth US$40,000 for their sterling performances in at the recent China games which ended on 24 August.

Coach Woldemeskel Kostre of 5,000m and 10,000m also received a Toyota Lancer automobile award from Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who handed the car keys to the two athletes at a ceremony held Wednesday night in the capital Addis Ababa.

"The government is proud to give these gifts to the two athletes who have made history. They are unique and heroes," Meles said.

The award ceremony was held on the eve of Ethiopia’s New Year.

The government has also authorised free VIP access at Ethiopia’s international airport to 18 athletes who won medals in Beijing, in addition to awarding US$10,000 for Sileshi Sihine who won a silver medal in the 10,000m.

Bronze winner Meseret Defar in the 5,000m and Tsegaye Kebede in the marathon received US$5,000 each.

Four journalists who covered the Beijing Olympics for the state owned media were awarded US$1,000 each, while two doctors and six accompanying coaches were awarded US$1,500 each.

Ed's Note: Both ENA and APA report the vehicle as Toyota Lancer, but as many of our readers pointed out, there is no such thing. It may have been a mistake on ENA's part.