Sixteen days of fantastic sporting action, great organization by London and a return of seven medals for Team Ethiopia- London 2012 will remain a truly exceptional Olympic Games for a country which took just 35 athletes to the Games. Before the games and its galore are consigned to history, ELSHADAI NEGASH, SPECIAL TO FORTUNE, looks back at the hits and misses of the campaign for Team Ethiopia.
Despite the emergence of new medal hopefuls, London 2012 was meant to be a case of whether Ethiopia’s superstar trio of Kenenisa Bekele, Meseret Defar, and Tirunesh Dibaba can regain some of the form that saw them romp to world beating status. On this case, Meseret and Tirunesh truly delivered with vintage performance of the top order to win, just fewer than one-half of Ethiopia’s medal tally, three, in London. Tirunesh dominated the women’s 10,000m to take a surprisingly-easy victory of joint pre-race favorite Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya. She returned a week later for an unprecedented attempt to “double-double”, but found Meseret in red-hot form. The 2007 World Female Athlete of the Year rolled back the years to her blistering finishing taking the women’s 5,000m title in simply scintillating fashion with Tirunesh forced to settle for bronze. The duo have now won a total of eight medals between them with Tirunesh closing in on Kenenisa Bekele’s record tally of three gold and one silver medal with three gold and two bronze medals. Read full story on Addis Fortune.