Olympic medalists, coaching staffs receive awards

By Tewodros Kebkab

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopian Olympic medalists of the 30th Olympiad, which was held in London, were honored by President Girma Woldegiorgis at a ceremony held at the National Palace on Thursday.

During the ceremony, the athletes who won gold medal – Tirunesh Dibaba, Tiki Gelana and Meseret Defar – were each given the keys to a Toyota Yaris sedan worth 920,000 birr each by the President Girma. In recognition of her impressive haul of medals in three consecutive Olympic Games – three gold and two bronze – Tirinesh was also awarded a Medal of Honor inset with a 21-carat gold weighing hundred grams by the president.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yilma Berta, Superintendent Hussein Shibo and Melaku Deresse, the team’s coaching staff, each received the keys to a Lifan 520 sedan worth 275,000 birr from Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The lone silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel, who came in behind the Somali born British athlete Mo Farrah in the 5000-meter race, was presented with 120,000 birr while bronze medalists, Tariku Bekele and Sofia Assefa, were each given 60,000 birr.
Ethiopia’s first representative in the swimming discipline Yanet Seyoum received a-20,000-birr prize.

Speaking at the event, Sports Commission Commissioner Abdissa Yadeta and Secretary-General of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee and a member of the International Olympic Committee Dagmawit Girmay both paid tribute to the achievements of emerging athletes.

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