Friday, August 22, 2008

The Good One Dibaba is exceling as Ethiopia's investment surges and Somalia descends into Chaos! IAAF, US 22 August 2008 Women's 5000m - FINAL

Tirunesh Dibaba crosses the line ahead of Elvan Abeylegesse to replicate the 1-2 from the 10,000m (Getty Images)

The eagerly-anticipated battle of the dueling D’s – defending champion Meseret Defar and 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba – in the 5000m came down, as expected, to the final lap. It just took the Ethiopian duo an excruciatingly long time to get there.

Simply put, Dibaba became the first woman in Olympic history to add 5000m gold to a 10,000m triumph. And she did it with the slowest winning time ever. For Dibaba, who ran 29:54.56 one week ago to take 10,000m, the second fastest performance in history, it was just as well.

“I was expecting a much faster pace,” Dibaba said. “The 10,000 was really tough. But today we were running for gold, and it was also tough.”

Certainly the toughest 15:41.40 race she’s ever run in her life. And the opening laps were quite painful for the spectators as well.

With no one wanting to lead, it was Russia’s 3000m Steeplechase champion Gulnara Galkina-Samitova who was forced into the pacing duties. Passing the first 1000m in 3:39.20, it was obvious she wasn’t too happy with the chore.

Elvan Abeylegesse, the 10,000m silver medallist, was apparently bored with the pace as well, and made a move to the front at about the 1500m mark to up the tempo a bit and reach the end of the second kilometre in 6:45.41.

The sluggish pace continued for the next several laps, with a dozen women still in the lead pack. That heavy traffic produced quite a bit contact, most notably to Defar who was clipped from behind and nearly knocked off balance with just over four laps to go.

While the lead changed hands several times, it was again Abeylegesse, just as she did in the waning stages of the 10,000m, who upped the tempo again considerably with 800 metres to go. Dibaba remained on her should, with Defar and Ethiopian No. 3, Meselech Melkamu, looking strongest.

The action hit fever pitch at the bell when Dibaba took command, with Defar and Abeylegesse tagging along. She gapped the pursuers just before entering the turn, but surprisingly, it was the Turk who was doing the chasing.

Finishing in just under 60 seconds, Dibaba was never challenged as she approached the line. Nor was Abeylegesse (15:42.74) who deserved her second silver of the Games. Defar couldn’t summon her trademark kick, but held on to take the bronze in 15:44.12.

“I tried to do my best to win,” said the Ethiopian-born Abeylegesse, whose double distance silver was also an Olympic first. “My coach told me that I had to accelerate in the race, and I tried to do that.”

Defar, whose disappointment showed during the victory ceremony, said she ran with pain in the lower part of her right leg over the last few laps, one reason why her kick failed her. Of the dawdling pace, she said, “I just thought it would be best to wait until the end to up the pace.”

In the mad scramble for bronze, Kenyans Sylvia Kibet (15:44.96) and Vivian Cheruiyot (15:46.32) fell a bit short, finishing fourth and fifth. Russian Lilia Shobukhova was sixth (15:46.62), and Turk Alemiute Bekele (14:48.48) seventh.

Out of contention in the late stages were American Shalane Flanagan, the 10,000m bronze medallist, who faded to 10th after running near the front for much of the race, and Galkina-Samitova, who was left behind with about 800m to go. The 3000m Steeplechase World record holder finished 12th.

______________ BBC August 22, 2008Death toll rises in south Somalia There has been more violence in the capital this week
More than 60 people are reported to have been killed and 150 wounded during clashes in the Somali port of Kismayo.

More than 3,000 people have fled the southern city, where an estimated 10 people died on the third day of some of the most intense fighting for months.

A BBC reporter says Islamists have been trying to seize control of the port from a local clan.

There has also been fierce fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and pirate hijackings off the north coast.

The BBC's Mohamed Olad Hassan says Kismayo, Somalia's third city, is strategically important because it serves as a port for the south of the country and for neighbouring Kenya.

The head of a human rights group in the port said the fighting had caused an acute humanitarian crisis.

Many people have no access to food and all business activity is reported to have stopped.

Market hit

In Mogadishu on Thursday, some mortars landed near the compound of President Abdullahi Yusuf, who was out of the country.

Another landed near a mosque in the busy Bakara market, killing at least six people, a witness told the BBC.

Witnesses said government troops and their Ethiopian allies responded by opening fire, killing several civilians.

At least 20 people were reported to have been killed in fighting in the capital.

Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in December 2006, to oust Islamist forces from Mogadishu.

The police chief in the capital said people who wanted to sabotage talks in neighbouring Djibouti between Somalia's provisional government and its Islamist rivals were behind the most recent violence, our correspondent reports.

Somalia has been without a functioning national government since 1991 and has suffered ongoing civil strife.

The UN's World Food Programme is expanding its programme to feed 2.4 million people in Somalia by the end of the year.


Meanwhile, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Friday that pirates had seized a German cargo ship off the Somali coast a day earlier.

Earlier, a Japanese tanker and an Iranian bulk carrier had been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, a busy international shipping route to the north of Somalia.

An IMB spokesman said a warship from an international force was tracking the hijacked ships.

Another ship, a Malaysian oil tanker with 39 crew was captured in the same area on Tuesday.

______________________________ Ethiopia says investment surges 35 pct to $10 bln

Fri 22 Aug 2008ADDIS ABABA, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Ethiopia attracted foreign and local investment worth $10 billion in 2007/08, a rise of 35 percent on the previous year, the government said on Friday.

Abi Woldemeskel, head of the state-run Investment Authority, said the sharp increase was thanks to an aggressive worldwide promotional campaign that boosted inflows to sectors including agriculture, flowers, textiles and tourism.

Abi told reporters China had invested particularly heavily, pumping some $800 million into construction, telecoms and agro-industry projects. He said Turkey was also a major player, spending $100 million on a textiles factory near Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, government sources said a Saudi Arabian delegation that visited Ethiopia last week was also keen to invest in agriculture, particularly cereal production.

Government officials say Saudi Arabia already buys Ethiopian agricultural commodities worth about $1 billion a year. Ethiopia imports oil and other petroleum products from Saudi Arabia worth some $1.5 billion a year.

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