Saturday, May 6, 2017

Eritreans Daniel Teklehaymanot & Zeresenay Tadese: A weekend to remember in Italy.

Daniel is King of the Mountain in Italy.

Eritrean Daniel Teklehaymanot may be wearing the jersey of Team Dimension Data, from South Africa, but his incredible performance at the Giro d'Italia on Saturday proved why he has won a second king of the mountains jersey. Daniel broke barriers in the Tour De France in 2015 as he became the first African to wear that title. In a sport dominated by Europeans, Asians & Americans South & North, it became clear that someday African champions Eritrea would produce very competative cyclists that would compete in big events like this weekend’s Giro’ D Italia.

Daniel Taking over "1st place" in the Mountain Classification @ Giro D'Italia.

Team Dimension Data had two other riders finishing in the top 10 as well with a solid team effort which included Daniel’s outstanding performance. Meanwhile, Daniel seems to be doing well individually in other race classifications. It is to be recalled that his two wins in the Critérium du Dauphiné in the past have taught him well. He was using similar tactics as that event in France, to shine during this memorable weekend. His breakaways on stages 1 and 2, helped Daniel as he now leads an almost amazing high number of minor Giro d'Italia classifications. His accolades include intermediate sprints as well as combativity classifications to the 'Fuga Pinarello', as the rider who has spent the longest amount of time in front of the entire riding herd.

Daniel in the middle of race @ Giro D'Italia.

Daniel was proud to represent Eritrea and his team Dimension Data, while also sharing his win as a proud son of Africa. He recently lost his dad and this win was inspired by the love he had for his late father. Thousands and thousands of people in Eritrea and in the diaspora were glued to the TV and social media to follow the event live while the Eritrean national pride continues in the month of May which also happens to be Eritrea’s independence day.

Daniel is "King of the Mountain" at the 2016 Giro D'Italia.

Zeresenay makes a tremendous leap in the Marathon.

Also in Italy at the Monza Formula, One race course the official world record for the full marathon (26.2 Miles) was not broken but history was made by a Kenyan, while world record holder in the Half marathon (13.1) Eritrean Zeresenay Tadesse did not disappoint.

"The race was not officially sanctioned by the IAAF, due to variables like pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds." (Media Reports)

Three years in the making of this event, Nike spent a lot of time and money in an attempt to break the two-hour time which will help the company get more attention for its efforts to impress runners and customers by designing shoes that will help people run faster.

The World Half marathon Record holder Zeresenay Tadesse in Italy attempting to make marathon history.

Eritrean half-marathon world record holder Zersenay Tadese was a part of the Breaking2 project, which was also held in Italy as Eritrean Daniel Teklehaymanot was making cycling history in the same country that colonized Eritrea for many years. Oh! How times have changed and New generation of Eritreans are showing the world that they are the owners of their own destiny. 
It is to be recalled that Eritreans were not even allowed to go past the 4th grade of education during the Italian occupation. Today we are witnessing a partnership with Europeans and others in every sector of our society, thanks to the “Self Reliance” attitude of the quality leadership Eritrea possesses despite all obstacles.

Eritrea's first and only Olympic Medalist Zeresenay Tadesse.

Today’s running event started at 5:45 a.m. local time, but finished well off the pace. While 2 time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, Eritrean Zeresenay Tadesse outperformed his marathon record by attempting to stay strong as he and Desisa completed the 17.5 laps of the 1.5-mile Monza track. Zeresenay took off nearly four minutes off his personal best with a time of 2:06:51 while Desisa finished in 2:14:10.

This event held on May 6 took three years to become a reality. Nike chose these three men based on a series of physiological tests and research on nutrition, ideal weather and last but not least the type of gear that would help the athletes break the record. For the Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge today was a historic day despite going over the 2-hour mark by 25 seconds. His official finishing time was 2:00:25.

50 years ago English man Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile on May 6th, 1954. At the time the World Record for the Marathon stood at 2:18:34. This historic event took place during a meet between British AAA and Oxford University at Iffley Road Track in Oxford. In what was considered a huge crowd 3,000 spectators watched as history was being made. Strong winds up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) before the event almost stopped Bannister from running until he decided to give it a go in the last minute. Today while Nike and the sport of running gained some much-needed attention, the state of Eritrea has also proven it is a nation of can do people. 

50 Years ago on May 6th, 2017 Roger Bannister broke the mile record.

Watch out for another great Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and the many up and coming runners that will be inspired by the likes of Zeresenay Tadesse and Meb Kiflezghi. Let’s not forget that Zeresenay continues to be the best half marathoner in the world as he attempted the marathon record today.

For Eri-International sports blog,

Mike Seium

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Eri-International Sports Soccer news: Golgol Tedros Mebrahtu full of goals in the Czech Republic. Alexander Isak & More....

Eri-International sports blog would like to update our readers on the latest developments of Eritrean soccer players around the world. We shall start with a player whom we have not heard from. Eritrean-Aussie Golgol Tedros Mebrhatu who is playing his professional game in Eastern Europe. As most of you know Golgol has been playing for Mlada Boleslav where he had already scored 5 goals and was one of the leaders in scoring on his team. 
Even though he did not see much action since around the Christmas Holiday season, he made his return going into a game as reserve last week where he only played for a short time. However, this weekend, In the Czech premier League, Gol-Gol Mebrahtu started and played 85 minutes for Mlada Boleslav, scoring a hat-trick to give his team a 3-2 win over Zbrojovka Brno. Golgol looks to be in top form as he increased his season total to 8 goals for this year. For more on his incredible achievement look at the highlights on the link below. You can see him helping his team as he scored all three goals in a 3-2 comeback win.

Alexander Isak.
As many of you have been anticipating Since this past January, Borussia Dortmund’s Eritrean-Swede 17-year-old striker Alexander Isak has not received much playing time for his new club. So far, Alexander has only made short appearances including in the German Cup against Sportfreunde Lotte.  In the Bundesliga, he only made another small appearance in a match against Frankfurt, even then he sat on the bench throughout the game. 

Last Wednesday on April 19th, 2017,  he made his debut for Borussia Dortmund II, the club's reserve team which plays in the German fourth league.  Alexander played 88 minutes as the team came away with 0-0 away tie against Oberhausen in front of 1781 spectators. In his very first interview, Alexander continues to be mature and answer questions from a mature point of view as he said,

“I will fight for my place on the first team and I feel confident that I am getting closer and closer.  It is not hard to be patient. There's no reason to rush. As long as I continue to work like the rest of my teammates.” According to Football channel dials Tobias Jöhren.

After the game, the reserve team coach said that Borussia’s Coach Thomas Tuchel made a decision to give Alexander Isak some playing time for him to get in  “match rhythm” and for a better opportunity with the first team. Dortmund has many young players on their team and none of them were in the same stage of their career as Alexander who has been playing for the reserve team this season or in previous years. Ousmane Dembele, Emre Mother, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Julian Weigl, Felix Pass lacquer or Christian Pulisic did not go through the reserve team into the first team. We shall wait and see how Alexander responds.

More Players and Injuries.

As most of you know Henok Goitom is back with his team AIK and has already scored goals. However, his status against Jönköping Södra was uncertain as of last week for this weekend's game and he did not play. It was discovered last week dDuring AIK's workout at Karlberg the Eritrean national team star striker was not with the rest of the squad - instead, it was another player Sulejman Krpic who took on the position of a starting forward during practice while Henok stood on the side and watched. Hope he can come back from his injury soon. Meanwhile, Joel Gherezgiher who has been traded to a lower division team and Nahom Gebru are both injured and have not played for their respective German teams. In Holland, Hennos Asmelash has been playing with his team while also being selected to play for the Dutch under 18 team. As for Tesfalidet Tekie he has not been playing much with an injury that requires time to heal.

Eri-International sports blog will continue to follow developments and share with you how the Eritrean diaspora players are faring in their respective leagues and teams.

Mike Seium
For Eri-International Sports blog.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eritrean National team player Henok Goitom scores for AIK. Alexander Isak Scores for Sweden under 19.

Two of the hottest soccer figures in Sweden these days since Zlatan Ibrahimovic continue to play their role in the Swedish soccer scene as they both had a splendid weekend. While Henok Goitom is back and getting comfortable with AIK Stockholm, his younger Eritrean-Swede protege Alexander Isak saved the Swedish under 19 team from an early exit in the European under 19 qualifications for the 2017 championship to be held in Georgia.

The Swedish premier league otherwise known as the allsvenskan starts its 2017 season on Saturday April 1st. AIK will take on BK Hacken and without Borussia Dortmund transfer Alexander Isak who scored more than 10 goals last season. However, Henok Goitom is back after making a short stint in Spain. He also spent his summer in California with the MLS San Jose Earthquakes and has become a new father.  Henok played for about 60 minutes against
IFK Norrkoping this weekend where he scored a beautiful goal in a 2-1 victory.

Henok has also been touted to be a TV color analyst for Eurosport Sweden where he has been praised as a knowledgeable expert on the game of soccer and the Swedish soccer scene. He has already called games for the Swedish under 21 team against Serbia. This is not Henok's first time as a TV analyst, he made several guest appearances during the 2014 world cup that was held in Brazil. While his role as a player and TV analyst are going to keep him busy, it should also be noted that his contribution to helping build a strong Eritrean national team could help the Red Sea Camels in the long run. A good 2017 for Henok as embarks on many new opportunities this season.

Alexander Isak meanwhile was called up for duty this past week to play for the Swedish under 19 squad that is playing in the elite round of the European Championships in Group 7 out of 7 groups where the group winners only get to join Georgia in their home turf for the championships being held this summer. In group 7 Ireland, Italy, Belgium and Sweden are the teams and so far Sweden has lost 2-1 to host Belgium while they defeated Ireland 3-0 with Alexander scoring the third goal of the game and helped acquire 3 points and 4 goals for his team. Meanwhile, Ireland has defeated Italy 2-0 and tied Italy 1-1. Tomorrow's game is a must win for Sweden as they take on Italy while Belgium takes on Ireland. If Belgium wins then they will be the group winners as they will have 7 points. In order for Sweden to advance Belgium has to lose or tie and Sweden must win no matter what. Hoping to see Alexander Isak shine once again. It does not matter what team (under 19, Under 21 or the senior national team) He is destined to make a difference.

For Eri-International sports blog.

Mike Seium

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Eritrean-Swede Alexander Isak makes debut for Borussia Dortmund. Henok Goitom Back at AIK Stockholm 2017.

Eritrean-Swede Teenage sensation made his debut for Borussia Dortmund on March 14th, 2017 in the 86th, minute of a quarter-final game for the DFB Cup against Sportfreunde Lotte. Competing for a starting spot against some of the world's most seasoned players is no easy task, but  Coach Thomas Tuchel decided that it was time to put the 17-year-old Eritrean-Swede into the game considering that international star Gabonese Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was not able to play. 

Coach Tuchel seems to think Alexander is the future of his team.
The manager who thinks very highly of young Alex took out veteran Gonzalo Castro towards the end of the game to put him in this important game. While 4 minutes to the end of the game might not be enough, Alexander moved around well clearly showing that he is in sync with the team. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that he has been cool, calm and collected throughout the entire ordeal waiting for his opportunity to come. 

Alexander making his debut for Borussia Dortmund.

The great behavior and the special persona makes this wonder kid a player that any team would love to have. Already many top teams are regretting that they were not able to sign him. Borussia has a game this weekend March 17th, 2017 against Ingolstadt while they continue to play 2 more games until the next big match on April 8th, 2017 against the blogger's team in the Bundesliga Bayern Munich which will be followed with a second game on April 25, 2017. Watch out for Alexander Isak as he gradually makes his way into the Borussia line up.
FYI: Alexander Isak is not the first Eritrean to play in the Bundesliga as a couple of years ago Joel Gherezgiher played for Frankfurt. 

Henok Goitom Returns to AIK Stockholm again.

Eritrean National team forward Henok Goitom is back to Sweden once again. He made his debut since he last played with AIK in 2015 as he went in towards the end of the game at the 78 minute mark. The game which Hacken was leading by 3 goals was a intra league play which did not have lots of implication just yet. After playing in Spain, the MLS and a possible trade to China and Venice, Italy, the best choice for Henok and his growing family a recently new dad, was back home where he started in Sweden. Henok is also getting back at full speed and will be able to help his team as well as Alexander's last team regain its status as one of the top teams in the Swedish Allsvenskan (Premier League).

                                                Henok Goitom back at AIK

Eri-International sports will continue to follow up on this and other important sports news stories related to the Eritrean communities around the world. Stay tuned as more stories and interviews will be coming your way soon.

Mike Seium 

For Eri-International sports blog.