Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cycle away Eritrea: Olympics here we come Like it or not.

     I guess the term "Nkhid Tray" or "Segum" is applying in sports these days and Eritrea is starting to make some serious noise be it running, cycling, or soccer. While runners continue to run and make their mark internationally, the Cycling team has also proven to be the best in Africa. What an honor and what a moment for the nation of Eritrea. It was just in 1996 when two Eritrean Cyclists came to the U.S.A to be exact in the city of Atlanta when they were denied participation at the 1996 Olympics. The two who got an overwhelming support from Eritreans in the diaspora along with a humanitarian Japanese group known as Peace Boat did not get a chance to participate. Yohannes Zekarias and Bereket Zere watched on the sidelines despite all the efforts to get them to participate only four years after an independent Eritrea was formed. Their moment of pride was shattered as the IOC denied them entry to participate after they flew to Atlanta all the way from Eritrea.

Well! Oh how times have changed. Today two Eritrean cyclists have qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London and more may come as we near the next Olympics almost 15 years later since Atlanta 1996. Daniel Teklehaimanot and Meron Russom have already bought their ticket after an astonshing performance at the African Continental Cycling championships held in Rwanda. The Eritrean national team has also shown that it is capable of working as a team as they won the team trial session easily placing First. In the elite race Eritrea placed four cyclists in the top ten and 7 in the top twenty with Frekalsi Debessai finishing a strong 19th. Frekalsi one of the top notch cyclists continues to play a big role in the development of Eritrean cycling despite his results which is not too bad at all. 

     What makes Daniel's situation even sweeter is the fact that he is a professional athlete in Europe and he made his way back to represent Eritrea in the African continental championship. He is an inspiration to other athletes and we hope to see an Eritrean Gold in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Congratulations to Eritrean athletics as the term "Nkhid tray" & "Segum" are proving to be a success model just like everything else happening in this nation of the can do people. 

For Eri-International sports 
Mike Seium

Here below are results of the top 20 from the African Cycling Competition in the Elite men's course,
Top twenty Elite (Eritrean cyclists highlighted)

1Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri)3:54:06
2Meron Russom (Eri)0:00:28
3Dan Craven (Nam)
4Adil Jelloul (Mar)0:01:14
5Araya Medhin Dawit Haile (Eri)
6Azzedine Lagab (Alg)0:01:31
7Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA)
8Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa)
9Teweldemedhin Natnael Berhane (Eri)
10Abdelati Saadoune (Mar)
11Tesfai Teklit (Eri)0:01:55
12Paul Agorir (Ken)0:01:59
13Hichem Chabane (Alg)0:02:57
14Estifanos Gebresilassie (Eth)
15Gabriel Combrinck (RSA)0:03:33
16Sollomon Bittew Shiferaw (Eth)
17Issiaka Fofana (CIv)0:08:09
18Fathi Ahmed Atunsi (Lba)
19Frekalsi Debesai (Eri)



No comments: