The Irish Times - Saturday, August 4, 2012 Tadese set to stop nation again
*A BIG DAY FOR ERITREA:* When a country has only had independence for just
over 20 years, it clings tightly to its heroes. Since Eritrea finally stood
on its own two feet in 1991, nobody has been a bigger hero than Zersenay
Tadese. In 2004, he won the nascent African nation’s first Olympic medal
when he finished third in the 10,000m. Now 30 years old, he has been there
or thereabouts in the long-distance races at major events for close to a
decade and each time he runs, Eritrea stops. Even his wedding – with 2,500
guests – was shown live on Eritrean TV.
Every time he wins, he dedicates his victory to his country. And there have
been plenty of victories. He’s the world record holder in the half-marathon
and took gold four years in a row at the world half-marathon championships.
But for Kenenisa Bekele, he would have a lot more gold medals, a silver in
the 2009 World Championships 10k just one of the days he beat everybody
except arguably the greatest distance runner of all time.
At 9.15 tonight he will have Bekele to deal with again, as well as home
favourite Mo Farah, Kenyan Moses Masai and American Galen Rupp.
Received on Sun Aug 05 2012 - 23:23:08 EDT