Ethiopia : Feyisa Lilesa and Kenenisa Bekele to compete at London Marathon

January 9,2016

Feyisa Lilessa  after finishing second  at Rio Olympic men's marathon this morning Photo : Screenshot from CBC live stream of men's marathon
Feyisa Lilessa after finishing second at Rio Olympic men’s marathon this morning
Photo : Screenshot from CBC live stream of men’s marathon

Feyisa and Kenenisa are competing at the London Marathon in less than two weeks. And it is something that Ethiopians are looking forward to watch, for a reason.

Feyisa Lilesa made headline news the world over when he showed protest sign by crossing his arms over his head as he crossed the finishing line at the Rio Olympic to claim his Olympic Silver Medal. He was protesting wide spread killings and repression in his country, Ethiopia, by the government in power and refused to return to his country for fear of persecution by the government. His families didn’t want him to return either on similar grounds.

Once he found himself in the United States weeks after completion of Rio Olympic, he spent much time in a civic engagement like undertaking rather than focusing on his athletic career. And he seems to have a considerable success in terms of bringing to a limelight the level of repression in Ethiopia, and most importantly in making a point that even sacrificing a career and the benefit -financial or otherwise, it could garner to the individual is nothing compared to the pleasure of standing firm for a cause that has a lot to do with justice to and freedom of your countrymen.[adToAppearHere]

He managed, recently, to make sometime for training for his plan to compete at London Marathon.

Kenenisa Bekele, who rather turned out to be a content for political satire, photoshops and cartoons among Ethiopians in different social media platforms over his remark on Feyisa Lilesa’s protest, has the second fastest marathon time in history; he was only short of six seconds from Marathon record when he run second fastest time at the Berlin Marathon last September. Unlike Feyisa Lilesa, Kenenisa is said to have intensive training sessions in preparation for the London Marathon. Days before the London Marathon, Kenenisa will run IAAF Gold Label Road Race, Marathon, at Dubai.

Despite all that, there is a reason for people to expect, and hope, the best from Lilesa.

While Feyisa Lilesa is running at the London Marathon with a cause greater than himself, Kenenisa is just running for a title and what the title entitles him to in terms of reward. And that is what appears to make the London Marathon very interesting to watch as far as millions of Ethiopians are concerned.


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