The Great Ethiopian Run organizers announced in a social media update that two participants died after they collapsed during yesterday’s event which drew more than 40,000 elite and carnival runners. And the organizers expressed condolences to families and friends.
The two victims were taken to hospital but their lives could not be saved.
Identities of the deceased and other details, except for their ages,is not disclosed by The Great Ethiopian Organizers as they seek to consult with families first. One of them collapsed after completing the 10k race while the other one collapsed before completing it in the vicinity of Gotera. They were forty and sixty one years old respectively.
Except that tragic incident,which is of natural cause, there was no other reported security problem.
From social media reports, the only other incident that annoyed the participants was that the Federal police was dispossessing runners who were hoisting Ethiopian flag and tricolor arm wrists, as reported by journalist Konjit Teshome, on grounds that the flags are “illegal.” Government outlawed the flag Ethiopian flag that patriots carried out during the war against fascist Italy in the five years of occupation in the late 1930’s.
Runners usually seize the Great Ethiopian Run to express political messages as well, as freedom of expression is curtailed, and yesterday was not an exception. Many runners were dancing to the patriotic songs of Ethiopia’s pop star, Teddy Afro
As part of the event, a concert was organized at the Ghion Hotel,where Reggae artists were playing, in the afternoon.
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