A Brief Chat With Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston grand p

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A Brief Chat With Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston grand p

Unread post by ኦሽንoc » 08 Feb 2011 13:59

By Sabrina Yohannes
Photos by Victah Sailer

Dejen Gebremeskel’s winning the Boston New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 3000 in 7:35.37 on Saturday despite losing a shoe in the first
[right][left]lap drew accolades and recalled, for some, the legendary barefoot victory at the 1960 Rome Olympics of his countryman, Ethiopian running pioneer Abebe Bikila. Gebremeskel was the 2008 World Junior bronze medalist over 5000 meters and had a breakthrough year in 2010,
when he made Ethiopia’s World Indoor Championships team in the 3000. He also took second to Bernard Lagat in the latter’s

Image[/left][left]American record-breaking indoor 5000 in Boston (where Gebremeskel ran 13:11.78 to Lagat’s 13:11.50); and at the Prefontaine Classic 5000 in Eugene, where Gebremeskel cracked 13 minutes, improving his time to 12:53.56 the following month at the Stockholm Diamond League meet. Gebremeskel hails from the Adigrat area of the same northern Ethiopian region of Tigray as 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion Gebregziabher Gebremariam and 1980 double Olympic champion Miruts Yifter. Gebremeskel spoke to Sabrina Yohannes a day after his one-shoe run (which was by no means a ‘half-shod’ effort!).[/left][/right]That was an amazing race. How did you feel?
Dejen Gebremeskel: It was a little tough, one foot being shoeless. It was difficult.
What happened?
DG: When I started, there was some jostling and the back of my foot got stepped on. It was at the very beginning. We hadn’t gone 50 meters when it came off.
Did you consider going back to put it on again?
DG: It so fast and it’s an indoor race, so you can’t even attempt something like that. It was tough.
It must have been very uncomfortable.
DG: My foot was burning. After the race, it had blisters.
What was your race plan?
DG: The meet record is 7:34.50. I had hoped to attempt that when the race started. I only missed it by some 40 or 50 hundredths of a second, so it would have been threatened, but under the circumstances, I couldn’t even attempt it. My only option then was to follow the pace and if anything, go for the win. (The meet record, set by Australian Craig Mottram in 2008, is also a U.S. all-comers record.)
You went for the lead at the bell. Was that your plan once the race was underway?
DG: Especially after the shoe fell off, yes. Initially, I planned to follow the pacemaker and then go to the front, with maybe two laps, 400, to go. I would have pushed the pace and gone after the record, and I believe I could have done it. Maybe I would have gotten it, maybe I wouldn’t, but I believe I could have, because only 40 or 50 hundredths of a second remained. We were very close, even under the circumstances. I ran 7:35.37.
What were you thinking at the bell?
DG: Mo Farah (of Great Britain, who would come in second) is a strong runner and a famous one, and his finishing kick is good, too, so I knew it would be challenging, but if I’d come that far, I had to try to win.
It looked like there might have been a bit of jostling at the bell with three of you there. Did you fear getting stepped on, on your shoeless foot?
DG: No, I didn’t think about that. The race was ending and there would be no further opportunities to go for it if not at that point.

The sole of my foot was burning especially on the later laps, my gait was unbalanced, and with the track being rubber and us running at that high speed, my foot was in pain, but I couldn’t focus on that because I had to fight for whatever I could achieve.
Abebe Bikila won at the Olympics running barefoot. Did that thought enter your mind at any point?
DG: Only after I finished. Abebe ran with both feet bare, while I ran with one foot bare, but after the race, Ethiopians there were celebrating, chanting that I ran like him. Abebe is a great runner and I can’t compare myself to him, but they were celebrating and saying that I repeated his feat.
Did they continue to celebrate after the event was over?
DG: Yes, they took me to see (Ethiopian world music singer) Aster Aweke in concert and we spent the evening enjoying ourselves there.
Did they introduce you to the crowd?
DG: Yes, they introduced me at the concert. They had me come up to the DJ’s spot during an intermission and they told everyone, "This is an athlete who has done such and such."
How did you feel?
DG: You feel good when others rejoice over you. It makes you think, "I’m so happy that I didn’t quit, that I didn’t lose."
How is your foot now?
DG: It’s better than yesterday. I hope it will heal soon. It’s bandaged. It was really burning when I finished the race.
But you have no regrets about not putting that shoe back on?
DG: I’m very happy I finished and especially that I won, but if I had gone back – it’s an indoor race and the track is just 200 meters – as I was hobbling around trying to put the shoe back on, they could have come around again. It’s indoors and it’s fast. If they had run 27, 28 seconds, by the time I stopped and put the shoe on, they could have lapped me.
What kind of surfaces have you run on in the past?
DG: There’s only one real track in Addis Ababa, where we all train. But in the past, I trained in a stadium with a dirt track.
Have you run barefoot?

DG: I’ve never trained barefoot, only with shoes. Tennis shoes, sneakers,
regular shoes of some sort. I ran one competition barefoot. It was on the Addis Ababa track, a 5000 or 10,000, I don’t remember which, it was all the same to me then. It was maybe about five years ago. It was the regional competition at the Ethiopian championships.
How did you do?
DG: I won.
Do you remember who placed second and third?
DG: No. I think they might have since left the country, but I’m not really sure. I don’t really remember them.
If you’d always run with shoes before that, why did you run that barefoot?
DG: It was my first time running on a proper track, and we were told we could only run on it with spikes. There were many of us in the same situation. So we ran barefoot.
Where and in what shoes had you done most of your racing when you first began running?
DG: Before that I’d always worn shoes, usually canvas shoes, and I ran in the Welwalo Stadium in Adigrat.
Where were you born? Is it near Adigrat?
DG: Yes. The rural area is in a district called Gulo Makeda
How did you begin running?
DG: I began running while I was in school. We used to run representing the school. Then you compete while you’re in school, representing the district, then you represent the zone. That’s how I began running. I continued running for the district and then representing the region, and eventually the country.
What was your last race before Boston?
DG: The Diamond League in Stockholm (in August).
And where do you race next?
DG: In Birmingham, in two weeks, on February 19. I’m running 3000 meters there.
(Update on Monday 2/7 regarding the 2/19 Birmingham meet, where a men's 5000 is scheduled):
DG: I’ve just heard the race there might be the 5000 and I might not be entered in that. So I’m not sure if I’m running there. I wouldn’t mind running either distance, but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll run another indoor race.
How was your race in Birmingham last year?
DG: I was second, to a Kenyan runner (Sammy Mutahi).
How does your current shape compare to what it was like then?
DG: I think I’m in better shape, but it’s hard to say because this is my first race.
You’re not running any cross country races?
DG: No.
What are your goals for this year?
DG: The World Championships. The 5000 meters.
And what dreams do you have for the 2012 Olympics?
DG: (Laughs) What everyone else wants. I want that very much.
You’ve partially matched Abebe Bikila’s barefoot running. Do you hope to emulate him at the Olympics too?
DG: May God keep us safe until that time, and then we’ll see what happens.
You ran at the World Indoor Championships last year. Can you talk about that?
DG: Yes, I ran in Doha. I ran well in the heats. I qualified by placing second in my heat, but I found the final a bit difficult.
Apart from the Doha final (where you were tenth), you placed second in every single one of the seven races you ran last year. Were you aware of that?
DG: Yes, that’s true, that is how I placed in all my races. I noticed that
Was that part of what inspired you to come back and try to go one better in Boston, and maybe also to attack the meet record?
DG: More than that, it was partly because the record wasn’t too difficult. The world record is very fast, but I felt that the meet record wasn’t all that hard to attack.
How do you feel about winning now after being second last year?
DG: Oh, that was really great.
Does that then inspire you to try to win in (your next race) too?
DG: Yes, I hope I’ll be able to do the same there.
How long have you been preparing for these 2011 indoor races?
DG: For these races, maybe about three weeks to a month.
Last year before the Stockholm Diamond League, you broke 13 minutes at the Prefontaine Classic meet in the U.S. and bettered that time in Stockholm. Can you talk about those races?
DG: Both times were my personal bests – I ran a personal best at the first one and improved it at the second one – and it was great. It was the fourth fastest time of the year among all 5000-meter races. Among Ethiopian runners, it was the fastest time of the year.
That’s wonderful.
DG: Yes, it’s really great.

Source: http://racingnews.runnersworld.com/2011 ... eskel.html

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Re: A Brief Chat With Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston gra

Unread post by ኦሽንoc » 08 Feb 2011 14:02

Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston grand prix with one shoe


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Re: A Brief Chat With Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston gra

Unread post by aliciapaul » 06 May 2013 01:33

Ethiopia is a country with people who like to take part in various activities either sports or any cultural activities. So it seems to be a land of diversity and is a must watch place.

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Re: A Brief Chat With Dejen Gebremeskel winner of Boston gra

Unread post by dennisjoe » 28 Oct 2013 03:16

West Ham v Stoke City Premier League Highlights 11/18/12


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