This article talks about the first Cycling team to be registered out of Ethiopia. With their rich heritage in long distance running it can only be a matter of time before Ethiopia starts to produce top cyclists. Marco Polo Cycling who for many years have had a team based in China have now changed their focus to this country as they hope to spread the cycling world and find new talent.
Donckers Koffie will be the new title sponsor of the Marco Polo Cycling Team in 2012, meaning the team will be able to race a full season of a pro-level program in Europe, with additional races in Asia and Africa.
The Marco Polo Cycling Team in Europe with sports director Gilbert de Weerdt and the Ethiopian (and Eritrean) cyclists.
Marco Polo Squad:
At the weekend 39-year-old Yamile Aldama by being the second oldest winner of a World Athletics Championship medal when she claimed victory in the Triple Jump at the World Indoors.
Having been born in Cuba Yamile started her international career representing them. Winning Silver at the World Indoor Championships in 1999 she then represented her country of birth at the 2000 Olympics where she finished fourth.
In 2001 Yamile married a Scottish man and re-located to the UK where she applied for citizenship. However , shortly after, her husband was sentenced to 15 years for his part in drug trafficking heroin valued at £40million. Yamile, unconnected with the offence, chose to remain in the UK but her application for citizenship started to hit rocks. This caused her to be unable to represent Team GB at the major sporting events.
Because of these problems Yamile looked at other options and with offers from a number of countries she chose to represent Sudan. After acquiring the Sudanese citizenship on January 23, 2004, she went to represent Sudan at the 2004 Summer Olympics where she finished in fifth place. In 2004 she also broke the Sudanese triple jump record achieving 15.28 metres.
On February 5, 2010, nearly ten years after her initial application, she finally gained British citizenship. And on the 13th of March 2012 she finally got the news that the IOC had finalised her application to change the nation of representation. Meaning that after over 10 years of trying Yamile will compete for Team GB at this years Olympics in London.
An International Olympic Committee statement said: “In both cases the Executive Board agreed to the request to reduce the three-year waiting period outlined in the Olympic Charter as the requirements for such reduction or cancellation had been met.”
A 39-strong squad has been announced as part of the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey 9 – 11 March.
The team is led by Jessica Ennis who will be in the Pentathlon and Mo Farrah who will be going in the 3,000m. The event allows many top British athletes to step up there preparations for the Olympics later in the year.
Dwain Chambers will look to defend his 60m title, while Robbie Grabarz who has had a great start to the season will look to take a medal in the High Jump.
On the womens side Yamile Aldama will look to win a medal in the Triple Jump at the age of 40. Young Pole Vaulter Holly Bleasdale will be looking to win her first major medal.
Aviva GB & NI Team:
Dwain Chambers (self-coached) – Belgrave (PB: 6.42 SB: 6.58)
*Andy Robertson (Sam Robertson) – Sale Harriers (PB: 6.61 SB: 6.61)
Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow (PB: 45.71 SB: 45.71)
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York (PB: 45.88 SB: 45.88)
Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) – Cardiff (PB: 1:46.35 SB: 1:46.35)
Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) – Harlow (PB: 1:46.53 SB: 1:46.53)
Lewis Moses (John Nuttall) – New Marske (PB: 3:41.33 SB: 3:41.33)
James Brewer (Craig Winrow) – Cheltenham (PB: 3:38.03 SB: 3:38.03)
Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7:34.47 SB: 7:37.4)
Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) – Stratford-Upon-Avon (PB: 7.62 SB: 7.62)
Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) – Belgrave (PB: 2.31 SB: 2.31)
Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) – Newham & Essex (PB: 2.34 SB: 2.34)
Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) – Newham & Essex (PB: 5.72 SB: 5.72)
*Andrew Sutcliffe (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 5.55 SB: 5.55)
*JJ Jegede (Peter Stanley) – Newham & Essex (PB: 8.04 SB: 8.04)
Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York
Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) – Kent
Michael Bingham (Kevin Tyler) – Birchfield
James Forman (Andy Forman) – Isle of Wight
Luke Lennon Ford (Linford Christie) – Birchfield
Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7.19 SB: 7.19)
Jodie Williams (Mike McFarlane) – Herts Phoenix (PB: 7.21 SB: 7.29)
Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 52.16 SB: 52.18)
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) – Birchfield (PB:53.01 SB:53.01)
Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 1:59.27 SB: 2:02.62)
Helen Clitheroe (John Nuttall) – Preston (PB: 8:39.81 SB: 8:45.59)
Tiffany Porter (James Henry) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 7.80 SB: 7.93)
Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Blackburn (PB: 4.87 SB: 4.87)
Katie Byres (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 4.52 SB: 4.52)
Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) – Birchfield (PB: 6.80 SB: 6.80)
Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 14.90 SB: 14.09)
Jessica Ennis (Toni Minichiello) – Sheffield (PB: 4937)
Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) – Birchfield
Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester) Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) – Newham & Essex
Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) – Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets
Laura Langowski (Nick Dakin) – Coventry
*Subject to qualification standard reached by 27 February