Athletics rivalry: Kenya Vs Ethiopia

Yesterday my Ethiopian friend and I were talking
about the rivalry between Kenya and Ethiopia in athletics. My friend was adamant that there is no rivalry because Ethiopia always spanks our you know where. In his words:

“How do you call it a rivalry when one country is always winning…”

Upon hearing that, I jokingly asked the beautiful girl with neat cornrows who was serving our table, whether they had unknowingly laced his drink.

Of course they had not. I had a job to protect the dignity of our country.

In the 1990s, Kenya boasted some of the world’s finest long-distance runners, renowned for their dominance in athletics. One such athlete was Moses Tanui, who aimed to defend his title at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart in 1993. Just two years prior, he had secured victory in the 10,000m race in Tokyo. Tanui was in exceptional shape and form, ready to take on his opponents, including his familiar rival Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia.

During the race, Tanui and his fellow Kenyan athlete, Richard Chelimo, employed a tactical approach, controlling the pace and alternating their positions at the front. Gebrselassie was the only Ethiopian managing to keep up with the Kenyans, adding intensity to the competition.

With 400 meters remaining, Gebrselassie ran up close to Tanui, inadvertently causing Tanui’s left shoe to loosen. Realizing the hindrance, Tanui swiftly waved his arms, flung off his left shoe, and continued the race with one shoe and one bare foot. Remarkably, he maintained a two-meter lead, extending it to ten meters. However, in the middle of the backstretch, Gebrselassie launched a determined surge. Closing the gap, he caught up to Tanui with just 30 meters left, slipping past on the inside and securing victory.


Although the race was over, the rivalry between the two athletes persisted. Tanui retrieved his left shoe and gestured towards Gebrselassie in frustration.

In a post-race interview, Tanui alleged that Gebrselassie had intentionally pushed him three times during the race. He believed the Ethiopian resorted to these tactics because it was the only way he could defeat him. Tanui further expressed his anger, stating that the judge had repeatedly warned Gebrselassie to stop hitting him in the back. He firmly believed that if his shoe hadn’t come off, he would have emerged victorious.

Gebrselassie, on the other hand, refuted Tanui’s claims and accused him of deliberately slowing down during the race. He asserted that he never made physical contact with Tanui. His strategy, he stated, was to closely follow the leader throughout the race, and he was sorry that Tanui had lost his shoe. However, he firmly believed that he was running at a faster pace than Tanui, contributing to his victory.

Following the race, the Kenyan team filed a protest, alleging interference and calling for Gebrselassie’s disqualification. Unfortunately for the Kenyans, the five-member jury of appeals rejected their protest, thus cementing the Ethiopian’s victory.

The encounter between Tanui and Gebrselassie became a memorable moment in the history of athletics and created a rivalry between Ethiopia and Kenya

Faith Kipyegon broke the 5000m world record held by an Ethiopian. It was part of the revange as decreed in the Rwamüthambï declaration of 1993. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Ultimately, there is a convergence when it comes to Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee. They are considered premium coffee. If you are in America, enjoy the best of Africa’s coffee- Copied

Kenya has 113 Olympics Medals, Ethiopia 58. There is no rivalry there. We ain’t even peers. Wawache ujinga.

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There is no rivalry apart from the 10000m we wipe the floor in the every other race starting from the 800m to the marathon

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