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Zeresenay Tadese set to stop nation again
By Irish Times
A BIG DAY FOR ERITREA: When a country has only had independence for just over 20 years, it clings tightly to its heroes. Since Eritrea finally stood on its own two feet in 1991, nobody has been a bigger hero than Zersenay Tadese. In 2004, he won the nascent African nation’s first Olympic medal when he finished third in the 10,000m. Now 30 years old, he has been there or thereabouts in the long-distance races at major events for close to a decade and each time he runs, Eritrea stops. Even his wedding – with 2,500 guests – was shown live on Eritrean TV.
Every time he wins, he dedicates his victory to his country. And there have been plenty of victories. He’s the world record holder in the half-marathon and took gold four years in a row at the world half-marathon championships.
But for Kenenisa Bekele, he would have a lot more gold medals, a silver in the 2009 World Championships 10k just one of the days he beat everybody except arguably the greatest distance runner of all time.
At 9.15 tonight he will have Bekele to deal with again, as well as home favourite Mo Farah, Kenyan Moses Masai and American Galen Rupp.
State of Eritrea ሃገረ ኤርትራ Hagere Ertra دولة إرتريا
Anthem: Ertra, Ertra, Ertra Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea
Capital (and largest city) Asmara
15°20′N 38°55′E / 15.333°N 38.917°E / 15.333; 38.917
Official language(s) Tigrinya, Arabic, English Other languages Tigre, Saho, Bilen, Afar, Kunama, Nara, Hedareb,.
Ethnic groups 60% Tigrinya, 30% Tigre, 4% Afar, 3% Saho, 3% Kunama
Demonym Eritrean Government Provisional government
- President Isaias Afewerki
- From Italy November 1941
- From United Kingdom under UN Mandate 1951
- from Ethiopia de facto 24 May 1991
- From Ethiopia de jure 24 May 1993
- Total 117,600 km2 (100th)
45,405 sq mi - Water (%) 0.14%
- 2009 estimate 5,224,000 (109th)
- 2008 census 5,291,370
- Density 43.1/km2 (165th)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
- Total $3.625 billion
- Per capita $681
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
- Total $2.117 billion
- Per capita $397
HDI (2007) steady 0.472 (low) (165th)
Currency Nakfa (ERN)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
- Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code ER
Internet TLD .er
Calling code 291
1 ,. National TV: Eritrea Television (ERI-TV)
Eritrea (play /ˌɛrɨˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrɨˈtriːə/; Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā, Arabic: إرتريا Iritrīyā), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeast and east of the country has an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Eritrea's size is approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi) with an estimated population of 6 million...