Great Ethiopian Run Instrumental to Promote Tourism, Investment : World Figure Athletes - ENA English
Great Ethiopian Run Instrumental to Promote Tourism, Investment : World Figure Athletes
Addis Ababa ,November 20/2023(ENA)፦ The Great Ethiopian Run 2023, held in the vibrant capital of Addis Ababa on November 19, 2023, drawing over 45,000 participants, was a beacon of athletic excellence, economic empowerment, and international camaraderie, legendary World athletics figures and an ambassador stated.
Sunday's race, which attracted participants from several countries and international institutions, garnered praise from prominent figures in the world of sports and diplomacy, highlighting its multifaceted impact on Ethiopia and beyond.
Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebreselasie hailed the Great Ethiopian Run which attracts people from all walks of life as a crucial catalyst for the growth and development of athletics and the economy in Ethiopia.
According to him, many Ethiopians, embassies, NGOs, and people from other international institutions participated in the race.
"The event attracts investment for our country. When over 45,000 people run here, it shows how Ethiopia is capable to organizing such a race in Addis Ababa and also attracts foreigners to run or visit as tourists," Haile said.
"But I see its importance more in relation to the athletes. We will use the race to develop our athletics,” he underscored.
Thus, the Great Ethiopian Run is a lifeline for athletics, tourism, investment, and the economy in Ethiopia, he stressed.
Haile believes the Great Ethiopian Run in collaboration with government institutions have the capabilities to organize world-class athletics events.
"We are perfect organizers. We can host global athletics events."
British TV commentator on athletics Tim Hutchings, impressed by the professional organization and scale of the event, echoed Haile's sentiments on its importance to athletics in the country and beyond.
“I cannot believe how big it is. It is huge, it is very big, and it is well organized, great racing. I love it. I am learning so much," Hutchings said. "And I love Addis. I cannot believe what a great city it is.”
He recommended African countries to take a lesson on how to organize such big athletics events successfully.
“The quality of organization shows Africa how to put on a race. Other countries should be watching this and learning.”
He noted that “for the athletes it is great. Many young athletes can come here and get a chance to be special...It is wonderful that you can find new names in this race.”
The winner of the men's 10KM is, for instance, a new name who needs professional coach, manager and sponsor to flourish, and this race has helped him be known, he pointed out.
South African long-distance runner Elana Meyer, who was a guest, commended its role in promoting athletics and economic development.
“I enjoyed watching the elite race. It is the biggest in the world. To see 200 women, 200 men starting in the elite race is very difficult,” she said.
“It is a very impressive race to see such a strong elite field but then 45,000 participants that came out today to celebrate for Ethiopia. It is unbelievable. I have never been to an event like this and to witness it in my own continent is very special.”
People from all over the world should come to experience the race in Ethiopia, the heart of Africa’s run, she noted.
“This is absolutely world-class event and people all over the world should come and run it because almost the heart of Africa of running is in East Africa.”
She added that the story of this race and Ethiopia have to be told to the world accurately to attract foreign participants and tourists.
“Not enough people around the world know about this race because in South Africa I did not realize how big this race was.”
Ethiopia is almost where the best runners in the world came from, she stressed.
“To attract more people, you need to tell the story.”
Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Agostino Palese, who participated in the race, said the event show marvelous events that align with global issues can be organized in Ethiopia.
“It is a good event that could show that in Ethiopia you could organize marvelous events that could cooperate with any event in the rest of the world. It is a very nice day. A lot of people enjoyed a nice race.”
The ambassador observed that the race is crucial for Ethiopia’s image, economy, and tourism.
“It is a good image for Ethiopia…it is nice even for the economy, for tourism, and for attracting people to Ethiopia,” he added.
Besides its sport benefits, the race is a catalyst for economic development and international cooperation.