Dado confirms herself as the Queen of Rome
When Massimiliano Monteforte (Race director of the Rome marathon) provided me with the list of the elite women runners for the 17th edition of the Golden League Rome Marathon, I was pleased to read that the winner of the previous 2 marathons was ranked F1 – none other than the smiling athlete from Ethiopia, Dado Tufa FireHiwot.
Speaking with her the previous evening, as always Dado was full of smiles, relaxed and joking with her other team mates that Hussein Makke (director and coach of Elite Sport Management International) had gathered for the event. I told her that only a win was allowed or else no more invited to run in Rome for future marathon. She laughed it off and said that it will not be easy to do 3 in a row.
I glanced at Hussein who lifted his hands with a hint of a smile in a gesture of “anything is possible”.
Knowing Hussein who over the years has become one of the most successful managers representing the elites in middle and long distance running, off and on the track; he will not come with a small group of athletes to watch the world go by. In 2010 his runners took the double in Rome winning both men and women categories as well as Florence (Dado again) not mentioning victories at the Boston marathon, Paris – again an incredible double winning elite men and women categories, Dubai, China, Turkey, Seoul and many more!
On race day, Dado Tufa FireHiwot went out from the beginning with the leading pack keeping a meter or so behind her pacemakers before taking control of the race and stampeding ahead after the 30k marker. 400 yards before the finish line, she stopped, removed her shoes and went on to win barefoot her 3rd consecutive victory paying a graceful tribute to legendary barefoot marathon athlete from Ethiopia Abebe Bikila (1st African to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1960 games held in Rome and 4 years later in Tokyo).
Dado won in a time of 2.24.13 ahead of fellow country women Tesema Goitetom (2.26.21) and Lema Kebebush Haile (2.27.39)
(c) Bushdrums 2011