After the sacking of Portuguese coach Mariano Barreto, the Ethiopian Football Federation appointed Yohannes Sahle as the new national team coach for the Walias.
Yohannes is an Ethiopia-born US citizen who had a successful playing career in the mid 1980s with the top Ethiopian teams before leaving for America.
Since appointment, the coach’s prime target has been preparing his team for the Afcon 2017 qualifier and under his guidance, the Walias are placed second in Group J having gathered four points from two group stage matches against Lesetho and Seychelles. His team has qualified to the next round of CHAN 2016 qualifier having beaten neighbors Kenya.
Haile Gebreselassie announced retirement
Distance running legend Haile Gebreselassie announced his retirement from competitive running after finishing 16th at the Great Manchester Run, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on May 10, 2015.
His announcement brought an end to a phenomenally successful career which stretched back more than two decades in which he claimed two Olympic gold medals over 10,000m, in 1996 and 2000, nine IAAF world titles, including four consecutive IAAF World Championships 10,000m wins, and he set 15 official world records outdoors as well as five world indoor records.
Haile Gebrselassie remains the world record holder at 20,000m in less than one hour.
St. George clinched 12th EPL title
Saint George clinched the Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) title for a record 12th time. The horsemen secured the title with two games to spare amassing 51 points from 24 matches - winning 15, drawing six and losing three matches. St. George’s management decision to sack Brazilian coach Naider Dos Santos in March proved decisive to their title charge.
Caretaker manager Fasil Tekalegn guided the horsemen to the championship maintaining an undefeated run in nine league matches drawing just two.
Woldiya City and Muger Cement were relegated having as Dire Dawa City and Halaba City were promoted to the topflight league.
Historic gold for Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu
It was a historic year for the Ethiopian cycling team as Tsgabu Grmay became the first rider from Ethiopia to win an elite gold medal at the 2015 African Cycling Championship.
Although the hosts South African team was favored to win the men’s Individual Time Trial, it was Ethiopian rider Tsgabu who was the fastest over the two laps to claim the continental crown.
Ethiopia’s cycling success this year was not confined to the men. Hadnet Asmelash finished third in the women’s road race coming behind two South African cyclists. The pair will be representing Ethiopia at the Rio Olympics after 24 years.
Genzebe’s record smashing year
Genzebe Dibaba achieved what many had believed to be unachievable, breaking the 1500m world record with a time of 3:50.07. Set at the 1993 National Games, the 1500m record was considered to be one of the toughest records on the books.
In what was a record-breaking season, Genzebe’s also shattered the 5000m world indoor record which was held by Meseret Defar by almost six seconds in Stockholm in February. The new indoor record was also a mere eight seconds off her sister Tirunesh’s outdoor world record set in 2008. In 2014, Genzebe broke records in the 1500m, 3000m, and two-mile (9:00.48), all in a span of 15 days.
African junior athletics championship hosted
The 12th edition of the African Junior Athletics Championship 2015, a biennial continental athletics tournament for African athletes aged 19 years or younger, was hosted in Ethiopia. The Addis Ababa Stadium was the venue for the athletics competitions following on the 2008 African Championships in Athletics, which was hosted at the same venue.
Ethiopia finished the tournament occupying the third spot in the medal standings with seven gold, 12 silver and ten bronze medals. The Nigerian team finished top with 12 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals followed by South Africa who scooped nine gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals.
Football showdown in Bahir Dar Stadium
Bahir Dar Stadium became Ethiopia’s major sporting venue following a recognition by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the stadium to host international matches.
The 50 thousand seat capacity stadium hosted its first international match between Dedebit FC and Cote d’or of Seychelles in the return leg of CAF Confederation Cup which Dedebit won 2-0.
Since then, the stadium hosted four international matches including Walia’s Afcon 2017 and CHAN 2016 qualifiers in front of capacity crowd.
CAF also extended a similar recognition to Dire Dawa Stadium which hosted the U-23 All-Africa Games qualifier between Ethiopia and Sudan which the visitors won 2-1.
First Woman Coach in the league
Meseret Manni made history by becoming the first woman coach to lead her team, Dire-Dawa City, to play in the Ethiopian Premier League. Under Meseret’s guidance; Dire-Dawa City won seven of the nine trophies in this year’s National League Championship. Dire-Dawa City now returns to the topflight Ethiopian Premier League after 13 years of absence.
Open taekwondo tournament held
Ethiopian Taekwondo Association (ETA) hosted the first open taekwondo tournament in both sexes in which participants from five countries took part including the Ethiopian team.
The tournament was used as an opportunity to select a taekwondo team which will represent Ethiopia in the 2016 Summer Olympics which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Over 450 participants from Ethiopia, US, India, Kenya and England took part in the tournament which took place for two days at the Ethiopian Youth Academy at Arat Kilo Sports Center.
Golden girls at Beijing 2015
Ethiopia finished fifth in the medal standing at the end of the 2015 IAAF World Championship in Beijing thanks mainly to a golden performance from its women athletes. It was Genzebe Dibaba who delivered the first gold for her country in the Women’s 1500meter.
On the final day, Ethiopia won two more gold medals as Mare Dibaba and Almaz Ayana finished first in the Women’s marathon and 5000 meters, respectively, to appease Ethiopian athletics fans dismayed by the performance of the men particularly in 5000 and 10000 meters.
However, it was Almaz who stole the headlines with her stunning 5000 meters victory and voted Performance of the Championships.
Africa’s U-20 handball tournament hosted
Ethiopia hosted Africa’s U-20 handball tournament in both sexes from August 4-8, 2015. In the tournament eleven handball teams from African countries have participated with the team that went on to win the competition representing Africa on the world stage.
Ethiopia, Mozambique, Madagascar in both sexes; Cape Verde, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda participated in the male’s category. Senegal, Burkina Faso, Chad and Kenya were countries that took part only in women’s category.
Ethiopia was eliminated in the early round in the men’s competition while the women’s team finished fourth. Cape Verde and Senegal won the men’s and women’s category, respectively.