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  • Latest FIFA rankings: New No. 1 as Argentina slips, USA moves up seven spots

    Image result for argentina brazil portugal spainThe United States men’s national team is ranked No. 23 in the new FIFA world rankings, up seven spots from the last rankings thanks to a fine March which saw the team regain momentum in World Cup qualifying with a 6-0 win over Honduras and a 1-1 draw at Panama.

    Brazil returns to first as it continues to dominate in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, leading the table by nine points and jumping Argentina in the world rankings. 

    The highest rated team in CONCACAF is Mexico as No. 16. The U.S. is the third highest as Costa Rica is three spots ahead at No. 20. Other teams ahead of the U.S. include Egypt, Peru, Switzerland, Wales, Iceland and many world powers. 

    Here’s the top 10:

    1. Brazil
    2. Argentina
    3. Germany
    4. Chile
    5. Colombia
    6. France
    7. Belgium
    8. Portugal
    9. Switzerland
    10. Spain

    The seven-spot jump for the U.S. is the highest of any team in the top 25.

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  • Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel Wins Carlsbad 5000 for the Fifth Time

     

    By Don Norcross (The San Diego Union-Tribune) |

    Dejen Gebremeskel walked along the fence that separated spectators from runners along the Carlsbad Village Drive finishing chute, held his right hand aloft, spreading his fingers and thumb wide.

    Five.

    For the fifth time Sunday, the lithe Ethiopian won the Carlsbad 5000, this time in 13 minutes, 27 seconds, dusting second-place Paul Chelimo of the United States by 20 seconds.

    “I want the history of the Carlsbad 5000,” said Dejen Gebremeskel. “No one has won five times. (No one else has celebrated four victories.) This is not easy. They bring champions here.”

    On the women’s side, the race went to a runner with a famous family lineage. Kenyan Violah Lagat, the sister of American Bernard Lagat, the second-fastest 1,500-meter runner ever, hit the tape in 15:35, one second ahead of American Shannon Rowbury.

    For Dejen Gebremeskel, silver medalist in the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, he owed his victory as much to intellect as speed. In his effort to set an American record, Chelimo requested a pacing rabbit. Problem was, the rabbit scooted too fast, busting from the start line like the race was a 400-meter sprint.

    After about 500 meters the rabbit was so far in front he turned his head, saw that he was too far in front of Chelimo and almost came to a walk.

    Dejen Gebremeskel, meanwhile, let Chelimo burn himself out.

    “No human being can hold that pace,” said the Ethiopian. 

    Continue reading this story on The San Diego Union-Tribune

     

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  • Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel Wins Carlsbad 5000 for the Fifth Time

     

    By Don Norcross (The San Diego Union-Tribune) |

    Dejen Gebremeskel walked along the fence that separated spectators from runners along the Carlsbad Village Drive finishing chute, held his right hand aloft, spreading his fingers and thumb wide.

    Five.

    For the fifth time Sunday, the lithe Ethiopian won the Carlsbad 5000, this time in 13 minutes, 27 seconds, dusting second-place Paul Chelimo of the United States by 20 seconds.

    “I want the history of the Carlsbad 5000,” said Dejen Gebremeskel. “No one has won five times. (No one else has celebrated four victories.) This is not easy. They bring champions here.”

    On the women’s side, the race went to a runner with a famous family lineage. Kenyan Violah Lagat, the sister of American Bernard Lagat, the second-fastest 1,500-meter runner ever, hit the tape in 15:35, one second ahead of American Shannon Rowbury.

    For Dejen Gebremeskel, silver medalist in the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, he owed his victory as much to intellect as speed. In his effort to set an American record, Chelimo requested a pacing rabbit. Problem was, the rabbit scooted too fast, busting from the start line like the race was a 400-meter sprint.

    After about 500 meters the rabbit was so far in front he turned his head, saw that he was too far in front of Chelimo and almost came to a walk.

    Dejen Gebremeskel, meanwhile, let Chelimo burn himself out.

    “No human being can hold that pace,” said the Ethiopian. 

    Continue reading this story on The San Diego Union-Tribune

     

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  • Despite outward calm, Ethiopia extends state of emergency

     

    Ethiopia’s parliament voted unanimously Thursday to extend the country’s state of emergency for another four months after top officials warned of the continuing threat of unrest.

    Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and a regional power house, declared the state of emergency in October after widespread rioting broke out and foreign factories were attacked following the death of dozens at a cultural festival.

    Ethiopia is a close U.S. ally in the fight against extremism in the unstable Horn of Africa region and has also become a magnet for foreign investment, especially in manufacturing.

    Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa, the point man for the state of emergency, said there were still “some people who occasionally strive to disrupt peace and security,” according to the state-owned Fana Broadcasting. The extension was needed, he said, to ensure the prevailing peace reached “the point of no return.”

    The state of emergency imposed broad restrictions on freedom of assembly and gave security forces wide powers to arrest people and search premises. According to government figures, more than 26,000 people were detained under the state of emergency, and most have been released. Opposition figures have said the number detained was much higher.

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