BASSANO DEL GRAPPA – There is a white puppy that draws a lot of attention for its sweetness and liveliness in the parterre of arrival of the BMW Jesolo Moonlight Half Marathon last Saturday. There is to keep him on a leash Meron Ghebrehiwet Faniel while his older brother, Eyob, is competing in the Venetian half marathon and is fighting to win. Meron is not alone, he is with his girlfriend and with the whole Faniel family, a wonderful extended group that follows him and cheers him on. Self Eyob Ghebrehiwet Faniel he is a great champion and to date the fastest marathoner that Italy has ever had, he certainly owes him to the ‘pack’ that follows him. Everywhere.
THE FAMILY – Besides Meron there is the father Ghebrehiwet Faniel Hailemom Mitslal Ogbu Zeruthe older brother Solomon Ghebrehiwet Faniel and of course there is Ilariahis partner and mother of two beautiful girls for six years: Wintana and Liya.
In the head of our champion, today the bearer of the Fiamme Oro, born in Asmara in 1992, the capital of Eritrea, there is a bit of disappointment about his sporting performance on Saturday night. Yes, he finished second, but something did not go as he wanted: “I would have liked to have raced better, but it was a test and this is what this kind of races are for. Now I know what I have to do and how I have to train in the coming weeks to be ready for the marathon European Championships which will take place on August 15th in Munich. These are the races that teach you something ”.
VALUES – “We are very close – says Eyob looking at the family photo taken Saturday evening in Jesolo – I received important family values from my parents, this reflects what we actually do, yes we are very united. Now with my partner and my girls I also have my little family. My brothers are my best friends, Meron has recently returned to Italy after seven years of work in Germany and we have seen little, but the contact has always been strong. They always follow me everywhere, one more stimulus in the various races. We always have fun together in the many trips “.
THE FORTUNE – Eyob arrived in Italy when he was 12, in 2004: “I consider myself very luckyI have two different cultures inside me, both the Eritrean one because I spent my childhood there, and the Italian one because in the end I have lived here since my teenage years. I know the two cultures very well, I consider it a wealth. For example, my parents arrived in Italy when they were over 40, of course they are more closed on various aspects “.
And so everyday life mixes, cultures coexist: “Also on Sunday we went home for lunch all together, I cooked meat on the grill and then we made Eritrean coffee which involves several hours of work, you have to toast and grind, a real process. Sometimes we meet and eat both Italian and Eritrean thanks to my mother who is an excellent cook. Again, I feel very rich in being lucky enough to be able to combine the two. When I am away, when I am away, these are moments that I almost look forward to ”.
300 DAYS – When Faniel says ‘to be away’ he means months and whole monthsbecause there are many races around the world, see for example the New York marathon where he finished third in November or at the Tokyo Olympics in August, as well as dozens and dozens of other trips and races, but also because he trains and consequently almost lives in Kapsabet, at 2200 meters above sea level, in the highlands of Kenya with his coach Claudio Berardelli and his training companions: “I’m away about 300 days a year, already this week I will return to Kenya. Even if I’m not at home I try to be a father, to be close to my family. True there is the distance but these are sacrifices that I want and have to make. I love athletics, it’s my job, I do it for myself but also for my children’s future. I do things 100%, and going to Kenya to train to find the maximum concentration and the maximum athletic shape possible to achieve the athletic goals that I have set for myself is part of my job “.
PARTISANS – Important values in Eyob’s soul, dictated by his parents: “My father arrived in Italy in 1998, he had to undergo an operation following injuries sustained in war of independence of Eritrea. Then the times here in Italy got longer for him, to support himself and bear the many costs he started working until he was hired for an indefinite period as a worker. Like my father, my mother was also a partisan, she was in the war and fought from 14 to 30 years, then independence came and she stayed at home with me and my brothers. After a long bureaucratic process, the documents finally arrived in 2004 and we were able to arrive we too in Italy to be all together“.
BOSTON – Yes, then there is Bostonthe latest arrival, four-legged quicksilver runner: “It’s our Boston, because it is the marathon I didn’t do in April. Everything was ready, I had been training for several months for the big goal of winning that marathon but an injury a few days earlier prevented me from starting and obviously I didn’t leave for the United States. I should have gone directly from Kenya, but instead I went back to Italy and the opportunity presented itself to take him. Maybe if I had gone to Boston I wouldn’t have had this big break. He is our Boston “.
#Eyob #Faniel #family #affair #feel #lucky