Denden Hall, Asmara — President Isaias Afwerki welcomed and received Eritrea’s newest athletic phenomenon, Girmay Ghebreslassie in the presence of government ministers and officials, where he praised the athlete for not absconding.
Taking a day off his busy schedule from overseeing the Adi Halo dam where he spends his days mostly playing with mud, President Isaias hosted a dinner banquet in honor of Ghebreslassie, the NYC marathon’s youngest winner ever.
On the occasion, the President gave an impromptu speech that congratulated Girmay on his stellar performance in New York, becoming the youngest athlete to win the event.
“The people and Government of Eritrea are elated at Girmay’s win as i am ,” said the President.
The President concluded his speech welcoming Girmay once again to his country and offering him and his immediate family as much water as they want from the Adi Halo dam.
Also, present and speaking on the occasion, the head of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice Economic Affairs department, Mr. Hagos ‘Kisha’ Gebrehiwet congratulated the winner, and told Girmay his 125,000 USD prize money will be exchanged to Eritrean Nakfas at a favorable market rate.
” I’d like to assure Girmay, and those of you who are present here that Girmay’s winnings will be converted to Nakfa for him at a favorable rate, and that the government will hold the money for him to save him the trouble of having to manage the money himself.” Mr. Gebrehiwet said.
Moreover, the Administrator of the Maekel Region, Major General Romodan Awliay, also congratulated the Athlete and promised Girmay that his house in the capital will be provided an extra 4-hours of electricity in light of his victory.
” My office has already passed instructions to the Eritrean Electrical Authority to provide your residence an extra 4-hours of electricity each week,” Major General Romodan Awliyay told Girmay.
Girmay has become the youngest athlete to win the New York Marathon, at a time of 2 hours 7 minutes and 19 seconds.