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ADDIS ABABA (HAN) August 2.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. The Ethiopian Olympic contingent will fly tomorrow, Wednesday, to Rio de Janeiro promising to collect 12 medals for the country: Four gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

The Ethiopian Olympic Committee earlier officially declared that the country has planned to collect 12 medals in total. There are countries who refuse to declare a medal target for the Rio Olympics amid predictions that they would take the lion’s share in swimming. The Australian team is a case in point.

The US magazine Sports Illustrated made the forecast in their traditional Olympics edition last month, while also tipping Australia to claim nine silvers and a bronze for a medal haul of 21. But Australia officially refused to declare its medal prediction.

Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome had a grand dinner party for the delegation last week Tuesday at the National Palace. Except Genzebe Dibaba all Ethiopian promising athletes were present during the grand reception. Genzebe was in Spain during that grand reception.

Taking the opportunity the President expressed his confidence in the Ethiopian young boys and girls to repeat what they have done in previous Olympics. We don’t expect less gold medals than before. “We are hopeful our boys and girls will give us a New Year gift for the entire people for Rio de Janeiro. The Ethiopian people are behind you, try your level best to put our country ahead of others. This is the time to change our international image,” Dr. Mulatu said.

The athletes were so enthusiastic and highly inspired by what the people were expecting from them.

The Ethiopian contingent will arrive in Rio after 15 hours flight. The contingent was in a relaxed mood, believing that all share equal responsibilities to take the podium.

The coaches and the athletes are focused that there is medal expectations within the team, which is really great. They all agree with his idea.

Almaz said, “I think there’s talk about medals, records. We are literally there to give it our best shot and that will be enough. Without doubt it is possible to outshine in Rio.”

Ethiopia’s London campaign four years ago could be described as harmonious, having been marred by unexpected women’s marathon victory. The same is possible in Rio. We expect medals in 5, 000m, 1, 5000m and women’s marathon but gaining gold in unexpected event is also possible.

The three-time gold Olympic medalist Tirunesh Dibaba is still mentally fit to repeat the feat that she had sown in London and Beijing. “It’s really great if we repeat what we have done in the past. It will be a new Olympic record and I will fight for it,” she said.

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