Haile Gebrselassie's Olympic career
By Scott Douglas
Photo by Shutterstock
You might think that Haile Gebrselassie's Olympic career is over, but don't tell that to him. Gebrselassie, a former world record holder in the marathon and the 1996 and 2000 Olympic 10,000-metre champion, says he wants to run the 2016 Olympic marathon in Rio.
"Why not? Why not running? You see, when you are a runner you have to set goals. If you don't have a goal, why are you running?" Gebrselassie rhetorically asked supersport.com.
Gebrselassie, who is already highly active as a businessman, has long said he'd like to get involved with Ethiopian politics. But, for now at least, the voters of Addis Ababa will have to wait.
Gebrselassie's age has often been a matter of debate. He competed in the early 1990s as a junior, and won the 1992 world junior championship at 10,000 metres (despite being punched in the head by Kenyan Josphat Machuka). If his age was reported accurately at that time, then Gebrselassie would be 43 during the 2016 Olympics.
After his two Olympic 10,000-metre titles, Gebrselassie was 5th in the 10,000 at the 2004 Olympics, and didn't run in the 2008 Olympics. (A month after that Olympics ended, he became the first to break 2:04 in the marathon when he won Berlin.) This year he was a runner in the Olympic torch relay before the opening ceremony.
Gebrselassie's last completed marathon was Tokyo in February, where he hoped to run fast enough to be selected to the Ethiopian team for London. He went out hard, but faded in the closing kilometres to finish 4th in 2:08:17. His other best times this year include 27:20 for 10,000 metres, 27:39 for 10K on the roads and 1:00:52 for the half-marathon.
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