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End of the Olympic road for Gebrselassie

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

BERLIN - British media reported that former marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie has ended his London 2012 dream.

The Ethiopian, who won two Olympic gold medals in the 10,000 metres in 1996 and 2000, has been attempting to make the three-man Ethiopian squad for the marathon at the London Olympics later this year.

The BBC quoted his manager Jos Hermans as saying that Gebrselassie had realised he would not make the Ethiopian team. "Many Ethiopian athletes run 2:04 and Haile cannot run that any more. He has given up on the Olympics with pain in his heart," Hermans said.

Gebrselassie, who also won three world championship gold medals over the 10,000m, gave up during the Berlin marathon last year and then came fourth in the Tokyo marathon earlier this year as he attempted to get a time that would see him qualify.

He said that he would not give up running. "Although I will not be taking part in the Olympic marathon I am still enjoying my athletics career."

He lowered the marathon world record twice, but lost it in September at the Berlin marathon to Kenyan Patrick Makau (2:03:38).

On Sunday he beat the women's marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe in a head-to-head half-marathon run in Vienna.

Gebrselassie clocked 1:00:52 hours and Radcliffe crossed the line after 21.1km in 1:12:03. Based on their half-marathon personal bests, Radcliffe started 7:52 minutes ahead of Gebrselassie but was caught with five kilometres left.


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