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Gebrselassie gives up on Olympic dream

The legendary distance runner has conceded that he won’t be fast enough to earn a place in Ethiopia’s marathon squad for London 2012.

Haile Gebrselassie in action (file photo).
Haile Gebrselassie in action (file photo).
Image: Omnisport

TWO-TIME OLYMPIC gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie has given up in his quest to compete at the London Olympics.

The former marathon world record holder was hoping to run the 42.195 kilometre race at this year’s Olympic Games, but Gebrselassie does not believe he can make Ethiopia’s marathon team after a disappointing performance at the Tokyo Marathon in February.

Gebrselassie, 39, finished the Tokyo race with a time of 2:08:17 which made him the 19th-fastest Ethiopian over the marathon distance in 2012.

“Many Ethiopian athletes run 2:04 and Haile cannot run that anymore,” Gebrselassie’s manager Jos Hermans said.

Gebrselassie won his two Olympic gold medals in the 10,000 metres, a race he also won four times at the World Championships, but since 2004, the Ethiopian long-distance legend has focused on marathons.

Despite giving up on his dream of competing in London, Gebrselassie will continue to race, having confirmed that he will run the 10 kilometre Great Manchester Run in May.

“Although I will not be taking part in the Olympic marathon I am still enjoying my athletics career and looking forward to coming to Manchester again and to a course which I love,” he said.

Next month will also see Gebrselassie run his final ever 10,000 metre race with an event in the Netherlands.

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