Gebrselassie’s Rival Saddened By His Retirement

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 9, 2010
  • Updated Nov. 9, 2010 at 5:19 PM UTC
Wanjiru hopes Gebrselassie will come back so he can race the Ethiopian. Photo:

Wanjiru hopes Gebrselassie will come back so he can race the Ethiopian. Photo:

Wanjiru had hoped to race his top rival.

Sammy Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and winner of this year’s Chicago Marathon was shocked and saddened to hear that marathon world-record holder Gebrselassie had retired from competitive running after his DNF in New York City this past weekend.

“I didn’t know about it until people started coming up to me this morning and asking me about it,” Wanjiru recalled. “I don’t know if he said that because he was mad that he had to drop out of the race or if he really means it.”

The 23-year-old Kenyan had been inspired by Gebrselassie.

“This entire generation, whether in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, look up to him because Haile ran many years, and he won many races at many distances. He is a great champion. Since I was in high school, he was the runner I looked up to,” he said.

Wanjiru  hopes Gebrselassie will make a comeback so he can race the Ethiopian world-record holder in the marathon.

“Before he gets out of training, I hope that he comes back one more time because I want to run against him,” Wanjiru said. “I need him to come back again, only to run one.”

For More: Universal Sports

FILED UNDER: News / NYC Marathon News TAGS: / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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