Tergat: Haile’s Un-Retirement A Good Thing

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 17, 2010
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM UTC
Paul Tergat is happy to have his former rival running again. Photo:

Paul Tergat is happy to have his former rival running again. Photo:

The former world-record holder in the marathon likes having his old rival back.

Haile Gebrselassie used to be Paul Tergat’s number one rival. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Gebrselassie was the reigning world record holder in the 10,000m and the twice-defending world champion. His main rival was cross-country champion Tergat.

Tergat, 42, is now retired and has finally weighed in on the Ethiopian’s decision to return to the sport.

“Legends of any sport do not retire; instead, they fade off the stage graciously and continue working in the disciplines they know best,” said Tergat. “Where can Haile go? We all love him, and it is best he stays in athletics for longer.”

Tergat said he, too, was surprised by the sudden announcement by his great friend to throw in the towel moments after he had bet on him to win the ING New York City Marathon. In that race, Gebrselassie dropped out along the Queensboro Bridge around the 16-mile mark due to a knee injury.

But Tergat is upbeat about Haile’s future in the sport.

“The presence of Haile in athletics is big and it is still required, to inspire and guide the younger people,” he said.

For More: Daily Nation

FILED UNDER: New York City 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.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter