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Haile Gebrselassie’s One Last Olympic Shot

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 24, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM UTC
Haile Gebrselassie will be pulling out all the stops this weekend in Tokyo. Photo: Daily Nation

He faces stiff competition in Tokyo on Sunday.

The former king of the marathon, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, will be giving it one last shot. The 39-year-old who is arguably one of the best distance runners of all time, is hoping to qualify for the Ethiopian Olympic squad at this Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon.

The race is expected to be fast since it also serves as an Olympic qualifier for the Japanese Olympic team.

RELATED–The Ageless Emperor: Haile Gebrselassie Eyeing Fifth Olympics

Gebrselassie’s last marathon was not what he had hoped for. He raced in the 2011 Berlin Marathon and didn’t finish the race, citing asthma. Patrick Makau of Kenya went on to set a new world record in 2:03:38.

In the 2010 edition of the ING New York City Marathon, Gebrselassie dropped out on the Queensboro Bridge.

Originally, Gebrselassie had hoped to go with a 2:05 marathon to make the team, but their are several equally fast Ethiopians entered in the race, which might force Gebrselassie to go under 2:05.

His main competitor on Sunday is Kenya’s Jafred Chirchir Kipchumba who clocked 2:05:48 to win last year’s Eindhoven Marathon.

For More: Daily Nation

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com 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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