Haile Gebrselassie

first_imgHaile Gebrselassie (born: 18 April 1973) is a retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this, he won four world titles indoors and was the 2001 World Half Marathon Champion.Haile had major competition wins at distances between 1500 metres and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road running in the latter part of his career. He broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 metres to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is regarded as one of the greatest distance runners in history.In September 2008, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds. The record stood for three years. Since he was over the age of 35, that mark stood as the Masters Age group world record until 29 September 2019, when fellow Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele ran 2:01:41 at the age of 37. Gebrselassie’s 10000 m Masters record has not been challenged since 2008.His big breakthrough on the international scene came in 1992 when he won the Junior world title at 5,000m and 10,000m. The next season, in his first year in the senior ranks, Haile won his first world champion title, taking the 10,000m title in Stuttgart. Haile went on to win four consecutive world titles at this distance – 93, 95, 97 and his final world 10,000 m title in 1999 at Seville.In 1995, he continued his dominance on the track and lowered the world record for both the 5,000m and 10,000m.His first Olympic success came in 1996, Atlanta, where he won gold in the 10,000 metres. Haile later featured as himself in a film ‘Endurance’ – about the quest to win the 10,000m title.In 2000, Haile became only the third man (after Emil Zátopek and Lasse Virén)) to successfully defend his 10,000 metre title, narrowly beating the great Paul Tergat by a fraction after a blistering last 200 metres. He later said this along with his 5,000 record was one of his career highlights.In 2001, Haile started to step up the distance and won the IAAF half marathon. He completed his first marathon in 2002 in London, where he finished third.But, Haile was still concentrating on the track and in the 2004 Athens Olympics, he attempted to become the first athlete to win three consecutive gold medals at the 10,000 metres. However, shortly before the Olympic games, he sustained an injury that prevented him from training. In the final, he came 5th, being eclipsed by compatriot – Kenenisa Bekele.Also Read: Indian athletes can domite Kenyans, Ethiopians in future: GebrselassieAlso Watch: Protesters, who walked all the way from Tinsukia-Guwahati to protest against CAA 2019, Detained!last_img

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