Gebrselassie targets Olympics
10 October 2011, 16:12
Berlin - Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie will not entertain thoughts of retiring and will focus instead on qualifying for next year's Olympics, his manager told AFP on Sunday 24 September.
The 38-year-old two-time 10 000m Olympic champion failed to finish the Berlin Marathon on 24 September - just as he did in New York last November - and saw his world record destroyed by Kenyan Patrick Makau.
However, Jos Hermens, the Ethiopian's long-time mentor and manager, told AFP that Gebrselassie would not be reacting like in New York and announcing his retirement but instead would be looking probably towards the Dubai Marathon to achieve the qualifying time for the Olympics in London next year.
"He wants to run another marathon and this could well be in Dubai (January 27, 2012)," said Hermens, who explained Gebrselassie had suffered from breathing problems during the race which forced him to pull out at the 35km mark.
"He has already had lung problems before but everything went well in preparing for the race. Maybe the change from training at altitude in Ethiopia played a role."
Hermens conceded, though, that while he was confident Gebrselassie could still run the marathon in 2hr 04min or 2hr 05min that it was the end of an era when 'Haile was breaking records.'
Makau, the defending champion, timed 2hr 03min 38sec to destroy Gebrselassie's record by 21 seconds which he set in the same race in 2008.