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Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 14:05 UK

Haile Gebrselassie to make Great North Run debut

Haile Gebrselassie

Gebrselassie won the Great Manchester Run in 2009

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie has agreed to compete at the Great North Run in September, 10 years after injury forced him to put off his debut at the event.

The 37-year-old marathon world record holder was due to run in 2000 but tore his Achilles tendon while winning 10,000m gold at the Sydney Olympics.

However, he has promised to be on the start line for the race's 30th anniversary on Sunday 19 September.

"It's finally a dream come true," said race organiser Brendan Foster.

"Yes, we've had to be patient and wait because over the years other commitments particularly autumn marathons, has prevented his participation.

"Now it's definitely going to happen and I'm personally delighted as is everyone else involved in the organisation of the race.

"We've enjoyed seeing many of the best long distance runners from around the world compete here and now we've got the greatest of all-time."

Gebrselassie has broken 27 world records during an illustrious career, and collected two Olympic gold medals and four world titles.

The Great North Run is the world's most popular half-marathon road-running event, with more than 47,000 competitors of all abilities.

"This is a race I have always wanted to compete in and I'm really looking forward to running as it has a worldwide reputation for not only the quality but also the fantastic size of the field," added Gebrselassie.

see also
Gebrselassie wins Manchester 10k
16 May 10 |  Athletics
Lel storms to Great North Run win
20 Sep 09 |  Athletics
Thousands finish Great North Run
20 Sep 09 |  Tyne
Explore the Great North Run route
18 Jan 10 |  Things to do

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