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Haile Gebrselassie calls off retirement

Haile Gebrselassie

Gebrselassie wins 'special' Great North Run in September

Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie has announced he will compete again after reversing his decision to retire from athletics.

The 37-year-old initially stated he was quitting after dropping out of his first New York Marathon at the 16-mile mark with a knee injury on 7 November.

However, Gebrselassie revealed on his Twitter page: "Running is in my blood and I decided to continue competing.

"When my knee is better again I will start focusing on my next race."

Gebrselassie, who won the Olympic 10,000m titles in 1996 and 2000, added: "My announcement in New York was my first reaction after a disappointing race."

He holds the marathon world record of two hours, three minutes, 59 seconds and has said that he wants to compete over the distance at the 2012 London Olympics.

Gebrselassie's coach Woldemeskel Kostre believes he can compete for another eight years at the top level.


Kostre told French magazine L'Equipe: "As long as he has the desire and the willingness he can keep running until he's 45.

"People here have been urging him to continue running."

Gebrselassie, who has won more than 130 major races in his career, has developed a successful business career away from running in his homeland.

He owns his own running club, has established a school in Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa and employs more than 1,000 people in his home city, where he is known as "The Emperor".

see also
Gebrselassie announces retirement
07 Nov 10 |  Athletics
Retirement of an Ethiopian hero
09 Nov 10 |  Africa
Foster wants Gebrselassie U-turn
08 Nov 10 |  Athletics
Steve Cram on Haile Gebrselassie
08 Nov 10 |  Athletics
New world record for Gebrselassie
28 Sep 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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