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Save the Date September 29th 2019
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Haile Gebrselassie before the real,- BERLIN MARATHON: “I will run as fast as I can.”

“I will run as fast as I can, but I cannot say what time is

possible,” said Haile Gebrselassie during a press conference for the

real,- BERLIN MARATHON, where he will be competing on September 24

alongside 40,000 other runners. The 33-year-old exceptional runner from

Ethiopia consciously avoided the words “world record” – he has missed

that goal at his three previous attempts at the 42.195 km classic

distance.

His Kenyan rival Paul Tergat holds the current world

record, which he set winning the real,- BERLIN MARATHON in 2003 with a

time of 2:04:55. It is no accident, however, that Haile Gebrselassie

has chosen to compete in the race in Berlin. “I know, of course, that

Berlin has a flat course upon which very fast times are possible,” the

two-time (1996 and 2000) 10,000m Olympic gold medallist stated. He has

set 21 world records in his career, the last of which was at the

beginning of March with a time of 1:11:37 for the 25 km distance,

which, however, has not been officially recognised.

The

journey to Berlin was adventurous for Haile Gebrselassie. He had

planned on participating in a 10 km race in Sicily on Saturday evening

on his way to the German capital, but the 4-time 10,000 m world

champion never arrived there. “The problem was that shortly before

take-off a rabbit got caught in the engine. After already flying for an

hour and forty minutes, the captain decided that we had to turn back

and prepared for an emergency landing,” Haile Gebrselassie said, who as

a result missed his connecting flight to Italy.

“It is too

bad that I was not able to run the 10 km, but it was not decisive for

my marathon preparation. And the only really important race for me is

the real,- BERLIN MARATHON,” Haile Gebrselassie, said, who travelled to

Germany specifically for the press conference. The Ethiopian’s current

best time for the marathon is 2:06:20, which he achieved a year ago

winning the Amsterdam Marathon. Not including one race as a 15-year-old

with a time of 2:48, his other two marathons were run in London: in

2002 he came in third in 2:06:35, and this year he was ninth with a

time of 2:09:05. “That was simply not my day in London this year,“

Haile Gebrselassie said, who also stated a year ago in Amsterdam: “I

know that I can break the marathon world record – I just don’t know

when it will happen.”

“After three races, I now have a

better feeling for the marathon,” Haile Gebrselassie said. He will be

facing the second-fastest marathon runner of all time in Berlin --

Sammy Korir (Kenya/2:04:56). “That is good for the spectators, for it

will be an exciting race—that is less good for me. I hope that Sammy

has trained hard, as I will be in top form.”

When

questioned about the current doping cases in athletics, Haile

Gebrselassie stated: “It is important that the perpetrators are caught

so that the clean athletes are protected.” This kind of news is not

pretty for the sport, he said, but at the same time it is important to

convict those who are cheating.

Haile Gebrselassie, who

won his first big title in the 10,000m at the World Championships in

Stuttgart in 1993, is giving no thought to ending his career. “As long

as I am still the fastest during training, there is no reason to think

about quitting. I have not set any date for myself. The 2008 Olympics

are definitely part of my plan, however.”

 

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