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Haile Gebrselassie

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Title: Haile Gebrselassie  
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Subject: Kenenisa Bekele, 10,000 metres at the World Championships in Athletics, List of Ethiopian records in athletics, 3000 metres, Daniel Komen
Collection: 1973 Births, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athletes (Track and Field) at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ethiopian Long-Distance Runners, Ethiopian Marathon Runners, Ethiopian Middle-Distance Runners, Ethiopian Sportsmen, Iaaf World Half Marathon Championships Winners, Living People, Male Long-Distance Runners, Male Marathon Runners, Male Middle-Distance Runners, Medalists at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Medalists at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Olympic Athletes of Ethiopia, Olympic Gold Medalists for Ethiopia, Olympic Medalists in Athletics (Track and Field), People from Oromia Region, World Championships in Athletics Medalists, World Record Holders in Athletics (Track and Field), World Record Holders in Masters Athletics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie (, haylē gebre silassē; 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 widely considered the greatest distance runner in history.[1][2][3][4][5]

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 still stands as the Masters Age group world record.


  • Biography 1
    • Early career 1.1
    • Middle career 1.2
    • Later career 1.3
    • Possible retirement 1.4
  • Achievements 2
    • International competitions 2.1
    • Marathon performances 2.2
    • Track and field circuit 2.3
  • World record and best performances 3
  • Personal bests 4
    • Outdoor track 4.1
    • Road 4.2
    • Indoor track 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Early career

Haile was born as one of ten children in Asella, Oromia Region, Ethiopia. As a child growing up on a farm he used to run ten kilometres to school every morning, and the same back every evening. This led to a distinctive running posture, with his left arm crooked as if still holding his school books.[6]

Haile gained international recognition in 1992 when he won the 5000 -metre and 10,000-metre races at the 1992 Junior World Championships in Seoul,[7] and a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships.

The next year, in 1993, Haile won the first of what would eventually be four consecutive world championships titles in the men's 10,000 metres at the 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999 World Championships. His win at the 1993 was however his most infamous as he accidentally stepped on the heel of Moses Tanui's shoe, causing it to fly off his foot. The contact causes Tanui to finish second behind Gebresalassie. Also at the 1993 World Championships he ran in the 5,000-metre race to finish a close second behind Ismael Kirui of Kenya. In 1994 he won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Later that year he set his first world record by running a 12:56.96 in the 5,000-metres, breaking Saïd Aouita's record by two seconds.

Haile competing on the track in Hengelo, the Netherlands

In 1995, Haile ran the 10,000-metres in 26:43.53 in Hengelo, Netherlands, lowering the world record by nine seconds. That same summer, in Zürich, Switzerland, Haile ran the 5000 metres in 12:44.39, taking 10.91 seconds off the world record 12:55.30 (established by Kenya's Moses Kiptanui earlier in the year). This world record at the Weltklasse meet in Zürich was voted "Performance of the Year" for 1995 by Track & Field News magazine. At the same Weltklasse meet in Zürich in 1996, an exhausted Haile, suffering from blisters obtained on the hard track in Atlanta (where he had won the Olympic 10,000 metres gold), had no answer to the 58-second lap of Daniel Komen with five laps to go as Komen went on to win and just miss Haile's record, finishing in 12:45.09. In 1997, Haile turned the tables on Komen at the same meet. Coming off his third 10K world championship gold medal, Haile beat Komen in another Zürich classic on 13 August 1997, covering the final 200 metres in 26.8 seconds to break his 5000 metres world record with a time of 12:41.86.[8] Komen, in turn, took Haile's record only nine days later when Komen ran a 12:39.74 performance in Belgium.[9]

Middle career

The next year, 1998, saw Haile lowering the indoor world records for 2000 and 3000 metres, enjoying success outdoors by taking back both the 5000 and 10,000 metres world records, as well as earning a share in the Golden League jackpot for winning all of his races in the Golden League series that summer. In June 1998 in Hengelo, Netherlands, Haile set a 10,000 metres world record 26:22.75, breaking Paul Tergat's world record 26:27.85, running evenly paced 13:11/13:11 5K splits.

Just 13 days later, Haile took on the 5000 metres mark of Komen in Helsinki, Finland. Croatian pacemaker Branko Zorko took the pace out slowly, hitting 1000 metres in 2:33.91 and dropping out at the mile. Million Wolde and Assefa Mezgebu led Haile Gebrselassie through 2000 metres in 5:05.62. His pacemakers could not maintain the pace, though, and Haile was left alone for a difficult solo effort six laps out. Hitting 3000 metres in 7:38.93, even the British commentators announcing the race counted him out. With four laps to go (8:40.00), Haile needed a sub-4-minute final 1,600 metres for the record. With one lap to go and in great pain, Haile took off, recording a final lap of 56.77 seconds and a final 1,600 metres of 3:59.36 (= 4:00.96-mile) to race to a 12:39.36 world record.

In 1999, Haile starred as himself in the movie Endurance. The film chronicled his quest to win Olympic gold in the 10,000 metres in Atlanta. On the track, he won a 1500/3000 metres double at the World Indoor Track Championships, defended his Outdoor World Track Championships 10,000 metres title, and remained undefeated in all his races (which ranged from the 1500 up to 10,000 metres).

Haile (second, in green) on the way to becoming two-time 10,000 m Olympic champion in Sydney

In 2000, Haile again won all of his races, ranking first in the world yet again in both the 5000 and 10,000 metres. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he became the third man in history to successfully defend an Olympic 10,000 metres title (after Emil Zátopek and Lasse Virén). The narrow Olympic victory over Kenya's Paul Tergat came down to a blistering final kick, with Tergat's 26.3 second final 200 metres being topped by Haile's even faster 25.4. The winning margin of victory was only 0.09 seconds, closer than the winning margin in the men's 100 metre dash final.

In 2001, Haile won the IAAF World half marathon and the bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics. In the same year, he also worked with Peter Middlebrook and Abi Masefield he conceptualized the Great Ethiopian Run, which was latterly supported by Brendan Foster, British runner Richard Nerurkar the British ambassador to Ethiopia Myles Wickstead.

On 30 August 2003, Haile topped the polls when elected as a member of the IAAF Athletes Commission. Also in 2003, at the World Championships in Paris, Haile was involved in one of the most remarkable 10,000 metres races of all time while gaining a silver medal behind countryman and protégé Kenenisa Bekele. The last half of the 10,000 metres final at the championships was completed in a staggering 12:57.24 (12:57.2 for Bekele and 12:58.8 for Haile). According to the IAAF, "Not only was this split the fastest closing 5000 metres in the championships 10,000m (the previous record was 13:12.12, recorded in Atlanta), but it was also the fastest 5000 metres in a global championships surpassing the 12:58.13 Salah Hissou recorded when he won the 5,000m in Sevilla'99." (This remark remained true until a week later when the World Athletic Championships 5000 metres medalists (including Bekele) all ran faster than the second 5000 metres split in the previous week's 10,000 metres.) "The difference between the closing 5000 metres splits (12:57.24) and the 5000 metres World record (12:39.36) was 17.98 seconds, which is a record. The previous best of 18.4 seconds (13:31.4 for the closing 5000 metres when the World Record was 13:13.0) was recorded in the 1976 Olympics."[10]

In the 2004 Athens Olympics, Haile sought to become the first man in history to win three straight Olympic gold medals in the 10,000 metres. He was unable to do so, however, he finished fifth in a race won by his compatriot Kenenisa Bekele, who had broken both of Haile's major track world records, the 5000 metres and the 10,000 metres records. Shortly before the Athens games, Haile was unable to train for three weeks due to inflammation of his Achilles tendon. The injury was severe enough that he would not have competed otherwise, but did so because of significant pressure from his country. This loss of the final period of training likely cost him a medal.[11][12]

Later career

Haile in New York in 2003

Since leaving the track after the 2004 Olympics, Haile has focused on road racing and the marathon. His adult marathons to date include London 2002 (3rd place), Amsterdam 2005 (1st place), London 2006 (9th place), Berlin 2006 (1st place), Fukuoka 2006 (1st place), London 2007 (dnf), Berlin 2007 (1st place and World Record), Dubai 2008 (1st place), Berlin 2008 (1st place and another World Record), Dubai 2009 (1st place) Berlin 2009 (1st place), Dubai 2010 (1st place), and NYC 2010 (dnf).

In 2002, Haile made his debut at the marathon at the London Marathon. He started the race with a very fast pace, within world record time. He was unable to hold it, however, as world record holder Khalid Khannouchi and Paul Tergat both eventually passed him. Khannouchi broke his own world record, while Haile finished third.[13]

Haile shortly before winning the Amsterdam Marathon

In 2005 Haile went undefeated in all of his road races. This included a British All-Comers record in the 10K at Manchester (27:25), a win in the Amsterdam Marathon in the fastest marathon time in the world for 2006 (2:06:20), and a new world best for 10 miles in Tilburg Ten Miles race, The Netherlands (44:24). (His unofficial split of 41:22 at the 15K mark was 7 seconds faster than the official world best.)

Haile started 2006 positively by beating the world Alphen aan den Rijn of the Netherlands.

On 23 April 2006, he finished ninth in the London Marathon with a time of 2:09:05 (the race was won by Kenyan Felix Limo, who clocked 2:06:39). Haile referred to the ninth-place finish as "the worst race of my career".[14] However, on 24 September he came back with a win in the Berlin Marathon in the fastest time of the year, 2:05:56. His time in Berlin made him only the fifth man in history to run under 2:06 for the marathon. This was followed by a win in the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan in 2:06:52.

In London on 22 April 2007, Haile challenged the 2006 London Marathon winner

Preceded by
Saïd Aouita
Moses Kiptanui
Daniel Komen
Men's 5000 m world record holder
4 June 1994 – 6 June 1995
16 August 1995 – 22 August 1997
13 June 1998 – 31 May 2004
Succeeded by
Moses Kiptanui
Daniel Komen
Kenenisa Bekele
Preceded by
William Sigei
Salah Hissou
Paul Tergat
Men's 10,000 m world record holder
5 June 1995 – 23 August 1996
4 August 1997 – 22 August 1997
1 June 1998 – 8 June 2004
Succeeded by
Salah Hissou
Paul Tergat
Kenenisa Bekele
Preceded by
Samuel Wanjiru
Men's half marathon world record holder
15 January 2006 – 9 February 2007
Succeeded by
Samuel Wanjiru
Preceded by
Paul Tergat
Men's marathon world record holder
30 September 2007 – 25 September 2011
Succeeded by
Patrick Makau
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Noureddine Morceli
Wilson Kipketer
Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Michael Johnson
Hicham El Guerrouj
Preceded by
Spain national football team
Prince of Asturias Award for Sports
Succeeded by
Iker Casillas&Xavi
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Daniel Komen
Men's 3000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Hicham El Guerrouj
Preceded by
Ismael Kirui
Daniel Komen
Men's 5000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Daniel Komen
Brahim Lahlafi
Preceded by
Fabián Roncero
Zersenay Tadese
Samuel Wanjiru
Men's Half Marathon Best Year Performance
2008(tied with Deriba Merga)
Succeeded by
Hendrick Ramaala
Samuel Wanjiru
Patrick Makau
  • profile at IAAF
  • Marathon World Record – Berlin 2008 – EthioTube Video
  • Spikes Hero profile on
  • Gebrselassie approaching Record for Running Records
  • Gebrselassie's World Records, rankings, race history, recent news, and more.
  • Pacing splits and analysis of Gebrselassie marathon world record
  • Berlin 2008: Gebrselassie runs 2:03:59 – race report and analysis of pacing

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ IAAF 1999 World Indoor Championships Men's 3000 metres biographies. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-12.
  9. ^ Ethiopian Runner Adds 5,000 Meters to List of Records. Los Angeles Times (1998-06-14). Retrieved on 2014-01-12.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ BBC Sports
  22. ^ Gebrselassie retains Berlin crown. BBC Sport (20 September 2009). Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  23. ^ IAAF, 14 December 2009: World record ratified
  24. ^ IAAF, 21 January 2010: Third Dubai victory
  25. ^ Kamais and Yamauchi Triumph at NYC Half-Marathon. IAAF/New York Road Runners (21 March 2010). Retrieved on 2010-03-23.
  26. ^ Valiente, Emeterio (25 April 2010). Course record for Cherogony, while Gebrselassie 'jogs' to 10Km victory – Madrid Marathon report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-04-29.
  27. ^ Martin, David (16 May 2010). Gebrselassie and Kidane score Ethiopian sweep in Manchester 10Km. IAAF. Retrieved on 8 June 2010.
  28. ^ Butcher, Michael (19 September 2010). Gebrselassie and Adere take Great North Run titles. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-09-19.
  29. ^ G4S Sports
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ NYC Marathon: Guts From Chile, Glory For Ethiopia: NPR
  33. ^
  34. ^ n°97 - Haile Gebrselassie - 100 Olympic Athletes To Watch. Time.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Wenig, Jorg (15 May 2011). Gebrselassie takes fourth Manchester 10Km victory, Clitheroe surprises. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-05-27.
  37. ^ Butcher, Pat (25 September 2011). Makau stuns with 2:03:38 Marathon World record in Berlin! – UPDATED. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  38. ^ van Hemert, Wim (20 November 2011). Gebrselassie heads Ethiopian double in Nijmegen. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  39. ^ Nakamura, Ken (2012-12-02). 2:06:58 win for Gitau in Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-02-14.
  40. ^ Wenig, Joerg (20 May 2012). Gebrselassie takes another strong 10k victory in Manchester. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-05-22.
  41. ^ Van Hemert, Wim (27 May 2012). Kszczot and Chepseba impress as Gebrselassie's London ambitions end in Hengelo – IAAF World Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-05-27.


Distance Time (min) Date Location
800 metres 1:49.35 9 February 1997 Dortmund, Germany
1000 metres 2:20.30 1 February 1998 Stuttgart, Germany
1500 metres 3:31.76 1 February 1998 Stuttgart, Germany
2000 metres 4:52.86 15 February 1998 Birmingham, England
3000 metres 7:26.15 25 January 1998 Karlsruhe, Germany
Two miles 8:04.69 21 February 2003 Birmingham, England
5000 metres 12:50.38 14 February 1999 Birmingham, England

Indoor track

Distance Time Date Location
10K run 27:02 11 December 2002 Doha, Qatar
15 km 41:38 11 November 2001 Nijmegen, Netherlands
Ten miles 44:24 4 September 2005 Tilburg, Netherlands
20 km 55:48+ 15 January 2006 Phoenix, United States
Half marathon 58:55 15 January 2006 Phoenix, United States
25 km 1:11:37 12 March 2006 Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands
Marathon 2:03:59 28 September 2008 Berlin, Germany


Distance Time Date Location
1500 metres 3:33.73 6 June 1999 Stuttgart, Germany
Mile run 3:52.39 27 June 1999 Gateshead, England
3000 metres 7:25.09 28 August 1998 Brussels, Belgium
Two miles 8:01.08 31 May 1997 Hengelo, Netherlands
5000 metres 12:39.36 13 June 1998 Helsinki, Finland
10,000 metres 26:22.75 1 June 1998 Hengelo, Netherlands
20,000 metres 56:26.0 27 June 2007 Ostrava, Czech Republic
One hour run 21,285 m 27 June 2007 Ostrava, Czech Republic

Outdoor track

Personal bests

Distance Mark Date Location Notes
5000 metres 12:56.96 4 June 1994 Hengelo, Netherlands
Two miles 8:07.46 28 May 1995 Kerkrade, Netherlands Third fastest time ever
10,000 metres 26:43.53 5 June 1995 Hengelo, Netherlands
5000 metres 12:44.39 16 August 1995 Zurich, Switzerland
5000 metres 13:10.98 27 January 1996 Sindelfingen, Germany, indoors
3000 metres 7:30.72 4 February 1996 Stuttgart, Germany, indoors
5000 metres 12:59.04 20 February 1997 Stockholm, Sweden indoors
Two miles 8:01.08 31 May 1997 Hengelo, Netherlands Second fastest time ever
10,000 metres 26:31.32 4 July 1997 Oslo, Norway
5000 metres 12:41.86 13 August 1997 Zurich, Switzerland
3000 metres 7:26.15 25 January 1998 Karlsruhe, Germany indoors
2000 metres 4:52.86 15 February 1998 Birmingham, UK indoors
10,000 metres 26:22.75 1 June 1998 Hengelo, Netherlands
5000 metres 12:39.36 13 June 1998 Helsinki, Finland
5000 metres 12:50.38 14 February 1999 Birmingham, UK indoors
10 kilometres 27:02 11 December 2002 Doha, Qatar road race
Two miles 8:04.69 21 February 2003 Birmingham, UK indoors
15 kilometres 41:22 4 September 2005 Tilburg, Netherlands road race, not IAAF-ratified
10 miles 44:24 4 September 2005 Tilburg, Netherlands road race, world best
20 kilometres 55:48 15 January 2006 Tempe, Arizona, US
Half marathon 58:55 15 January 2006 Tempe, Arizona, US
25 kilometres 1:11:37 12 March 2006 Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands road race, not IAAF-ratified – no post-race EPO test
One hour run 21,285 m 27 June 2007 Ostrava, Czech Republic
20,000 metres 56:25.98 + 27 June 2007 Ostrava, Czech Republic
Marathon 2:04:26 30 September 2007 Berlin, Germany
Marathon 2:03:59 28 September 2008 Berlin, Germany
30 kilometres 1:27:49 + 20 September 2009 Berlin, Germany

World record and best performances

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1995 Grand Prix Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 1st 3000 metres
1998 Golden League Europe 1st Jackpot winner Shared with Hicham El Guerrouj and Marion Jones
1998 Grand Prix Final Moscow, Russia 1st 3000 metres

Track and field circuit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Ethiopia
2002 London Marathon 3rd 2:06:35
2005 Amsterdam Marathon 1st 2:06:20
2006 London Marathon 9th 2:09:31
2006 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:05:56
2006 Fukuoka Marathon 1st 2:06:52
2007 London Marathon DNF
2007 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:04:26 WR
2008 Dubai Marathon 1st 2:04:53
2008 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:03:59 WR
2009 Dubai Marathon 1st 2:05:29
2009 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:06:08
2010 Dubai Marathon 1st 2:06:09
2010 New York City Marathon DNF
2011 Berlin Marathon DNF
2012 Tokyo Marathon 4th 2:08:17
2012 Fukuoka Marathon DNF

Marathon performances

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1991 World Cross Country Championships Antwerp, Belgium 8th Junior race
1992 World Cross Country Championships Boston, United States 2nd Junior race
1992 World Junior Championships Seoul, South Korea 1st 5000 metres
1992 World Junior Championships Seoul, South Korea 1st 10,000 metres
1993 World Cross Country Championships Amorebieta, Spain 7th Senior race
1993 African Championships Durban, South Africa 2nd 5000 metres
1993 African Championships Durban, South Africa 3rd 10,000 metres
1993 World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 5000 metres
1993 World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 1st 10,000 metres
1994 World Cross Country Championships Budapest, Hungary 3rd Senior race
1994 World Road Relay Championships Litochoro, Greece 2nd Marathon relay
1995 World Cross Country Championships Durham, England 4th Senior race
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden DNS 5000 metres
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 10,000 metres
1996 World Cross Country Championships Stellenbosch, South Africa 5th Senior race
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States DNS 5000 metres
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 1st 10,000 metres
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 1st 3000 metres
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 1st 10,000 metres
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 1st 1500 metres
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 1st 3000 metres
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 1st 10,000 metres
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 1st 10,000 metres
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 3rd 10,000 metres
2001 World Half Marathon Championships Bristol, England 1st Half marathon
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 1st 3000 metres
2003 World Championships Paris, France 2nd 10,000 metres
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 5th 10,000 metres
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 6th 10,000 metres

International competitions


Haile Gebrselassie has announced his retirement from competitive running after finishing 16th in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday May 10, 2015. It brings to an end a 25-year career in which he claimed two Olympic gold medals, eight World Championship victories and set 27 world records. "I'm retiring from competitive running, not from running. You cannot stop running, this is my life," he told BBC Sport.Gebrselassie remains the world record holder at 20,000m and the one-hour race.

On April 14, 2013, Gebrselassie won the open field of the Vienna City half marathon (13.1 miles) with a time of 01:01.14. He set his first over-40 world record with a time of 46:59 for 10 miles in Switzerland, on 15 September 2013. He took 3rd overall in the 2013 BUPA Great North Run, 32 seconds behind the winner Kenenisa Bekele and 31 seconds behind the reigning Olympic and world champion Mo Farah.

In 2012, Haile ran in the Tokyo Marathon and, after surging to the lead and putting a gap on the field with 6 km to go, faded and finished in 4th, in a time of 2:08:17. However, he bounced back to win the Vienna Half Marathon in 1:00:52, catching Paula Radcliffe who was given a 7:52-minute head-start. He was not selected for the Olympic marathon team, but after winning the Great Manchester Run with a fast time of 27:39, beating marathon world record holder Patrick Makau, world marathon leader Ayele Abshero and Olympic marathon medallist Tsegay Kebede, by a distance of over 100 metres, he decided to aim for a place in the 10,000 m race.[40] He attempted to earn an Olympic spot at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, the stadium in which he had broken four world records. However, in extremely hot weather he finished seventh with a time of 27:20.39, sixth amongst Ethiopians, and did not qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[41] However, he did appear at the opening ceremony as one of the eight flagbearers who brought the Olympic flag into the stadium.

Haile missed the 2011 Tokyo Marathon due to an injury, but won the half marathon at the Vienna City Marathon on 17 April 2011.[35] About a month later Haile easily won the Great Manchester Run in England for the fourth time, finishing in 28:10.[36] On 26 September he suffered a double setback when he dropped out of the Berlin Marathon (again suffering from respiratory difficulties of exercise-induced asthma) and saw his world records for 30 kilometres and the marathon broken by the man with whom he had been duelling, Patrick Makau. Haile was absent from the press conference later that day, but his manager Jos Hermens announced that while it was "the end of an era of record breaking for Haile, it's not the end of his career".[37] He returned to his winning ways at the Birmingham half marathon with a new course record and followed that up with a win at the Zevenheuvelenloop in November, taking his third career victory at the Dutch 15K race.[38] Another outing at the Fukuoka Marathon, however, saw him enter as favourite but drop out at 32 km.[39]

On 7 November, after dropping out of the 2010 New York City Marathon with an inflamed knee, Haile announced his retirement.[30][31][32] Days later, he posted to his Twitter account that he was reconsidering his decision and wanted to run in the 2012 London Olympics.[33] Haile had stated previously that after retiring he would like to enter politics, with scepticism from the public about his knowledge on politics and the unfamiliar culture of celebrities holding public office in Ethiopia.[34] However he won his first race back in a 10k road race in Angola with a new course record of 28:05 and beat countryman Deriba Merga and the Kenyan Josphat Menjo who had run the fastest 10000m of that year.

Possible retirement

He is also mentor and ambassador for the G4S 4teen, a programme supporting 14 young athletes.[29]

In 2010 he tried to attack his own world record for the third consecutive time at the Dubai Marathon 2010. Although he won the race with a time of 2:06:09, he failed to break his 18-month world record. In a post-race interview he revealed that he had suffered back pain, requiring intensive pre-race physiotherapy, resulting from having slept in a bad position.[24] His problems continued at the NYC Half Marathon, where he pulled up mid-race visibly uncomfortable in his running.[25] He had an easy victory in the inaugural edition of the 10K de Madrid in April.[26] He scored his third victory at the Great Manchester Run the following month, although he missed out on Micah Kogo's course record.[27] He followed this with his first win at the Great North Run in September, finishing the half marathon in a time of 59:33 minutes.[28]

Haile won the Dubai Marathon on 16 January 2009, but fell short of breaking his own world record that he had set four months earlier on the flat course. He finished in 2:05:29, well ahead of countryman Deressa Chimsa. In September that year, he won the Berlin Marathon for the fourth consecutive time. He attempted to break the world record he had set the previous year but, despite a quick start, warm conditions saw him finish in 2:06:08, two minutes away from his best mark. He did, however, pass the 30-kilometer point in 1:27:49, which is a new world record for a road 30K.[22][23]

Haile after winning the 2010 Great Manchester Run

Because of Beijing's air pollution levels, Haile decided to withdraw from the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He suffers from asthma and said that running in such conditions might be harmful for his health.[19] Haile later admitted that he regretted the decision as the Beijing air was cleaner than expected.[20] He did, however, run the 10,000 metres, finishing sixth with a time of 27:06.68. The gold medal went to his countryman and current world record holder, Kenenisa Bekele.[21] The following month, on 28 September 2008, he defended his Berlin Marathon title, averaging 2:56.5 per kilometer (4:43.7 per mile) for a time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds.

At the Hengelo FBK-Games on 24 May, Haile ran 26:51.20 for the 10,000 metres to finish a close second behind countryman Sileshi Sihine's 26:50.53. Along with his 10,000 meter performances in 2003, 2004, and 2007, Haile is the only man older than 30 years of age to break 27 minutes in the 10,000 metres; his nine career sub 27-minute 10,000 meter performances is more than any other athlete except for Kenenisa Bekele, who also has nine.

Prior to the 2008 Dubai Marathon, his manager suggested that Haile would be able to run a sub 2:04 time for a new world record. While Haile agreed that a sub 2:04 was possible, he stated that the conditions would need to be perfect for such a time.[17] The event was held on 18 January 2008, and was won by Haile in a time of 2:04:53, making it the second fastest marathon in history. However the early pace had been too fast and he was unable to continue at that speed, resulting in a time 27 seconds short of his own world record.[18]

On 30 September 2007, Haile won the Berlin Marathon in 2:04:26[16] (4:44.8 per mile), setting the world record and shaving 29 seconds off Paul Tergat's record, set on the same course in 2003. His victory further energized the celebrations of the Ethiopian Millennium (unique to the Ethiopian calendar), which began on 12 September 2007.

Haile competing at the 2009 FBK Games in Hengelo

Haile made his running debut in New York City when he won the New York City Half Marathon on 5 August 2007, in 59:24, breaking the previous course record by two minutes. His win in the Lisbon Half Marathon (59:15) in March 2008 gave him a perfect record of 9–0 in winning all of his half marathons. He lost his first half marathon in Den Haag (14 March 2009), when he was beaten by Sammy Kitwara (59:47 for Kitwara, 59:50 for Haile)

One month later, Haile made a surprise return to the track for the first of two stadium races that summer. In the first, he ran a 26:52.81 in finishing fifth in a very competitive 10,000 metres race in Hengelo, The Netherlands. Then, on 27 June 2007, Haile launched an attack upon the world record for the one hour run, in Ostrava, Czech Republic. This record attempt was successful as Haile passed the hour mark at 21,285 metres (13 miles 397 yards), eclipsing the previous best of 21,101 metres, set by Mexican Arturo Barrios in La Flèche, France, on 30 March 1991. Furthermore, Haile covered 50 laps (20,000 m) in 56:25.98, another world best, well within the previous 56:55.6 also set by Barrios in 1991. These were his 23rd and 24th world records.

to come home in first place. Martin Lel and inability to breathe, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to the pollen in the air. This left the 2005 winner stitch However Haile dropped out at the stage complaining of a [15]

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