Haile Gebrselassie calls time on great career
Tearful Haile Gebrselassie yesterday called time on his great career as he announced his retirement from athletics with immediate effect.
Gebrselassie, who has been a dominant force in distance running for the last two decades, made the decision after he limped out of ING New York Marathon with a knee injury leaving his countryman Gebre Gebremarium to win the race at the first attempt.
The 37-year-old pulled up after 16 miles of yesterday's race before telling a press conference: “I have never thought about retiring before but now I am. I am not going to run anymore.”
The Ethiopian broke the marathon world record in Berlin two years ago when he clocked a time of two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds at the age of 35. He almost pulled out of yesterday's race — his first New York Marathon — after struggling with an injury to his right knee all week.
The popular runner had an MRI scan on Saturday, which showed that he had fluid and tendinitis in his knee.
He was clearly in distress as he pulled up, grimacing while crossing the Queensboro Bridge with 10 miles of the marathon to go.
That appears to have prompted the veteran's decision to call time on a career which many consider the greatest in distance running history.
“When I announced this, maybe everybody will become a little bit shocked,” said Gebrselassie.
“I don't want to complain anymore after this. It's better to stop here.
“I have had no discussion with my manager, with anybody, only myself.
“That's why it's better to stop here.”