International Athletics

Gebrselassie to set the pace

2014-02-17 16:02
Haile Gebrselassie (AFP)

London - Haile Gebrselassie, one of the world's all-time great distance runners, will find himself in the unusual position of pacemaker at this year's London Marathon.

Organisers have said on Monday the Ethiopian athletics hero would be the "lead pacemaker" when the latest edition of the London Marathon takes place on April 13 -- just five days short of Gebrselassie's 41st birthday.

Twice an Olympic and four-times a world 10 000 metres champion, Gebrselassie also broke the marathon world record on two occasions.

This year in London, officials hope he will pace the elite men's field to the 30km mark in "world-record speed".

It will be the first time in his career Gebrselassie has run as a pacemaker and London race director Hugh Brasher said Monday: "We are delighted to announce that Haile Gebrselassie has agreed to run as a pacemaker in this year's race.

"Haile is an icon of distance running, a man who has broken 27 world records on the track and road during his long and brilliant career, and we can't think of anyone better to set our elite men up for a crack at the world marathon record.

"Everyone knows how difficult it is to break the world record on London's course, especially with such a competitive field, but with Haile pacing and four of the fastest marathon runners in history in the race, there's a real chance we will see something special."

The stellar line-up that will take their cue from Gebrselassie includes Britain's double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, the current marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, the world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, and the London Marathon course record holder Emmanuel Mutai.

Following his track exploits, Gebrselassie made his marathon debut in London in 2002.

He first broke the marathon world record in September 2007 at the Berlin Marathon and a year later on the same course became the first man to run quicker than two hours four minutes when he clocked 2:03:59, a record that stood for three years.

Kipsang set the current world record of 2:03:23 at the Berlin Marathon in September.

For all his success elsewhere, Gebrselassie never won the London Marathon, finishing third in 2002, ninth in 2006 and then dropping out in 2007 due to asthma problems.

Read more on:    haile gebrselassie  |  athletics


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.