It would have been the legendary distance runner’s big comeback race, but Haile Gebrselassie will have to give the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday after injuring his knees during practice.
Just months ago the 37-year-old world marathon record holder stunned the world of running when, just after pulling out of the New York Marathon in November 2011, he announced his retirement from the sport.
Much to the relief of his fans, the gold medallist changed his mind eight days later and he was back on top form again, winning the 10 km race in Angola on New year’s: “It was great to be back racing on New Year’s Eve and even better that I won against a very strong field. My main objective now is to win in Tokyo next month before turning my attention to Vienna and then Manchester,” the Ethiopian athlete said.
In a sad turn of events however, an accident during training for the Tokyo Marathon has forced Geb to pull out. Writing on his Twitter account, he said: “I am really disappointed that I have to withdraw from Tokyo Marathon, I was feeling great in training.
“I am training in the countryside of Ethiopia and fell, that happens more often but this time with my knee on a stone. Bad, bad luck for me.
“I need time to recover and I am really sorry for my Japanese fans, but I will come back to Tokyo, unfortunately not this weekend.”