Trier (January 2, 2010) – It was only the rain of confetti that slowed Haile Gebrselassie in Trier’s Bitburger New Year’s Eve race on Thursday afternoon (31).

The great Ethiopian dominated the 8 km race which took place on a one kilometre loop course in front of an estimated 20,000 spectators. In rainy conditions Gebrselassie clocked 22:23 while Russia’s Yelena Zadorozhnaya took the 5 km women’s race in 15:49. The 20th edition of Germany’s best quality “Silvesterlauf” saw a record entry of 2228 runners competing in various events.

During the fourth of eight laps Gebrselassie surged away from Kenyans Shadrack Lagat and Paul Kipkorir. With a 4 km split time of 11:08 the 36 year-old Ethiopian, who used the race as his final test for the Dubai Marathon on 22 January, he was on course for breaking the 12-year-old event record of 22:21 set by Kenyan Isaac Kariuki in 1997.

But when he started passing lapped runners in the rainy conditions and a partly slippery surface, he lost some speed. Additionally the confetti thrown by spectators briefly caused a problem. More on IAAF

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