TOKYO (AP) — Haile Gebrselassie will be aiming to make the Ethiopian team for the London Olympics with a strong performance in Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon.
Gebrselassie will be looking to run under 2 hours, 4 minutes to convince his country’s selectors to hand him a ticket to London.
Three Ethiopians broke 2:05 in the Dubai Marathon last month, raising doubts about whether the distance-running great will be selected for the games.
“The London Olympics are a dream for everyone, everyone here is dreaming of taking part,” Gebrselassie said Friday.
He failed in a first attempt to set the time in Berlin in October, when breathing problems forced him to pull out of the race.
The 38-year-old Gebrselassie has struggled in recent marathons, failing to finish in the 2010 New York City Marathon and failing to start last year’s Tokyo Marathon after injuring himself in training.
“I have been very careful in training because I really wanted to run this race,” Gebrselassie said. “I know marathon is a huge part of the culture here and has a great tradition in Japan.”
The men’s field also includes defending champion Hailu Mekonnen of Ethiopia and 2008 champion Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland who holds the course record of 2:07:23.