Haile Gebrselassie considers Olympic options
Manchester, UK – Haile Gebrselassie has not ruled out the possibility of qualifying for the 10,000m at this summer’s Olympics.
The 39-year-old said his Olympic dream was overÃ‚Â after failing to win a place in Ethiopia’s marathon team.
But the two-time Olympic 10,000m champion is considering his options ahead of a 10,000m race in Hengelo, the Netherlands, on 27 May that will serve as the Ethiopian Olympic trial.
He said it would be “wonderful” to compete in London.
The veteran is cautious about his chances of finishing one of the two fastest Ethiopians in the race in order to qualify for the Olympic team – but told BBC World Service Sport that his enthusiasm for the Games remains undimmed.
“I wish to take part in the Olympics because it’s London,” said Gebrselassie, who has won four World 10,000m titles.
“I believe London is going to host one of the best Olympics Games. These Olympics are going to be very special.
“The organisation here is so perfect and the people organise such wonderful races. I don’t want to miss the Olympics, even if it’s to watch.”
While in no doubt that qualifying for the Ethiopian team will be difficult, Gebrselassie also knows that claiming a third Olympic gold in London would be an even greater challenge.
“If I qualify for the 10,000 metres, don’t forget who will be there this year. Not just Kenyans and Ethiopians, also athletes like Mo Farah – they are stronger,” he admitted.
“If Farah is in the same shape like last year he will be the one. Kenenisa Bekele will be strong too but there are many others.”
Gebrselassie also spoke about the difficulties of facing up to the end of his competitive racing career ahead of running in Sunday’s 10k Great Manchester Run, which he has won in each of the last three years.
“If you think about retiring then you retire automatically. It’s the mind, not the body,” said the 39-year-old.
“I don’t want to miss a single race. It doesn’t matter which one, a race is a race. I want to win each and every race – and if I don’t win then at least run a good time.”