Haile Gebrselassie – Still Impervious At 40

Haile GebrselassieDouble Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie broke clear of Kenya’s Emmanuel Bett in the final stages to win the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow. The 40-year-old Ethiopian, in his first appearance in Scotland, crossed the line in 61 minutes nine seconds, a record for the annual half-marathon.

Having led the way for the first 5km, Gebrselassie invited the others to take their turn at the front. The world record holder at 20,000m and the one-hour race, surged 100m clear with a mile to go as they headed along the Broomielaw towards the city centre. And he maintained the gap over the final mile to cross the line first at Glasgow Green, 31 seconds before Bett. “Today was really wonderful. I am so happy. It was a perfect set-up. I didn’t expect this kind of weather. When I saw the time at 15k I knew we were heading for a fast time,” said Gebrselassie.

The Great Scottish Run was first held in 1982 and has grown each year, with 24,089 people taking part last year.

Haile was born as one of ten children in Asella, Arsi Province, Ethiopia. As a child growing up on a farm he used to run ten kilometres to school every morning, and the same back every evening. This led to a distinctive running posture, with his left arm crooked as if still holding his school books. He gained international recognition in 1992 when he won the 5000-metre and 10,000-metre races at the 1992 Junior World Championships in Seoul and a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships. Read more

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