ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) Kenenisa Bekele says he took up distance running because of the prodigious achievements of the great Haile Gebrselassie. He now wants to prove he’s better than his idol.
Bekele, the world record-holder and former Olympic champion over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, believes he’s overtaken Ethiopian compatriot Gebrselassie when it comes to track, but there’s still one more test: The marathon.
The 31-year-old Bekele is following Gebrselassie’s path by stepping up to the marathon and will make his competitive debut over 26 miles (42 kilometers) in Paris in April.
While Bekele says his track record is “better than any other athlete,” Gebrselassie set world records in the 5,000, 10,000, half marathon and marathon to build a reputation as one of the most complete distance runners ever.