New York, USA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The running world was shocked when menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie announced his retirement after he withdrew midway in the ING New York City Marathon race here on Sunday due to a nagging knee injury.
But the shock turned into amazement when 26-year-old Gebre-Egziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who was making his debut in the NY marathon, won the race in 2:08.14.
The victory also came with a handsome monetary compensation to the tune of Ã‚Â a grand total of $170,000 or 2,720,00 Ethiopian Birr ($130,000 prize money and an additional $40,000 time bonus – running under 2:08.30).
What was amazing is not that Gebre-Egziabher won on his debut here but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s never run a major marathon race before. He is known as a 5,000m, 10,000m and cross-country runner but not in the marathon.
However, such transition is not unusual in the running world as Haile Gebrselassie himself and countless of other Ethiopian and international athletes have done the same move before.
Gebre-Egziabher is married to world-class woman distance runner Werknesh Kidane, who withdrew at the last minute of the NY Marathon.
Profile of Gebre-Egziabher GebremariamBio: Full Name: Gebre-Egziabher Gebre-Mariam – also written as Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Gebre-Egziabher means Ã¢â‚¬Å“Work of GodÃ¢â‚¬Â or “Miracle of God” and Gebre-Mariam means Ã¢â‚¬Å“Work of MaryÃ¢â‚¬Â or “Miracle of Mary”. Date of Birth: 10 September 1984 Place of Birth: Tsenkanet, Hawzen (near Adigrat), Tigray region, Ethiopia Residence: Addis Ababa
Personal Note: Marital Status: Married to 2003 World Cross Country Champion Werknesh Kidane. He has two sons, Nathnael (Nathaniel) and MussÃƒÂ© (Moses). Family: Third of six children. Parents are farmers. Club & Management: Club: Ethiopian Banks Sports Club, Addis Ababa Coaches: Kassu Alemayehu (club) and Dr. Woldemeskel Kostre (national) Manager: Mark Wetmore, Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts (USA) Affiliation: Adidas Athletic Career: He began running in school at the urging of his older brother Gebrselassie (“Servant of the Trinity”), who had done some running himself in the Ethiopian Air Force. Personal Best:
- 3000m 7:39.48 (2005)Two Miles(i) 8:34.82 (2006)
- 5000m 12:52.80 (2005)
- 10,000m 26:52.33 (2007)
- Half Marathon 1:00:25 (2010)
- Marathon 2:08:14 (2010)
- 2010 ING New York City Marathon Champion
- 2009 World Cross Country Champion
- 4th, 2004 Olympic Games 5000m
- 6th, 2007 World Championships 10,000m
- 2nd, 2004 World Cross Country Championships 4K and 12K
- 3rd, 2003 World Cross Country Championships 12K
- 6th, 2003 World Outdoor Championships, 5000m
- 1st, 2002 World Junior Cross Country Championships
- Gold Medalist, 2002 World Junior Championships 10,000m
- Bronze Medalist, 2002 World Junior Championships 5000m