Focus on Gebrselassie in Fukoka

The 66th annual Fukuoka International Marathon, which doubles as the 96th Japanese national championships for the men’s Marathon as well as one of the selection races for the 2013 World Championships, is set for Sunday.

The great Haile Gebrselassie, who won this IAAF Gold Label Road Race in 2006, is running here for the second time. In the history of the race, there are eight runners who won the event multiple times including two four-time champions – Frank Shorter and Toshihiko Seko – and two three-time champions – Jerome Drayton and Gezahegne Abera.  Can Gebrselassie become the third Ethiopian, after Abera and Tsegaye Kebede, to win in Fukuoka multiple times?

Although he turned 39 last April, Gebrselassie still ran 10,000m in 27:20.39 and the Half Marathon in 1:00:52 this year, both the fastest performance by anybody older than 37. In his last Marathon, the 2012 Tokyo Marathon, Gebrselassie, despite some physical problems during the race, ran 2:08:17. So he might have a faster Marathon in him on Sunday. It is generally believed that the course in Fukuoka is faster than the course in Tokyo. It should be noted that the record for a 39-year-old is 2:07:44 by Jaoud Gharib, recorded in 2012 London Marathon. Can Gebrselassie who has run the fastest Marathons for 33, 34 and 35 year-olds run the fastest Marathon for over 39 years old? Read more