Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie failed to qualify for the London Olympics here on Sunday as he could only finish seventh in the 10,000 meters. The 39-year-old two-time Olympic 10,000m champion — who had already failed to post a qualifying time for the marathon — admitted his hopes had been dashed after his disappointing performance against 12 of his compatriots. “The Games in London, is over for me,” he told AFP.
“I ran a good
race till the last lap. I felt good but I manifestly didn’t have the speed to compete against my rivals.
That’s life. I am not disappointed,” added Gebrselassie, whose epic defeat of
Kenyan great Paul Tergat at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, his second Olympic
title, is one of the great finishes of all time. Indeed for the ever cheerful
Ethiopian great it is to be his last track
race. The ‘spikes’, it is
finished for me. I am 39. I have failed to qualify for the Olympics. And there
is a very strong younger generation in Ethiopia now. “I tried to qualify for my
fifth Olympics. And I don’t regret trying to do so. I simply came up against
stronger rivals on Sunday.” Tariku Bekele and Leleisa Desisa Benti finished
first and second respectively — with the former posting the best time in the
world this year of 27min 11.70sec — to book their tickets for London. “These next months, I will devote
solely to marathons and half marathons. In three years, I envisage a political
career. I would like to become a member of parliament.” Said Gebersellaase. Source ( AFP)