GEBRSELASSIE PREVAILS FOR THIRD TIME IN DUBAI MARATHON
By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
January 22, 2009
Haile Gebrselassie won his third Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
today in the United Arab Emirates, but the two-time Olympic gold
medallist had to fight off a sore back and a challenge by two Ethiopian
compatriots to get the victory.
Gebrselassie, 36, came into the desert race with hopes of breaking his
own world record of 2:03:59, but he woke up this morning with a sore
back because he slept in the wrong position, according to a report
posted at IAAF.org. He sought help from his physiotherapist, and was
in good enough form to clock 2:06:09 to get the win, his tenth sub-2:07
But Gebrselassie didn't dominate as he had in the past. He was caught by Chala Dechase and Eshetu Wendimu in the latter stages of the race, and had to fight to get the victory.
"This is not an indication I'm old," Gebrselassie said in the IAAF.org
report. "I still think the world record can be broken here, but these
Both Dechase (2:06:33) and Wendimu (2:06:46) set career best times in second and third place, respectively.
The women's race went to another Ethiopian, Mamitu Daska, in a mild
upset. Daska, who was third at the real,- Berlin Marathon last
September in a personal best 2:26:38, ran to exhaustion in a new
personal best 2:24:18. She is coached by Haji Adilo, the man who also
coaches reigning Boston Marathon champion Deriba Merga. Another Adilo
athlete, Aberu Kebede, 21, was second, also setting a personal best
(2:24:36). Kenyan Helena Loshanyang Kirop finished in the same
position as she did last year --third-- running 2:24:54. The pre-race
favorites, Bezunesh Bekele and Askale Magarsa, finished fourth and
Kenyan-born Isabellah Andersson of Sweden set a national record of 2:26:52 in fifth place.
Ethiopians dominated the event, taking seven of the top-10 places on the men's side and eight of the top-10 spots on the women's side.
Both Gebrselassie and Daska earned $250,000 in prize money, the largest prize money payday in marathon running.
Editor's addition: The IAAF recap says that Geb needed physio treatment before the race.