Haile Gebrselassie's Retirement Lasts One Week
Star Announces His Comeback At A Race in Ethiopia and Confirms It Via Twitter; His Coach Thinks The 37-Year Old Can Continue To Race Until He's 45
November 15, 2010
Haile Gebrselassie's retirement lasted all of one week. The man who tearfully retired on the spot after being forced to drop out of the 2010 ING New York City marathon on Sunday, November 7, changed his mind yesterday. According to the obscure website Ethiosports.com, Gebrselassie announced his return to competition at a race in Nekemte, Wollega in his native Ethiopia.
The reversal was confirmed this morning via Twitter as Haile wrote:
"First I want to thank you for all your support and great responses. After a few days on the countryside I could take some decisions (sic). Running is in my blood and I decided to continue competing. My announcement in New York was my first reaction after a disappointing race. When my knee is better again I will start focussing (sic) on my next race. Thank you again for all your support!"
Additionally, LetsRun.com visitor Sabrina Yohannes has written an article for Reuters on Gebrselassie's reversal. In that story, his long-time track coach Woldemeskel Kostre confirmed Gebrselassie's return to the sport before Geb did so via twitter. But the thing worth noting from the story is that Kostre said that he think's Gebressalie can continue to compete until he's 45 years old as Kostre told Reuters, "As long as he has the desire and the willingness he can keep running until he's 45."
Geb's 37 now so can anyone say Rio 2016?
Finally, Gebrselassie's management team issued a press release as well. We've pasted it below:
Press release -15 November 2010-
Haile Gebrselassie continues his career
After an emotional and sudden retirement last week at the press conference in New York, Haile Gebrselassie took some time to think things over. Coming back to Ethiopia, he was overloaded with heartwarming reactions from all over the world. Many people, also close to Haile, asked him to come back on his decision. When he made his emotional decision, he did not foresee the impact that it would have for his people and the youth in Ethiopia. Haile agreed it was not the time and not the way to stop. The running legend has decided to continue his career and get the focus back on the Olympic marathon in London 2012.
Haile’s sudden decision to announce his retirement in New York was made because of a huge disappointment. “I trained so hard for this and I was so focused to be successful in New York. After the race I was tired, I was in pain and I was disappointed that all my hard work didn’t bring me the result I was hoping for. I was very emotional.” Gebrselassie went back to Ethiopia and went to the countryside to reflect.
During his time of reflection, fans over the world reacted on his sudden retirement plans, and tried to convince him to continue his running career. With 27 world records, 2 Olympic gold medals, 9 World titles and his permanent smile and warm character, Gebrselassie is one of worlds biggest sport personalities.
“I want to thank everybody who supported me last week and gave me trust that I could still continue my career and that I can continue my road to London 2012. Running is in my blood and now my mind is clear again I can continue competing.”
Editor's Note: The first version of this story didn't include the press release from Gebrselassie's management team. It also gave credit to the news from Woldemeskel Kostre to the French magazine L'Equipe which had just taken the information from Reuters.