Haile Gebrselassie Tweets "My Olympic Marathon Dream is Over" and Ethiopia Announces a Preliminary Olympic Marathon Team

By LetsRun.com
March 2, 2012

Haile Gebrselassie's Olympic marathon dream may be over. Last weekend he ran the Tokyo Marathon hoping to qualify for the London Olympics. After taking the lead, he uncharacteristically faded over the final miles finishing in fourth in 2:08:14. If he wants to make the Olympic team for Ethiopia he would have to run another marathon by April. After Tokyo, Gebrselassie gave notice that might be a possibility saying, "I could run another marathon in two weeks."

Gebrselassie now appears to have backtracked as he tweeted on February 28th,  "After Tokyo I am a bit disappointed. Till 30k I was on my way to 2.05. It looks like my Olympic marathon dream is over."

Also today the news came out that the Ethiopian federation announced its preliminary marathon squad for the Olympics. The squad has four names on it, the first four Ethiopian finishers at January's Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon: Ayele Abshero (2:04:23) , Dino Sefir Kemal (2:04:50), Markos Geneti (2:04:54), and Tadese Tola (2:05:10) (This news is in German and in French. If someone wants to confirm we're translating this correctly, please email us).

The bigger news is the names left off the list: Tsegaye Kebede, the London Marathon champ, Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist, who has been the best Ethiopian marathoner over-all the last four years, Gebre Gebremariam, who won the 2010 ING NYC Marathon and ran a wind-aided 2:04:53 in Boston last year, and young Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa, who got a World Championship bronze last year and has run 2:05:23 in the past. All three of them are running spring marathons and the Federation has said the list can change. However, by releasing the names now the Federations seems to be saying, "unless someone really runs well in Boston or London" this is our Olympic team.

It wouldn't be our team. Dino Defir has run over 2:10 twice and under 2:05 once. That doesn't put him ahead of Kebede and Gebremariam in our book. Even if they both run so-so this spring we'd be tempted to put one of them on the team.

The women's preliminary team is Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31), Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Bizunesh Bekele (2:20:30) and Aberu Kebede (2:20:33)

Discuss the Ethiopian Decision On The Boards: *ETHIOPIAN OG MARATHON SELECTION
*HAILE FROM TWITTER- "It looks like my Olympic Marathon dream is over"

More Geb: LRC Geb Goes For It ... Fades To 2:08:17 4th Well-paced, good weather, perfectly positioned, Haile G had the lead and a gap on the field at 36k but surprisingly faded and was passed one-by-one until he was off the podium in the final kilometer. It was a strange marathon, as both Geb and last year's defending champ Hailu Mekonnen, who were the two leaders, both faded after surging ahead. Michael Kipyego (2:07:37) brother of women's star Sally Kipyego, took the win while Arata Fujiwara stamped his ticket to London with a 2:07:48 PR. 38 y/o Geb complained of back pain afterwards. Geb is now known for his post-race excuses, but for once we tend to believe him (he also dropped a water bottle at 35k and stopped to get it before not picking it up - wonder if that affected his back).
*LRC
OFFICIAL Tokyo Marathon Haile Geb Thread
*Brett Larner's JRN Race Recap

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