News17 Apr 2012

Gebrselassie chases fifth victory in Manchester


Another Manchester 10Km victory for Haile Gebrselassie - 2011 (© Mark Shearman)

Running legend Haile Gebrselassie, still in great shape although no longer intending to represent Ethiopia in this summer's Olympic Marathon, will bid for a fifth win at the Bupa Great Manchester Run on 20 May.

The Bupa Great Manchester Run is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

Gebrselassie, who acknowledges Manchester's 10km course is one of the fastest in the world, scored his first victory with a then UK All-Comers' record on his first appearance in 2005 and has since emerged the winner on the last three occasions.

The world's greatest-ever distance runner, after defeating Paula Radcliffe in the OMV Champions Race in Vienna on Sunday where he gave the British star a 7 minutes 52 seconds start and then caught her in their novel Half Marathon chase race clash, is determined to score another win on 20 May.

"That was a good victory for me and considering I was running on my own for virtually the whole race my time was good," said Gebrselassie, who passed Radcliffe after 15.3k and finished in a time of 60:52.

The "Emperor" added: "Although I will not be taking part in the Olympic marathon I am still enjoying my athletics career and looking forward to coming to Manchester again and to a course which I love.”

"It's flat and really suits my running style while I must say the support I get from spectators, which I have enjoyed on every visit, really motivates me to do well.”

"I remember in particular my first victory when I achieved a very fast time in what were perfect conditions but since then the wind has always been a factor against me.”

"Hopefully this year there will be none and that will make for a much better race."

Gebrselassie, a close friend of Brendan Foster whose company Nova International organise the event, added: "When he invited me to run again I told him wasn't it time he gave someone else a chance to win one of the world's best 10k races. But really, I was joking and always wanted to return. Manchester is a favourite venue for me."

The Bupa Great Manchester Run, which will be celebrating its tenth staging this year after being first staged in 2003 as a legacy to the City's magnificent hosting of the previous year's Commonwealth Games, has accepted a record 40,000 entries for this year's race.

Mara Yamauchi, who has already been named to represent Team GB in the London Olympic Marathon, will be joined by several other top Britons in the women's including 20-year-old Charlotte Purdue who, returning from injury, narrowly failed to defend her title in last Sunday's SPAR Great Ireland Run.

Organisers for the IAAF

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