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Gebrselassie wins in Amsterdam but misses world record


Gebreselassie crosses the finishline in Amsterdam

Gebrselassie wins in Amsterdam but misses world record

Haile Gebrselassie ran to his first marathon victory in Amsterdam, but missed clearly the world record at the end. He ran 2:06:20 hours, which is a new Ethiopian record, course record and world lead as well. He improved his personal best by 15 seconds and the course record by three seconds. Haile Gebrselassie improved the world lead, set last week by Felix Limo in Chicago (2:07:02), by 42 seconds. He is now the only runner who ran the marathon sub 2:07 this year. But the big goal was out of reach. The world record of Paul Tergat was untouched. The Kenyan, who is a permanent rival of Haile Gebrselassie, set the world record of 2:04:55 at the real,- Berlin Marathon two years ago.

With a big winning gap Haile Gebrselassie reached the finish in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. Daniel Yego finished second in 2:08:58 hours, third was the Ethiopian Tesfaye Tola in 2:09:17. There was another Ethiopian victory in the women’s race. The clearly slower race compared to the men’s race was won by Kutre Dulecha in 2:30:06 hours ahead of Kristijna Loonen (Holland/2:34:08). 6,477 runners from 55 nations were running in good weather conditions. With a bright blue sky, the race was started at 11 am in the Olympic stadium. The temperatures increased to 16 degrees. Only the wind was sometimes baffling the runners.

Haile Gebrselassie was running protected and leaded by a whole group of pace makers. Right from the start a fast race developed. The group reached the 5- and 10 k marks in 14:49 minutes and 29:39 minutes. Due to a tail wind in the next phase of the race it was getting even faster. The 15 k split was 44:06 minutes and the half marathon 62:03.Everything looked like the world record being broken. But already in the next 5 kilometers the first doubts came. The five k from 20 k (58:49) to 25 k (1:13:57) was 15:08 minutes and notably slower. Additionally there were only three runners left in the lead. At 25 k the last pace maker Francis Kiprop (Kenya) dropped out to early for a world record hunt.


Daniel Yego was running next to Gebrselassie until shortly before the 30 k mark. But he couldn’t pace at this phase of the race anymore. He had to concentrate to finish with a good time himself.
Contrary to Paul Tergat, who was lead by his training fellows Titus Munji and Sammy Korir for almost the whole race, Haile Gebrselassie had to run the last twelve k alone. At the 30 and 35 k points he was still faster compared to Paul Tergat, with 1:28:57 and 1:43:50 (by 27 and nine seconds). But while the Kenyan had run from 30 to 40 k in 29:12 minutes in Berlin, the Ethiopian needed 30:18 minutes.

In the end Haile Gebrselassie missed the record and the related bonus of 250,000 Euro. “I am satisfied with my time nevertheless,” said Haile Gebrselassie, who earned a total of 100.000 Euro and added: “The last five kilometers were very hard. I haven’t been able to increase the pace. Furthermore I got stitches. Until 35 k I was feeling very well. I think I have to train even harder for a marathon.” In the first phase of the race the runners had a tail wind, but in the second half it was the other way around. “I don’t think I ran the first half too fast. 62 minutes are okay for me,” said Haile Gebrselassie.

While the men’s race was living from the thrilling world record hunt, the decision about the winner in the women’s race fell early: Kutre Dulecha was leading right from the start. After 69:22 minutes she reached the first half and already was two minutes ahead of Kristijna Loonen. With 2:30:06 hours the 27 year old winner set a new personal best. “I am happy about this victory and my new personal best. The course is fast, but the wind was hard,” translated Haile Gebrselassie later at the press conference for his countrywomen.



1. Haile Gebrselassie     ETH    2:06:20
2. Daniel Yego        KEN    2:08:58
3. Tesfaye Tola        ETH    2:09:17
4. Bernard Barmasai    KEN    2:10:52
5. George Okworo    KEN    2:11:49
6. Andrew Limo        KEN    2:12:13
7. Jamal Baligha    MOR    2:15:22
8. Sander Schutgens    NED    2:17:53


1. Kutre Dulecha    ETH    2:30:06
2. Kristijna Loonen    NED    2:34:08
3. Sue Harrison        GBR    2:38:25
4. Charne Rademeyer    RSA    2:39:26
5. A. Bekele        ETH    2:41:40
6. Annemari Sandell    FIN    2:43:23



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