Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gebrselassie drops out of first New York City marathon

Larry Fine, Editing by John Mehaffey

World record holder Haile Gebrselassie pulled out of his debut New York City marathon after the halfway stage on Sunday due to a right knee problem.

Gebrselassie, 37, who had been running easily with the lead pack, pulled up in pain as the top runners were coming off the Queensboro Bridge to enter Manhattan.

The Ethiopian had run about 25 kms of the 42.195 kms racee before dropping out.

New York Road Runners officials said Gebrselassie, who has set 27 world records in his illustrious career, had a test on his knee on Saturday which revealed fluid and tendinitis.

Gebrselassie’s First New York City Marathon Ends Early


The world record holder in the Marathon, Haile Gebrselassie, pulled out in the 16th mile of his first New York City Marathon.

“Gebrselassie’s world mark of 2 hours 3 minutes 59 seconds has fostered debate about competition versus records, reported Jere Longman before the race, “and has drawn criticism from some elite runners for the orchestrated way his fastest times over 26.2 miles were achieved. ”

A few days ago, the 37-year-old Ethiopian joked about his age and said he wanted to run here before he was past his prime. “How can you stop running without running New York?” he said.

Before the race this morning, Liz Robbins reported that Gebrselassie was carrying an injury. “I have some inflamation in my right knee, because of the long travel to NY city,” he said on Twitter. “No big problem, just some fluids. Hopefully the knee holds!”

Gebrselassie, who was paid about $400,000 appearance fee, won’t collect the bonus money for winning or setting records. “This year, Gebrselassie could also win $130,000 in prize money if he finishes first and $60,000 to $70,000 in a time bonus for breaking the course record,” Ken Belson and Liz Robbins reported.

He pulled out in the 16th mile. Robbins reported from the race route: “Gebrselassie just stopped running, as he was charging downward on the Queensboro Bridge.”

“He was favoring his knee, started slowing and then pulled up in the 16th mile,” she wrote.