Haile Gebrselassie was hoping for a farewell race at the Olympics and one last shot at a gold medal in the marathon.
The distance running great and former world record holder won’t get the chance after failing to make Ethiopia’s team, denying him an ideal swan song at the London Games.
Gebrselassie said Friday he also was unlikely to run the marathon at next year’s world championships in Moscow and had been forced to rethink how he ends one of the best distance running careers ever.
“Next world championships, I don’t think so,” the 39-year-old Gebrselassie said on being asked if he had one more marathon run at a major meet left in him. “If possible, this (the Olympics) was the plan. The next world championships, I don’t think so. Maybe something else,” he said.
Gebrselassie broke his own marathon world record in 2008 at 35 and won two Olympic golds and four world titles in the 10,000 meters. He also set over 20 world records and countless Ethiopian records and ran successfully in distances ranging from the 1,500 meters to the 42-kilometer (26 mile) marathon, leading to him being considered among the greatest athletes ever.
Gebrselassie also failed to qualify for the 10,000 in London but joked Friday with reporters that he was still hoping to be a late addition to tomorrow’s marathon field.