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Haile’s Olympics bid sinks in Hengelo

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HENGELO, Netherlands, May 28 – Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie failed to qualify for the London Olympics here on Sunday as he could only finish seventh in the 10,000 metres.

The 39-year-old two-time Olympic 10,000m champion – who had already failed to post a qualifying time for the marathon – admitted his hopes had been dashed after his disappointing performance against 12 of his compatriots.

Ethiopia were using this as a qualifier for the Olympics.

“The Games in London, is over for me,” he told AFP.

“I ran a good race till the last lap. I felt good but I manifestly didn’t have the speed to compete against my rivals.

“That’s life. I am not disappointed,” added Gebrselassie, whose epic defeat of Kenyan great Paul Tergat at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, his second Olympic title, is one of the great finishes of all time.

Tariku Bekele and Leleisa Desisa Benti finished first and second respectively – with the former posting the best time in the world this year of 27min 11.70sec – to book their tickets for London.

The third spot is being kept for Bekele’s older brother and world record holder Kenenisa, who has been struggling for several months with a calf muscle problem.

Gebrselassie, a four-time world 10,000m champion, had come into the race boosted by his victory in the 10km Great Manchester Run in northwest England last week in 27min 39secs.

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