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Haile Gebrselassie
Olympic great Haile Gebrselassie speaking at the Olympic hunger summit in Downing Street, 12 August 2012.jpg
Haile at the Olympic hunger summit in London, August 2012
Personal information
Nationality Ethiopian
Born 18 April 1973 (1973-04-18) (age 48)
Asella, Arsi Province, Ethiopia
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight 54 kg (119 lb)
Sport Long-distance running
Event(s) 1500 metres, 5000 metres, 10,000 metres, marathon
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 1500 metres: 3:33.73
Mile: 3:52.39
3000 metres: 7:25.09
2-mile: 8:01.08
5000 metres: 12:39.36
10,000 metres: 26:22.75
Marathon: 2:03:59

Haile Gebrselassie (born 18 April 1973) is a retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this, he won four world titles indoors and was the 2001 World Half Marathon Champion.

Haile was born as one of ten children in Asella, Oromiya Region, Ethiopia. As a child growing up on a farm he used to run ten kilometres to school every morning, and the same back every evening. This led to a distinctive running posture, with his left arm crooked as if still holding his school books.

In 1992, Haile gained international recognition in Seoul, South Korea, when he won the 5000-metre and 10,000-metre races at the 1992 World Junior Championships and a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships held in Boston, the United States.

Haile had major competition wins at distances between 1500 metres and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road running in the latter part of his career. He broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 metres to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely regarded as the greatest distance runner in history.

In September 2008, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds. The record stood for three years. Since he was over the age of 35, that mark still stands as the Masters Age group world record in addition his 10000 m Masters record has not been challenged since 2008.

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