Gebrselassie had major competition wins at distances between 1500 metres and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road ...
Haile Gebrselassie (Amharic: ኃይሌ ገብረ ሥላሴ, haylē gebre silassē; born April 18, 1973) is an 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.
Gebrselassie 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 meters to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners 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. Since he was over the age of 35, that mark also is the Masters Age group world record.
Gebrselassie was born as one of ten children in Asella, Arsi Province, 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 schoolbooks.
Gebrselassie gained international recognition in 1992 when he won the 5000-metre and 10,000-metre races at the 1992 Junior World Championships in Seoul,and a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships.
The next year, in 1993, Gebrselassie won the first of what would eventually be four consecutive world championships titles in the men's 10,000 metres at the 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999 World Championships. At the 1993 World Championships, he also ran in the 5,000-metre race to finish a close second behind Ismael Kirui of Kenya. In 1994 he won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Later that year he set his first world record by running a 12:56.96 in the 5,000-metres, breaking Saïd Aouita's record by two seconds.