10 MAR 2009 General News Hengelo, The Netherlands

Gebrselassie to attack his own World record for One Hour in Hengelo - IAAF World Athletics Tour

A familiar sight - Haile Gebrselassie next his Hour Run World record board (Golden Spike)A familiar sight - Haile Gebrselassie next his Hour Run World record board (Golden Spike) © Copyright

The organisers of the Fanny Blankers Koen Games announced yesterday that Haile Gebrselassie will attack his own World record for the One Hour in Hengelo on 1 June 2009.

The Fanny Blankers-Koen Games is an Grand Prix status meeting as part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2009.

Gebrselassie nicknamed ‘Mister Hengelo’ will start for the 11th time in Hengelo, where he broke his first World record in the 5000 metres in 1994.

He first attempted the One Hour run in hengelo in 2002 but had to pull out of the race partway through with an injury.

But last year Running before a near capacity crowd at the Mestsky Stadium at Ostrava’s Golden Spike meeting on 27 June, covered 21,285 metres over the course of 60 minutes to break the previous best, 21,101 metres, set by Mexican Arturo Barrios in La Fléche, France, on 30 March 1991. En route, he also broke the World record for 20,000 metres, covering 50 laps in 56:25.98, well within the previous 56:55.6 also set by Barrios.

Haile Gebrselassie will be guided by his friend and manager Jos Hermens who himself is a former two-time World record holder for the Hour. Hermens clocked-up 20.90765 metres on 28 September 1975 on the track of Papendal near Arnhem, bettering Gaston Roelants 20.784 metres from Brussels, 20 Sept 1972.

The second time Hermens broke the World record was on 1 May 1976 also on the Papendal track with a distance of 20.944,40 metres. With this distance Hermens remains the best European athlete ever over the hour.

Half Marathon attempt in The Hague

Gebrselassie will start coming Saturday (14 March) in the 35 edition of the Fortis City-Pier-City Half Marathon in The Hague. The Ethiopian is going for a World record at the half marathon, which is held by Samuel Wanjiru, who clocked 58:33 on the fast Hague course two years ago. Gebrselassie is trying to run the 27th world record in his career!

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF