12 OCT 2011 General News Birmingham, UK

Next up for Gebrselassie, Half Marathon in Birmingham

Haile Gebrselassie clocks 1:00:18 over the Half Marathon in Vienna (Victah Sailer)Haile Gebrselassie clocks 1:00:18 over the Half Marathon in Vienna (Victah Sailer) © Copyright

Less than one month after losing his World record in the Marathon, Haile Gebrselassie will return to the roads at the inaugural Bupa Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon on 23 October.


The legendary Ethiopian, who was forced to drop out of last month's BMW Berlin Marathon due to breathing problems after 35 kilometres, watched Patrick Makau of Kenya claim the World record in the Marathon with his extraordinary 2:03:38 run. Despite that setback, Gebrselassie remains determined to qualify for the Ethiopian squad over the distance and take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Gebrselassie confirmed his participation in Birmingham earlier this week while visiting Soweto in South Africa, where he is doing charity work for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. During his illustrious career, the 38-year-old has won two Olympic 10,000m gold medals, four IAAF World Championship titles over the distance and set 26 World records in competitions ranging from 2,000m to the Marathon.


The African star is also no stranger to Birmingham where in the past his electrifying appearances at the National Indoor Arena have seen him break the world 2000m, two mile and 5000m records.

Briton Mara Yamauchi, the sixth place finisher in the 2008 Olympic Marathon in Beijing, will be among the headliners in the women's race. Yamauchi, who finished second in the Virgin London Marathon two years ago, was impressive in her last outing. Last Sunday she won the ASICS Grand 10K in Berlin clocking 32:19, just two seconds shy of her personal best.


Organisers for the IAAF