Haile again! On the way to his 2:03:59 World record in Berlin (Victah Sailer) © Copyright
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Gebrselassie to return to Berlin Marathon

17 June 2011With the BMW Berlin Marathon 100 days away, organisers announced that World record holder Haile Gebrselassie will return to the streets of the German capital on Sunday 25 September.

It was in this IAAF Gold Label Road Race that the Ethiopian superstar had his greatest success as a Marathon runner, winning four times in a row between 2006 and 2009 and clocking the World Marathon record twice (2007 and 2008). His time of 2:03:59 still stands today as the mark to beat.

“I love the Berlin Marathon. The crowds are fantastic and on a good day everything is possible on this extremely fast course,” Gebrselassie said.

Gebrselassie wants to qualify for the Ethiopian squad for next year’s Olympic Marathon in London. The last Marathon he completed was in Dubai in 2010 where he clocked 2:06:09. Last November he dropped out of the ING New York City Marathon after 25 kilometres with knee problems and announced the end of his running career. Shortly thereafter he stepped back from his decision and announced he would run the Tokyo Marathon in February. He had to skip that race though after a fall on a training run where he hurt his knee. By April he illustrated a return to form when winning the Vienna City Half Marathon and last month won a 10Km road race in Manchester, England, in 28:10.

In the women's race, Irina Mikitenko returns again to the course where her marathon career started in 2007. In the following year she clocked 2:19:19 here for a course record making her the fourth fastest woman of all time. In 2008 and 2009 she won the World Marathon Majors series. In 2010 she suffered an injury setback that forced her to drop out of the Virgin London Marathon in the spring but returned with a fifth place finish in Chicago in the fall. Last April she ran 2:24:41 for seventh place in London after running most of the distance on her own. In Berlin she too is aiming to qualify for the Olympic Marathon.

Organisers for the IAAF