Updated: Wednesday, 20th August 2014 @ 5:04pm

Haile Gebrselassie hopes to win Great Manchester Run for fifth time after his London Olympics 2012 dream ends

Haile Gebrselassie hopes to win Great Manchester Run for fifth time after his London Olympics 2012 dream ends

By Dean Wilkins

Ex-world record holder Haile Gebrselassie is challenging himself to retain his Great Manchester Run crown for the fifth time after giving up his London Olympics 2012 dream.

The Ethiopian, who turns 39 tomorrow, is a double Olympic 10,000m champion but was unable to clinch a place in the Olympic marathon team.

But the ‘Emperor’ is hoping to build upon his triumph over Britain’s Paula Radcliffe last weekend by winning the Manchester race on May 20.

Gebrselassie said: "Although I will not be taking part in the Olympic marathon I am still enjoying my athletics career and looking forward to coming to Manchester again and to a course which I love."

He added: “It's flat and really suits my running style while I must say the support I get from spectators, which I have enjoyed on every visit, really motivates me to do well.

"I remember in particular my first victory when I achieved a very fast time in what were perfect conditions but since then the wind has always been a factor against me.

"Hopefully this year there will be none and that will make for a much better race."

The Bupa Great Manchester Run, which will be celebrating its tenth staging this year after being first staged in 2003, is expecting a record 40,000 runners for this year's race.

 

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