x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Gebrselassie wins Dubai Marathon

The Ethiopian runner defied an injured back to complete a third successive Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon triumph.

Haile Gebrselassie came home in a time of 2hr 6min 9sec, just over two minutes outside his best.
Haile Gebrselassie came home in a time of 2hr 6min 9sec, just over two minutes outside his best.

DUBAI // Haile Gebrselassie defied an injured back to complete a third successive Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon triumph. The Ethiopian running great missed out on the $1 million bonus on offer from Dubai Holding for breaking his own world record, as he came home in a time of 2hr 6min 9sec, just over two minutes outside his best. Gebrselassie, 36, was forced to have intensive physiotherapy ahead of the race just to make the start line, after falling asleep while watching television and waking with a stiff back. He said: "It was not a good night and when I woke up this morning my back was in a bad position. "At halfway I decided just to win the race [and forget about the record attempt]. I knew with all the spectators at the finish line, it would be unbelievable. I could not lose in front of them." Gebrselassie took the $250,000 first prize ahead of Kenya's Chala Dechase Beyene, and his Ethiopian compatriot Eshetu Wendimu Tsige finished third. Mamitu Daska Molisa made it an Ethiopian cleansweep of titles as she won the women's race in 2hr 24min 18sec, eight seconds ahead of Aberu Kebede Shewaye.

pradley@thenational.ae