Friday, February 09, 2007

Haile's Record...Gone!

On January 15, 2006, Haile Gebrselassie added one more world record to his resume when he ran the Rock and Roll Arizona Half-Marathon in 58:55 in Phoenix. It was a great beginning to a year that saw Haile win two marathons- Berlin and Fukuoka- register the fastest marathon of 2006 and set the Ethiopian national record for the marathon. The half-marathon record in Arizona was indication of the great form Haile had and all the achievements to come during the year.

That half-marathon record was broken today, by a mere two seconds, when Sammy Wanjiru ran 58:53 to win the Ras Al Khaima International Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates today. Birhane Adere won the women's race in 1:10:58 as Ethiopian women dominated the race by sweeping the top four places. Finishing behind Birhane were Teyiba Erkesso, Bizunesh Bekele, and Dire Tune taking up second through fourth place.

Haile was informed that his record was broken shortly after the race. He replied only as Haile "The Emperor" would reply. He promised a quick response "as soon as I can find another half-marathon."

In other news, Kennenisa Bekele's much anticipated 1500M indoor race in Valencia, Spain has been scratched due to a minor injury he suffered in training. We will wait to see if he goes ahead with his plan to race the 2000M next week in Birmingham, England where Tirunesh Dibaba will also attempt to break the 3000M world indoor record set by Meseret Defar just last weekend.