Gebrselassie sets sight on Dubai marathon

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie runs during the 38th Berlin Marathon. Gebrselassie, who has won the Berlin marathon four times, headed the leading group until just before the 27 km (17 mile) mark when he pulled up in obvious pain. He bent over double but then stepped back on to the road within a minute but was unable to finish the race. (REUTERS)

Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie will not entertain thoughts of retiring and will focus instead on qualifying for next year's Olympics, his manager told AFP on Sunday.

The 38-year-old two-time 10,000m Olympic champion failed to finish the Berlin Marathon on Sunday - just as he did in New York last November - and saw his world record destroyed by Kenyan Patrick Makau.

However, Jos Hermens, the Ethiopian's long-time mentor and manager, told AFP that Gebrselassie would not be reacting like in New York and announcing his retirement but instead would be looking probably towards the Dubai Marathon to achieve the qualifying time for the Olympics in London next year.

"He wants to run another marathon and this could well be in Dubai (January 27, 2012)," said Hermens, who explained Gebrselassie had suffered from breathing problems during the race which forced him to pull out at the 35km mark.

"He has already had lung problems before but everything went well in preparing for the race. Maybe the change from training at altitude in Ethiopia played a role."

Hermens conceded, though, that while he was confident Gebrselassie could still run the marathon in 2hr 04min or 2hr 05min that it was the end of an era when 'Haile was breaking records.'

Makau, the defending champion, timed 2hr 03min 38 sec to destroy Gebrselassie's record by 21 seconds which he set in the same race in 2008.

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