Ethiopian athletics legend and world marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie, has announced his retirement after dropping out of his first New York City marathon.
“I am retiring,” the twice Olympic 10,000 metres champion told reporters at a post race news conference. It’s time to step away and give chances to the youngsters.”
Gebrselassie, 37, who set 27 world records in his illustrious career, pulled out after the halfway stage as he and the lead men’s pack were running downhill from the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan.
The Ethiopian clutched his right knee, bent over and grimaced in pain as the others continued on their journey.
A medical examination on Saturday revealed fluid and tendinitis in his knee.
“Many people consider Haile the greatest distance runner of all time,” USA Track Field spokeswoman Jill Geer said .
“What he did was to elevate the standard for everyone.”