Haile Gebrselassie completes Dubai Marathon hat-trick

Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia celebrates his winning run in the Rock-N-Roll Marathon in Tempe, Arizona on January 15, 2006. (Photo by Glen Andrews/SPK/Allsports)

Haile Gebrselassie completed a hat-trick of Dubai Marathon victories on Friday but the Ethiopian’s hopes of setting a new world record were dashed by a bad back.

The world champion crossed the finish line in a time of 2:06:09, 14 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Chala Dechase Beyene but more than two minutes slower than his record time.

“I wanted to break the record, but what can I do?” the 36-year-old told reporters. “It’s important to break my record, one day it will happen.”

The $2 million event had attracted around 12,000 runners, according to organisers, with a $1 million bonus pool on offer to anyone breaking Gebrselassie’s earlier world record.

“I didn’t have a good night last night, my back was not in the right position,” Gebrselassie added.

However, he said the problem was minor and he would still be aiming for a marathon gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

In the women’s event, Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska Molisa won in a time of 2:24:18, six seconds ahead of compatriot Aberu Kebede Shewaye.

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