FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HAILE GEBRSELASSIE FOR DUBAI IN 2009
- RUNNING LEGEND CONFIRMED FOR STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON -
Dubai (UAE): Fresh from breaking his own world marathon record and becoming
the first man to run under 2h:04m, Ethiopian running legend Haile
Gebrselassie has confirmed his next major appearance will be in the $2
million Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 16, 2009.
The news once again underlines the global standing of Dubai as host to the
world's richest running event, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the
UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports
Council. As well as a prize-fund of $1 million, the race also offers a
world record bonus payout of an additional $1 million, courtesy of Dubai
"We have been in discussions with Haile and his management ever since he
performed so brilliantly in Dubai earlier this year," said event director
Peter Connerton. "Our team flew to Germany last week to finalise the
details but we didn't want to release the news out of respect for the
Berlin Marathon. Now he has smashed the world record again, we look forward
to Haile coming back to Dubai in 2009."
In the German capital, Gebrselassie further cemented his incredible running
legacy with a world record time of 2h:03m:59s – the 26th world record of
his astonishing career and his third win in the Berlin Marathon.
The last three times 'Geb' has run the 42.195km event – Berlin in 2007 and
2008 and in Dubai earlier this year - he has set the three fastest times in
history. Beating the record yet again in Dubai is the 35 year-old's next
marathon target following a 15km race in Melbourne in November.
"Considering he was nursing a calf injury prior to running in Berlin,
setting another world record is an amazing achievement by Haile," said
Ahmed Al Kamali, Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon General Co-ordinator,
President of the UAE Athletics Federation and Al Ahli Club Board Member.
"His appearance in Dubai in January this year took the standing of the
Dubai Marathon to a new level. Although he narrowly missed out on the world
record, he was warmly welcomed and received a great ovation from his
thousands of supporters. I'm sure we'll see more of the same in three
months time and we'll do all we can to give him every chance of breaking
the world record in Dubai."
The man himself believes he can go even faster. During training for Berlin,
he was running quicker than at any time in his marathon career.
"After the race (Berlin), I didn't feel so tired," he said. "It feels great
to be the first man under 2.04 in the marathon. Myself, I can do 2.03
something - if I don't get injured, maybe 2.02.59, but considering my shape
and my age, 2.03.30, or 2.03.20."