G4S Ambassador Haile Gebrselassie smashes marathon world record in Berlin
The 35-year-old’s stunning victory has set a new benchmark in long distance running, having become the first man ever to run under two hours, four minutes as he clocked 2:03:59. Gebrselassie’s time was nearly half a minute quicker than the previous record which he had set over the same course last year.
Having not competed in the Olympic marathon in Berlin - Beijing due to concerns over poor air quality, this was the perfect return to competition for the Ethiopian legend.
The time marks Gebrselassie’s 26th world record in a career that has lasted close to 20 years thus far, and the achievement is all the more impressive given that his training had been interrupted by a calf injury.
Speaking after the race Gebrselassie said:
"I am so, so happy, everything was perfect, the weather was perfect, the spectators were perfect, everything - I am so happy.
"Since I started running, Berlin is my lucky city. Two weeks ago I had a bit of a problem with my calf muscle, but I took a week off. It gave me a few worries coming here, but I forgot about it as the race wore on. I knew before I came here I could do something special."
The double Olympic Champion heads up G4S’ global sports programme – G4S 4teen – which provides support to a group of 14 young sports stars from around the world towards their dreams of competing at London 2012.
Gebrselassie is acting as a mentor to all the athletes, providing assistance and advice across their professional careers.
Earlier this year five of the G4S 4teen athletes competed ahead of schedule at the Beijing Olympic Games, alongside Haile Gebrselassie.