12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics berlin 2009

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Haile Gebrselassie 'Still has a Suitcase in Berlin'

Author: BOCCurrent events Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
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In pursuit of his dream in the German capital

Haile Gebrselassie
© BOC

2:04.55 – That is the current best time for running a marathon. 2:03.00 – This is the envisaged time juxtaposed by Haile Gebrselassie, who, as always, is wearing a giant smile across his face. It is by no accident that the legendary long-distance runner from Ethiopia “has a suitcase in Berlin.” The flat course through the capital, where the Kenyan Paul Tergat set the current standing record in 2003, offers a perfect opportunity for a renewed attempt to crack it at the traditional marathon race on September 30. The German metropolis will again offer the world-class athlete the chance to add yet another world champion title to his impressive collection – for the longest long-distance event – in two years, during the berlin 2009™.

“Berlin is not a problem – it is more like flying,“ raves Haile Gebrselassie about the course profile in the so-called “Athens on the Spree.” This assessment is just as fitting for the classic Berlin Marathon as it is for the course designed for the World Championships in 2009: 4 laps of a 10km-loop leading past the most important city sites, with start and finish at the Brandenburg Gate. In addition to the fast course, experienced and enthusiastic spectators line the city streets motivating the athletes. “The best course and spectators,” surmises the running idol from the highlands near Addis Abeba radiantly.

Haile Gebrselassie views his starts in Germany as a good omen. His unparalleled series of international wins began in 1993 at the World Championships in Stuttgart. “I have always been very successful in Germany,” the star recalls. The time has now come for a new world record, which was not quite successful last year. That is not the final goal for the 34-year-old Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin, however. His “warning” to potential competitors at berlin 2009™ leaves no room for misinterpretation: “2009 is perfect,” the endurance runner states. “See you there!”

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