Gebrselassie not going for record

Gebrselassie not going for record
By Reuters

01/03/2006 at 20:04Updated

Twice Olympic 10,000 metres champion Haile Gebrselassie will not target Paul Tergat's marathon world record when he runs against the Kenyan in London next month.

"I am still chasing the world record but London will certainly not be the place," Gebrselassie told reporters in Nairobi on Wednesday where he will attend a sports awards ceremony organised by Tergat.

"I might have chased the record a bit too soon after retiring from the track, not knowing or ignoring the fact that road racing and track running are very different," the Ethiopian said.

"I tried to break it in Amsterdam last year but I realised just how difficult it is."

Tergat, who was Gebrselassie's main rival on the track, set the marathon world record of two hours, four minutes, 55 seconds in Berlin in September 2003.

"When we parade in London next month, a world record will be the last thing on our minds, more so given the strong field that will be running," added Gebrselassie, who retired from the track after the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The 32-year-old will also be up against 2005 London champion Martin Lel, 2004 winner Evans Rutto and South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala, who was second in New York to Tergat in November.

Gebrselassie, world half marathon record holder, has a best of 2:06.20 over 42.195 km, set in Amsterdam last year.

The London marathon is on April 23.

Gebrselassie pulls out of London marathon