'My strength always came from Kenyans'- Haile Gebrselassie speaks on his success in athletics

ATHLETICS 'My strength always came from Kenyans'- Haile Gebrselassie speaks on his success in athletics

Abigael Wafula 13:07 - 27.11.2023

The four-time World 10,000m champion Haile Gebrselassie has explained how Kenyan runners contributed to his athletics career.

Legendary marathoner Haile Gebrselassie has made a strong revelation that Kenyan and Ethiopian runners always need each other during competitions.

Speaking on Citizen TV, the retired marathoner explained that the current National Olympic Committee of Kenya president Paul Tergat, a former runner himself, used to push him beyond the limits.

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He recalled the one time that he went head to head with Tergat who almost won the race but the Ethiopian was too smart and eventually took the crown. The four-time World champion outkicked Tergat at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

He noted that without the Kenyans, Ethiopians are not able to thrive and the vice versa is also accurate.

“We Ethiopians and Kenyans have to know something…You can’t see strong Kenyan athletes without Ethiopian athletes or vice versa.

We need each other…My strength always came from Kenyans because Paul did everything…he almost won that race,” the two-time Olympic champion declared.

Meanwhile, Gebrselassie is also a well-known businessman with a vast interest in real estate, hospitality, and sports-related enterprises.

He explained that it was not an easy transition for him since he had to learn how to deal with many people.

“When you switch to business, you interact with a lot of people unlike in sports where I was working with around four people.

During my days as an athlete, I would train in the morning, take a rest, and then train in the afternoon and there was not much noise,” he said.

He also extended gratitude to God for enabling him to learn and he now runs empires and has made a name for himself.

“Thanks to God…I tried to handle a lot of things and through that, life has taught me many things. I have learnt from experience…I didn’t go to University or college.

Running taught me a lot…traveling around the world made me know a lot of things,” he added.