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Athletics legend Haile G/Selassie’s dream for a record fifth Olympic appearance comes to an end following his 7th spot finish in the highly publicized 10Km road race in Hengelo-Netherlands.
Critics raised their voices asking how the 39 year old world athletics great got permission to go back into the 10,000 meter race; a discipline that demands more speed than endurance, unlike a marathon.
In the special 10Km event organized especially for Ethiopian athletes to achieve the minimum time for the London Olympics many expected Haile to repeat what he did in Manchester a week earlier. However at long last Haile’s strong legs and iron will evaporated into thin air when the young legs; the likes of Tariku Bekele and Feyessa Lelisa; took control of the event from the start. Tariku won Hengelo clocking 27:11 with compatriot Lelisa Feyessa crossing the line in 27:11:98. Former world silver medalist Seleshi Sehen finished third in 27:12 followed by another Ethiopian G/Egziabher G/Mariam.
At long last Haile’s dream of gracing London came to an end after he finished 7th clocking 27:20:03. Though Ethiopian athletics federation announces the race is open to any one secured the minimum time until the end of June, Haile went public announcing he had finished with the London Olympics. Some critics said after all Haile should have said enough for an Olympic dream when he failed in the marathon. Even if he made the minimum time required for the Olympic line up getting a medal would have been an almost impossible task and we all are not happy Haile minus medals,”Lulseged Ayenew remarked. “I would have been happier if Haile quits while he was at the pulpit like Brazilian legend Pele his popularity and honor still intact,” Admassu Regassa told Capital Sport.