Haile Gebrselassie announces retirement from athletics

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Gebrselassie in New York, in 2003.
Image: pjmorse.

Haile Gebrselassie, a 37-year-old Ethiopian road-running athlete, announced his retirement from the sport on Sunday, after leaving the New York City Marathon with an inflamed knee. Gebrselassie is widely considered "one of the greatest distance runners in history."

"I never think about to retire. But for the first time, this is the day. [...] Let me stop and do other work after this," Gebrselassie said during a press conference. The athlete dropped out of the competition after running 25 kilometers. "Why should I retire? Why should I say I will retire in three or four years? You retire the very moment you utter those words," he added.

New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said on Saturday that "he had his knee drained and was given cortisone," and that "it was unlikely Gebrselassie would even start the race."