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Ethiopians Gebrselassie and Wami win Berlin Marathon 2006

Ethiopian dominance was the order of the day at the 33rd real,- Berlin Marathon on Sunday the 24th September, 2006. Haile Gebrselassie, the former King of Track, is building on his reputation as the one of World’s greatest runners of all time with a simply awesome victory in a personal best time of 2:05:56. Compatriot Gete Wami won the Women’s section with a time of 2:21:34.

Gebrselassie produced a superb display of solo running against the elements and a further improvement on his PB had to be a small consolation as headwind of the last 7km put an end to his assault on Kenyan, Paul Tergat’s Berlin 2003 World Record of 2:04:55. The record survived on this occasion however Gebreselassie is gaining in confidence as he edges closer to the day where the record will be under serious threat.

With only one disappointment at the distance in London this year; where he gamely finished in a time of 2:09:35 in 9th after falling foul of stomach problems, and a continual improvement on his best time the marathon no longer poses a problem that some thought he would encounter. Big things are still to come.

For Wami it was a welcome return to marathon competition and a victory which was inspiring and made all the worthwhile by joining Haile on the podium.

Overall the weather did not auger well for excellent times throughout and Salina Kosgei of Kenya, 2nd in 2:23:22, was a great deal closer than the Men’s 2nd place finisher, Ethiopian Gudisa Shentema, in 2:10:43.

The challenge of the World’s 2nd fastest marathoner ever, Kenya’s Sammy Korir never materialised as he was forced to drop out with hamstring problems

Gebreselassie had this to say:

“I’m sure this is the place to set a world record, but when you’re alone it’s very difficult to push. You need someone to assist you,” he said afterwards.

“I was OK going through halfway.

“I knew I had a chance of breaking the world record but the last five kilometres really hurt me and I couldn’t push at all.”

Gebrselassie has now set his sights on the 2008 Beijing Olympic marathon.

“Victory in Berlin has given me more confidence for the marathon at the Olympics, though I have to qualify for the Ethiopian team for Beijing first,” he said.

The 33-year-old also has his eyes on Tergat’s world record.

“I admire Paul greatly, but I think I can break the record sometime in the next year,” said Gebrselassie, who plans to run the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan on 3 December.

More quotes from the race

Gebrselassie Race Splits

5 km: 00:14:44
10 km: 00:29:55 / 0:15:11
15 km: 00:44:51 / 0:14:56
20 km: 00:59:30 / 0:14:39
25 km: 01:14:19 / 0:14:50
30 km: 01:29:06 / 0:14:47
35 km: 01:43:37 / 0:14:32
40 km: 01:58:57 / 0:15:21

Finish Time 02:05:56 pace = Time per km: 02:59

First half: 01:02:46

Second half: 01:03:09

Berlin Marathon Top 6 finishers result:

1 H Gebrselassie (Eth) 2:05:56
2 G Shentema (Eth) 2:10:43
3 K Umeki (Jpn) 2:13:43
4 T Yae (Eth) 2:15:04
5 A Ezzobayry (Fr) 2:15:27
6 D El Himer (Fr) 2:16:43

Berlin Marathon women’s result:
1 G Wami (Eth) 2:21:34
2 S Kosgei (Ken) 2:23:22
3 M Drybulska (Pol) 2:30:12
4 A Gigi (Eth) 2:32:32
5 M Narloch (Bra) 2:35:27
6 M Kraus (Ger) 2:35:37

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