Goodness knows how the Daily Mail's columnist, Martin Samuel, will react when he hears the incredible news that one more "plastic brit" is to be added to the list already comprising...........
HAILE GEBRSELASSIE TO RUN FOR GREAT BRITAIN IN OLYMPIC MARATHON!
Despite 2 Olympic Golds, 4 world championship track golds and 4 world indoor golds, it was the last 12 K of this year's Tokyo marathon which was uppermost in the minds of the Ethiopian team selectors when choosing their 3 runners for the London Olympic marathon. At 30K Gebrselassie, arguably the greatest distance runner of all time, had surged into the lead and had built a gap on his rivals. But the last 12K saw him fade to 4th in a moderate time of 2:08.15.
Not good enough to make the Ethiopian team, but now apparently
good enough for Great Britain! Charles Van Commene, UK athletics head coach, stated today that based on the amount of time Haile has spent in the UK running events like the Great Manchester Run etc. he qualifies on residency grounds!
"We could have waited to see performances at the London Marathon but being realistic we feel there is very little chance of any Brit running faster than Haile's 2:08"
Haile said , "Whilst I am obviously disappointed not to have made the Ethiopia team it is probably time to step aside and give the young guys their chance. But now Great Britain have given me a lifeline and I'll be doing every thing I can to show the Ethiopia selectors that they got it wrong. I'll be gunning for the runners in green! I feel I have it in me for one last great Olympics!"
Haile is desperate to compete in a 5th Olympic Games and show that at 38 he is still capable of winning a medal.
He has amazingly now been given the chance to demonstrate that his Dubai marathon "meltdown" was an aberration which will not be repeated in the controversial colours of Great Britain.
His selection will be officially confirmed today, April 1st.