1. Haile Gebrselassie is a retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete.
2. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event.
3. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon.
4. Further to this, he won four world titles indoors and was the 2001 World Half Marathon Champion.
5. Haile had major competition wins at distances between 1500 metres and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road running in the latter part of his career.
6. He broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 metres to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered the greatest distance runner in history.
7. In September 2008, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds.
8. Since he was over the age of 35, that mark still stands as the Masters Age group world record.
9. Haile was born as one of ten children in Asella, Oromia Region, Ethiopia.
10. As a child growing up on a farm he used to run ten kilometres to school every morning, and the same back every evening.
11. This led to a distinctive running posture, with his left arm crooked as if still holding his school books.
12. Haile gained international recognition in 1992 when he won the 5000 -metre and 10,000-metre races at the 1992 Junior World Championships in Seoul, and a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships.
13. Also at the 1993 World Championships he ran in the 5,000-metre race to finish a close second behind Ismael Kirui of Kenya.
14. In 1994 he won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
15. In 1995, Haile ran the 10,000-metres in 26:43.53 in Hengelo, Netherlands, lowering the world record by nine seconds.
16. That same summer, in Zürich, Switzerland, Haile ran the 5000 metres in 12:44.39, taking 10.91 seconds off the world record 12:55.30 .
17. This world record at the Weltklasse meet in Zürich was voted “Performance of the Year” for 1995 by Track & Field News magazine.
18. In 1997, Haile turned the tables on Komen at the same meet.
19. Coming off his third 10K world championship gold medal, Haile beat Komen in another Zürich classic on 13 August 1997, covering the final 200 metres in 26.8 seconds to break his 5000 metres world record with a time of 12:41.86.
20. The next year, 1998, saw Haile lowering the indoor world records for 2000 and 3000 metres, enjoying success outdoors by taking back both the 5000 and 10,000 metres world records, as well as earning a share in the Golden League jackpot for winning all of his races in the Golden League series that summer.