Gebrselassie's title defence in balance after injury recurs

The Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie was facing the possibility last night of missing the Games due to an Achilles injury.

According to his manager, Jos Hermens, the chances of Gebrselassie defending his 10,000 metres title are "not looking brilliant".

The veteran Ethiopian, who at the age of 31 will leave track athletics behind and focus on the marathon after Athens, is hoping to be fit to chase a third successive Olympic title at his specialist distance.

Reports in Ethiopia said that Gebrselassie had a problem with his knee, but the injury is more serious than was first believed. "It's an Achilles injury and it's not looking brilliant," said Hermens.

"But we don't know whether he will miss the Games."

It was in London on 30 July that Gebrselassie sustained his injury, when setting a UK all-comers' record in the 5,000m.

The Olympic 10,000m final takes place on Friday night, making the pessimistic comments from Hermens all the more concerning.

Gebrselassie has had treatment in Munich from the German specialist Hans Wolfhardt- Müller. After returning home, he recommenced training in Addis Ababa. But it is understood his preparation has been affected by a recurrence of the injury.

The news is no better for Ethiopia's women. The 10,000m world champion, Berhane Adere, has been dropped from the squad because of a lingering injury - also to her Achilles.

The Ethiopian federation confirmed yesterday that Adere would be replaced by Ejigayehu Dibaba, the African 10,000m champion and the older sister of the world 5,000m gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba.

"Adere is out of condition and not responding well to her training load," the federation said.

Adere has struggled with the injury since breaking the world indoor 5,000m record in Stuttgart on 31 January.

Since Ejigayehu Dibaba does not want to compete in two events at the Olympics, she will be replaced in the 5,000 by Meserat Defar, the world indoor 3,000m champion.

Ethiopia's 10,000m women's team will be completed by defending Olympic champion Derartu Tulu and the world silver medalist Werknesh Kidane - a reflection of the depth of athletics quality in the African country.

Ejigayehu Dibaba is also the younger cousin of Tulu. She finished only ninth in the 10,000m at last year's world championships in Paris, but has been improving dramatically this year. She lowered her personal best for the 5,000m by nine seconds to 14 minutes, 32.74 seconds and she ran the second-fastest 10,000 of the season of 30:43.39 when she beat Tulu at a meet in Spain.

Suggested Topics
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam