Haile Gebrselassie fails to finish Fukuoka International Marathon

Last Updated: 02/12/12 10:15am

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Haile Gebrselassie: Ethiopian great fails to finish marathon in Japan

Haile Gebrselassie: Ethiopian great fails to finish marathon in Japan

Sky Bet

Kenyan Joseph Gitau claimed a surprise win in the Fukuoka International Marathon after former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie pulled up after 32-kilometres of the race.

Gitau, 24, clocked a winning time of two hours, six minutes, 58 seconds with Japan's Hiroyuki Horibata second in 2:08:24 and Henryk Szost of Poland third in 2:08:42.

"I never imagined I could win this race. My past results haven't been good," said Gitau.

"But I wanted to sharpen my focus on the marathon and I've been running in Japan since high school so the environment suits me."

Gebrselassie ran in February's Tokyo Marathon in a bid to try and make the Olympics but he could only finish fourth and failed to make the cut for London 2012.

The 39-year-old Ethiopian, twice Olympic and four-time world 10,000m gold medallist, suffered more misery on his return to Japan.

He was among the leading group of six runners, but pulled up at the side of the road with around 10 kilometres left, sparking speculation that he could now retire.

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