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Haile Gebrselassie (Image: DHM Media)
Haile Gebrselassie (Image: DHM Media)

India needs role model in long-distance running to inspire more people: Haile Gebrselassie ahead of Delhi Half Marathon

ANI | Updated: Oct 13, 2022 22:26 IST

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): Two-time Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie said that the Indian conditions are suited to groom long-distance runners and the country needs a role model in long-distance running to inspire more people to excel in it.
The runner is the international event ambassador of the Delhi Half Marathon and will participate in the event trying to win it.
Gebrselassie explained why Ethiopia and Kenya produce the most number of long-distance runners as the conditions there play a major role in the way they are acclimatized and accustomed. He also claimed that India also has similar conditions and should be able to produce such runners.
"It should be an athlete from India. The reason Ethiopia and Kenya are good at long-distance running is because of the lifestyle, weather, the food that we eat and the way how we live in the countryside. Here in India, you have that much more than in Ethiopia and Kenya," explained the runner.
The international event ambassador also stated that India needs to find role models and athletes who inspire people to take up the sport of long-distance running. The first Indian Olympic champion or world record holder in the sport will help to produce more such runners.
"The only thing you don't have and need to find is a first role model. The first Olympic champion, or world record holder. After that believe it will happen. In the areas in the Himalayas, the high altitude areas schools organize competitions among students. It will take some years to find a champion, but if you find the first one, it is very easy to get the next 1000," said the Olympic champion.
"I feel wonderful. The organization is very professional and everything that you see is wonderful. I know this race is big. It is happening in many years. It is going to be a big thing. After watching this trophy I feel like getting it but now but can't get it without crossing the finishing line. If you are at the starting line it pushes you to jump in the race," commented the athlete on his participation in the event. (ANI)