Pollen allergy forces long distance great to pull out of next month’s event

Haile Gebrselassie has been forced to withdraw from next month’s Haspa Hamburg Marathon because of a pollen allergy.

His long-time manager Jos Hermens explained how the Ethiopian long distance great has been suffering respiratory problems caused by the allergy which means he has been unable to train properly for the past two weeks.

The 41-year-old was a pacemaker at the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13 where he had been due to run to the 30km point but he dropped out at around 15km because of the breathing troubles. The pollen levels in London have previously caused Gebrselassie problems, the multiple world and Olympic gold medalist also being unable to complete the 2007 marathon in the British capital.

“Unfortunately I have to withdraw from Hamburg marathon,” Gebrselassie tweeted. “I haven’t been able to train properly the last weeks due to a pollen allergy.

“Wish all the runners in Hamburg good luck, and hope to be back next time!”

Gebrselassie had been targeting the V40 marathon world record of 2:08:43 held by Mexico’s Andrés Espinosa in Hamburg and back in February told AW: “For me it is the plan to break all of the masters records, the half marathon, the 10km, the 10 miles and then of course the marathon.”