Indians just love marathons but what is needed is to produce a world champion and that will change the scenario, feels the legendary two-time Olympic Gold medallist marathoner Haile Gebrselassi.

Haile, arguably the greatest ever long distance runner who holds a record number of 27 world records, in an exclusive interview to NewsX said: “You have to get that first person… first man… first World Champion. Indian Athletics Federation must know how to motivate and produce world champions… that is something they are lacking. Indian runners must run in the Himalayas to produce great marathoners.”

Running makes him return to India for the 3rd time and he is delighted to be back. “I am happy to be back in India… it’s my 3rd visit… Delhi National Marathon,” Haile said. He added that “There needs to be a balance between celebrating and following Cricket and Olympics. How much is athletics being followed, promoted? You need to balance it right.”

“Indian body structure is perfect for long distance running. They need the right kind of training, exposure and support.”

On doping, Haile said it was high time to clean sports, athletics in particular. “News of doping keeps coming out again and again. But soon you will have no dope cases in athletics. All of us have to work together — the athletes and WADA.”

First Published | 24 February 2017 9:28 PM
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