Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) Ethiopia's legendary long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie has been named the international event ambassador of the 10th edition of the $350,000 Mumbai Marathon to be run Jan 20.
Gebrselassie, winner of two Olympic gold medals (10,000 metres in 1996 and 2000), four World Championship gold medals (10,000m) and four World Indoor Championship gold medals (3,000m and 1,500m), has 27 world records to his credit.
After bidding adieu to his career on track, Haile crowned himself the 'King of the Road' in September 2008, when, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03.59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds.
Haile has won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this, he was also the 2001 World Half Marathon champion.
During his visit to Mumbai, Haile will meet with the elite athletes and encourage the amateur athletes.
"I am looking forward to my first visit to India, especially because I will be associated with the Mumbai Marathon. I am looking forward to inspire all the runners in the marathon. For me it is always important to inspire the younger generation to be involved with running. I hope my visit and my history in athletics can also inspire the future Indian top athletes," said Haile.