Haile Gebrselassie says the impact coronavirus is having on running is ‘heartbreaking’

Jane McGuire
Photo credit: MONEY SHARMA - Getty Images

From Runner's World

Former Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie said the impact coronavirus is having on sport is ‘heartbreaking’ for athletes who have trained for events that have been cancelled.

Talking to BBC Sport, Gebrselassie said in light of high-profile events and competitions being cancelled, a number of young Ethiopian athletes have expressed concerns about the rest of their careers.

“The athletes here in Ethiopia, especially the youngsters who have a dream (and) who want to run for the first time, you can see the heartbreak. They think there will be no chance in future - that's what some of them are asking”, Gebrselassie told the BBC.

"Imagine after such hard training, after such long training, (being told there is) no race in China, no race in Europe, no race in America, no competition - it's really hard.

"Many of our athletes were prepared for those races. As a retired athlete, when I look back at my time, [if] someone told me after my long preparation that this race is cancelled, just imagine. It's really heart-breaking."

One rather large event that’s no doubt on everyone’s minds: the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this summer. As of now, the Games are on, but the IOC and the Tokyo event organisers are keeping a close eye on this constantly changing situation.

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