TOKYO (Reuters) - Kenyan Joseph Gitau produced an upset victory in the Fukuoka International Marathon after former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie pulled up after 32-kilometres of Sunday’s race.
The 24-year-old clocked a winning time of two hours, six minutes, 58 seconds with Japan’s Hiroyuki Horibata runner-up in 2:08:24 and Henryk Szost of Poland third in 2:08:42.
Gebrselassie ran in February’s Tokyo Marathon in a bid to launch his bid for an Olympic swansong in London but flopped to a fourth-place finish and eventually failed to make the cut.
The 39-year-old Ethiopian, twice Olympic and four-times world 10,000 meters gold medalist, had even less joy on his return to Japan.
Gebrselassie’s latest failure is set to further fuel speculation over the future of the man dubbed the “Emperor” after another year of disappointment.
Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by Patrick Johnston