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Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie retires from competitive running

Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie retires from competitive running
Kenneth Mungara, left,celebrates with Ethiopian long-distance running great Haile Gebrselassie after winning a marathon in Milan, Italy, on April 12, 2015. (Daniel Dal Zennaro / EPA)

One of the world's great distance runners has unexpectedly retired.

Two-time Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie said goodbye after the Great Manchester Run in Britain on Sunday.

"I'm very happy to stop here," he told reporters. "I knew this was going to be the last one."

In a racing career that spanned more than two decades, Gebrselassie won his Olympic golds in the 10,000 meters, captured numerous world championships and set more than a dozen world records at various distances.

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The 42-year-old Ethiopian's departure was a secret to all but his closest friends. He plans to continue entering races but will not train to stay at an elite level.

"I'm retiring from competitive running, not from running," he said. "You cannot stop running, this is my life."

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