Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele reveals injury misery
Thursday, 10 May 2012
May 10 - Ethiopia's double Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele (pictured) spoke here today of his frequent despair that injury had brought an end to his career.
The 29-year-old multiple world champion and record holder suffered a succession of calf and knee injuries after securing his second Olympic 10,000 metres title in Bejing four years ago, where he also won the 5,000m, and said he had faced up to the possibility that he would no longer be able to compete at the top level again many times over the last four years.
"It is not easy to come back from injury and return to the top," said Bekele, who will have his first competitive outing of the season over 3,000m here in the Samsung Diamond League meeting tomorrow.
"I thought my career had come to an end – not only one time, but two or three times.
"I tried to come back each time, but still the injury was not good and I thought 'Maybe I'm not coming back to competition again'.
"I felt like that not once, but many times.
"It was really not easy for me.
"It was my family, my wife and my friends who supported me and advised me.
"They kept my spirit up, and told me maybe my fitness would come back again.
"I also want to thank my manager, Jos Hermens, who has been helping me more and more.
"He has been like my family, like my brother – I don't have all the words to say about him."
Bekele, who was briefly banned by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation this year, along with many other top-rated athletes, following a dispute over training schedules, returned to the track after a two year absence last season.
Although he dropped out of the final while making a defence of his world 10,000m title in Daegu, less than three weeks later he produced a late flourish to his season by running the fastest 10,000m of the year, 26min 43.16sec, at the Samsung Diamond League in Brussels (pictured above).
April 2012: Bekele serves early notice of intent for London 2012 with Great Ireland Run victory
April 2012: Triple Olympic champion Bekele heads stellar cast at Diamond League opener
January 2012: Exclusive - Bekele "played big part" in Ethiopian federation revoking ban
January 2012: Bekele, Dibaba and co free to run at London 2012 after Ethiopian Federation lift bans
January 2012: Exclusive - Let me run for another country, says Bekele after federation bans Ethiopians from London 2012