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Is Gebreselassie the GOAT?

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  • Is Gebreselassie the GOAT?

    Has Haile Gebrselassie earned the right to be called the greatest distance runner of all-time? Does he transcend his sport in a way that he should now be compared to the likes of Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretsky, Michael Jordan, Pele and Eddie Merckx?

  • #2
    Re: Is Gebreselassie the GOAT?

    Originally posted by jazzcyclist
    Has Haile Gebrselassie earned the right to be called the greatest distance runner of all-time? Does he transcend his sport in a way that he should now be compared to the likes of Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretsky, Michael Jordan, Pele and Eddie Merckx?
    Id say so. They asked him about the other runners taking it out super fast in the NY half today ( 4:34-27:20) and he smiled and said "Oh yes it was very fast and i thought thank you."
    phsstt!

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    • #3
      no

      i'd prefer my goats to have held at least wrs at 3 og distances - a rono type who held wrs at 3ksc, 5k & 10k

      geb held only 2 ( but marathon wr woud probably do it )

      i belive nurmi might have held 3 ?

      aouita came very close :

      he held 1500 & 5k - i think he couda got mamede's 27'13wr in mid-'80s, which may have been a unique feat ?

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      • #4
        In answer to the original question: YES. Granted, Geb is in a different era than Nurmi, Zatopek, etc., but the quality of his performances, his competitive genius, and his longevity all add up to GOAT.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eldrick
          no

          i'd prefer my goats to have held at least wrs at 3 og distances - a rono type who held wrs at 3ksc, 5k & 10k

          geb held only 2 ( but marathon wr woud probably do it )

          i belive nurmi might have held 3 ?

          aouita came very close :

          he held 1500 & 5k - i think he couda got mamede's 27'13wr in mid-'80s, which may have been a unique feat ?
          I'm on the road sans reference, but I believe Nurmi set records (not necessarily held at same time) at every distance from 1500 through 10K.

          GOAT rankings are severely distorted by the current system of every-two-years World Champs. Gotta remember that for most of the sport's history, not only did we not have such frequent world championships, we also didn't have them at all.

          Tough to compare (see our recent rantings on Tommie Smith [the greatest] vs. Michael [the imposter] Johnson.

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          • #6
            For me he is "a" GOAT among long distance runners, I'm not sure I can compare across eras and name any one "the" GOAT -- however, there are several men on my relatively short GOAT list -- Nurmi, Zatopek, Viren, Bikila, Gebrselassie.

            Depends too on what one values -- WRs and/or championship performances -- both are nice to have (I would imagine...) -- I tend to value championship performances, but a combination of those with WRs counts for most, along with a hazy assessment of "dominance" during that particular era.

            So, Geb is on my GOAT list of long distance runners.

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            • #7
              Difficult to rank / compare / judge runners from different era's. So many variables
              constantly changing, improving, evolving.

              Ron Clarke? Didn't he set a ton of records at a ton of distances too?

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              • #8
                No Kene for GOAT advocates? Double distance holder, sick CC record, may yet get the 3Kr, and I'll put pressure on him and say he'll go gold-gold in '08 bettering gold/silver '04.

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                • #9
                  Bek has lost some big track races many feel he should have won but he can still become the GOAT.

                  Geb won indoor 1500 world champs and has run 2:05 marathon, thats a pretty good range. :shock:
                  phsstt!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Friar
                    No Kene for GOAT advocates? Double distance holder, sick CC record, may yet get the 3Kr, and I'll put pressure on him and say he'll go gold-gold in '08 bettering gold/silver '04.
                    Once the "may" and "will" turn into "has" and "did", then he will surely get more advocates.
                    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                    • #11
                      i think what makes geb so great, and one of the best ever, goes beyond a simple tally of WRs and medals -- it's the number of times he reclaimed WRs or broke his own, his range and his longevity. it'd be nice to see him win a few more marathons, but some of his losses at that distance have still been real epics.

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                      • #12
                        I think a 2008 Olympic Marathon gold would solidify Geb's position as the GOAT.

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                        • #13
                          Anyone ever watch endurance? Does starring in a movie about yourself count in the tally as whether or not he is the GOAT?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                            I think a 2008 Olympic Marathon gold would solidy Geb's position as the GOAT.
                            The likely weather conditions for next year's event make it a crapshoot.

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                            • #15
                              Bekele isn't going to get the 3K WR. The best candidate for that was El G and he did, what, 7:23? Now he's gone. That's about the toughest record out there. I don't see anyone currently running that can get it.

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