Two times Boston marathon champion Moses Tanui shook hands with Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie after 30 years following their rivalry in battle for 10,000m gold at the World Athletics championships in Stuttgart, Germany in 1993.

The double Boston marathon champion was on track to defend his 1991 title but he was tipped off by Gebrselassie, who was then a graduate from the junior to senior as the Ethiopian won gold and Tanui settling for silver in a controversial finish.

Tanui, the first man to run half a marathon under one hour (59:47) in Milan in 1993 that was later lowered by Paul Tergat.

“At the finals, everyone was expecting me to win a medal after shining in 1991 and the late Limo told me that he was tired and I should represent the country. And because we were two at the leading park with Gebreslassie, I went in front and he stepped on my shoes. Unfortunately before the bell, he stepped on my shoes and I could not stop to tie my laces again. But I was upset by losing the gold and settled for silver. For me, many people know that I was robbed of the gold. I was upset by them for losing gold but never angry for the rest of life. This is a sport and if you have bad luck, someone else takes the pride,” explained Tanui.

After the loss, Tanui said that he changed from track to marathon and never ran for the country again because he was very upset since nobody from Kenya was able to pay for 100 dollars to the jury of appeal for the loss.

“I still treat my silver as gold because I was robbed. On that day, I had the dollars but it is the government through the federation that can appeal, not an athlete or the coach. The officials of Athletics Kenya should have been there to launch a complaint then the jury should have sat down and decided whether there was a disqualification. The Kenyan officials failed me and made me never run again for the country because no one was there when I needed them most. How can you run for a country when no one is there to support an athlete,” he questioned.

But after 30 years of long wait, the two great runners met during the Ethiopian Great Run 10km road race in Addis Ababa.

“Two years ago, I called Gebrselassie to come for the Eldoret City marathon. Unfortunately,  he did not come but sent a delegation. For me, he is a great man like any other top athlete who has put his flag high with many records. I respected him and for the same of the sport, he should come to Kenya. But last year, he invited me to the Ethiopian Great Run 10km, I went there. We had a successful race with good discussions,” he said.

“I have answered this one question several times ‘Moses, are you upset with Gebrselassie,’ I always say that by then I was but now no because we can’t live with anger for life. What we want to do between Kenya and Ethiopia is to bring Africa together because it is a great sporting nation. In sports even in football where Africans are playing in European, American nations,” he said.

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