After storming to victory in the Bupa Great Manchester Run and providing a glimmer of hope that he may yet make London 2012, Haile Gebrelassie's Olympic hopes are all but over after he finished seventh at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo.
Used as an official Ethiopian Olympic trial, Gebreselassie was required to finish among the top two athletes from his country at yesterday's race in Holland to qualify.
Even though he improved on his time at Manchester last week, down from 27:29 to 27:20, he was the sixth placed Ethiopian and came home nearly nine seconds behind winner Tariku Bekele.
In what would have been his fifth Olympic event, Gebrselassie was downbeat but philosophical about his failure to qualify: "The Games in London is over for me. I ran a good race until the last lap. I felt good but I didn't have the speed to compete against my rivals. That's life. I am not disappointed."