Haile Gebrselassie makes winning return in Vienna

Haile Gebrselassie
Ethiopia's long distance runner and marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie laughs during a news conference ahead of the Vienna city marathon in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, April 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA (USA Today) — Haile Gebrselassie made a winning return from injury by taking a half marathon event on Sunday during the Vienna City Marathon.

The Ethopian great, who turns 38 on Monday, covered the 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mile) distance in 1 hour, 18 seconds.

The 22-year-old John Kiprotich of Kenya won the full-distance race in an unofficial time of 2:08:29 to become the youngest winner in the 28-year history of the event.

Gebrselassie had been sidelined for six weeks and missed the Tokyo marathon in February after hurting both knees in training.

It was Gebrselassie’s first European appearance since briefly retiring after pulling out of the New York City Marathon in November.