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His problems continued at the NYC Half Marathon where he pulled up mid-race visibly uncomfortable in his running. With four laps to go (8:40. On 26 September he suffered a double setback when he dropped out of the Berlin Marathon (again suffering from respiratory difficulties of exercise-induced asthma) and saw his world records for 30 kilometers and the marathon broken by the man with whom he had been duelling Patrick Makau.
He won two Olympic gold medals over 10000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He broke 61 Ethiopian National Records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon set 27 world records and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history.