The 39-year-old two-time Olympic 10,000m champion - who had already failed to post a qualifying time for the marathon — admitted his hopes had been dashed after his disappointing performance against 12 of his compatriots. Ethiopia were using this as a qualifier for the Olympics. “The Games in London, is over for me,” he told AFP.

Tariku Bekele and Leleisa Desisa Benti finished first and second respectively — with the former posting the best time in the world this year of 27min 11.70sec — to book their tickets for London.

The third spot is being kept for Bekele’s older brother and world record holder Kenenisa, who has been struggling for several months with a calf muscle problem.

Gebrselassie, a four-time world 10,000m champion, had come into the race boosted by his victory in the 10km Great Manchester Run in northwest England last week in 27min 39secs.