Haile Gebrselassie was hoping for a farewell race and one last shot at an Olympic gold medal in the marathon.
The 39-year-old distance running great and former world record-holder won't get the chance after failing to make Ethiopia's team, denying him a swan song at the London Games.
Gebrselassie says he is unlikely to run the marathon at next year's world championships and this Olympics was the plan for his goodbye. He says he'll have to rethink how and when he bows out.
Gebrselassie broke his own marathon world record in 2008 at 35 and won two Olympic titles in the 10,000 meters.
He also failed to qualify for the 10,000 in London. He joked Friday that he was still hoping to be a late addition to Sunday's marathon field.