Ethiopian long distance runner Kenenisa Bekele has withdrawn from Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon due to a calf injury.
The development means that the long awaited clash between Bekele and his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge is now off.
“I am very disappointed, I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training session to close together.” I truly believed I would be ready but today it is worse and I now know I cannot race on it.”
This race was so important to me. My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation.” I am sorry to disappoint my fans, organisers and my fellow competitors.” Said a disappointed Bekele.
The 38 year old was just two seconds short of his rivals’ world record when he won the Berlin Marathon last year.
For starters, Bekele’s rivalry with Kipchoge stretches back to the World Cross Country Championships in March 2002, where they met for the first time at the global level.
Since then, Bekele has won three Olympic gold medals, is a five time world champion on track and the reigning 10,000m world record holder.
Kipchoge on the other hand is the defending Olympic men’s marathon champion, world record holder and four time London Marathon winner. He is also the first person to run a Marathon in under two hours.
The shocking news of Bekele’s withdrawal, now leaves his compatriot Mosinet Geremew as the fastest rival to battle favourite Kipchoge.