Kenenisa withdraws from London marathon with calf injury
The three-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia was expected to go head to head with Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge at the elite only race on Sunday.
One of the pre-race favorites Kenenisa Bekele has withdrawn from the 2020 London Marathon on Sunday October 4, 2020 with a calf injury.
The three-time Olympic champion, who was expected to be Eliud Kipchoge’s biggest threat as he seeks an unprecedented fifth London marathon title, suffered the injury in training.
"This race was so important to me. My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it," Bekele said.
The Ethiopian missed Kipchoge's world record by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2019 in two hours one minute 41 seconds.
"My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realize many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organizers and my fellow competitors,' he said in a statement.
In April 2020, Bekele, the holder of 17 world titles over cross-country, track, and road, told the Olympic Channel that he was eager to make up for that world record miss with another fast run, as he feels he's still in top form.
“To run against Eliud Kipchoge, the two of us, having prepared well. I'm sure something could have happened on that day."
He arrived in London, on Monday, September 28th, with the rest of the athletes and has been staying with the other elite athletes and teams in the bio secure hotel bubble.
Bekele, second at the 2017 edition and third in 2016, was hopeful that he would recover from the injury he picked up while training with his teammates in Addis Ababa, in late September.
“I am feeling well and happy to be back in London to run for my fifth title," he said at Wednesday's press conference. "I think the race will be a really fruitful one for us on Sunday and a fast race."
Bekele could possibly race at the Valencia Marathon that will also hold an elite Edition marathon and half marathon on December 6, 2020.
Boston and Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono of Kenya and Ethiopia’s 2019 World Champion Lelisa Desisa are among some of the top names confirmed for the marathon in the Spanish city.
Source: Marathon Channel