Kenenisa Bekele has announced his withdrawal from next month’s Virgin London Marathon due to an injury on his right achilles tendon. News of Bekele’s absence, however, was countered by confirmation Geoffrey Mutai, twice winner of the New York Marathon, has been added to the elite field.
Bekele had been primed for competing at London since breaking the course record at Paris last year in his debut marathon run however prospects of his participation were severely dented after an injury he sustained at the Dubai Marathon in January.
The 5,000 and 10,000m world record holder said of his withdrawal: “I desperately wanted to run in London this year, but the injury to my achilles has not healed sufficiently for me to compete against such a great field. I hope to be back in 2016 and ready to challenge the best marathon runners in the world in London.”
Mutai’s involvement will go some way to replenishing what is already a star-studded elite field including; defending London champion Wilson Kipsang, Emmanuel Mutai, the second fastest marathon runner in history, and reigning Chicago Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge. In addition to his performances in New York, Mutai also boasts a first place finish at Berlin and Boston.
The upcoming London Marathon marks the 35th anniversary of the event, which was first staged on 29 March, 1981. Just as the men’s line-up is shaping up to be highly competitive, this year’s female field is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever assembled with reigning champion Edna Kiplagat taking on Mary Keitany, the fastest woman since Radcliffe, and half marathon world-record holder Florence Kiplagat, all confirmed.