Kiplagat Withdraws From NYC Marathon With Injury

Edna Kiplagat giving thanks after winning the 2011 World Championships marathon title in Daegu. Photo: David Monti/Race Results Weekly
Edna Kiplagat giving thanks after winning the 2011 World Championships marathon title in Daegu. Photo: David Monti/Race Results Weekly

A knee injury forces the defending champion to pull out of the race.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

NEW YORK — World marathon champion Edna Kiplagat has been forced to withdraw from the ING New York City Marathon because of the lingering effects of an injury, organizers of the November 6, race said here today.

For the 32 year-old Kiplagat, a Kenyan, the badly bruised knee she suffered when she fell at 37 kilometers during the IAAF World Championships marathon in Daegu produced doubly bad news.  She will not only have to miss the marathon in New York where she had planned to defend her title, but she has now lost her chance to win the World Marathon Majors 2010/2011 overall prize of $500,000.  Going into Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, both Kiplagat and defending Chicago champion Liliya Shobukhova had a chance at the winner-take-all prize based on accumulating points over two years of competition.  But now the Russian record holder is assured of winning it, her second consecutive World Marathon Majors title.

“Unfortunately, the physical therapy and treatment I had to do for my knee after falling in Daegu took much more time than I expected,” Kiplagat explained through a statement provided by the New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon organizers.  “Although I am now able to train well and there is no lingering pain, the recovery and treatment took more or less the whole month of September. I was only able to train once a day in September.”

Kiplagat gained an invitation to the race in New York last year after winning the Honda L.A. Marathon in a then personal best 2:25:38.  She was widely considered a surprise winner in New York after breaking away from American Shalane Flanagan and Kenyan compatriot Mary Keitany in the final 5 kilometers of the race.  But Kiplagat backed up her New York win with a huge personal best 2:20:46 performance at the Virgin London Marathon last April (good for third place), then by winning the world title in Daegu after getting up from her fall.  That performance earned her selection to the Kenyan team for next summer’s Olympic Games in London.

“I am thankful for NYC for giving me opportunity to come back and defend my title, but unfortunately I am not in a position to defend my title at this year’s ING New York City Marathon,” Kiplagat also said in the statement.  “As I said last year upon winning in New York, it was the greatest day of my athletic career. The New York City experience was just fantastic, and I was very much looking forward to trying to win again this year.”

Kiplagat made the decision jointly with her husband Gilbert Koech, her coach, and Brendan Reilly, her manager.

Despite Kiplagat’s withdrawal, the field for the ING New York City Marathon remains strong.  Race director Mary Wittenberg has recruited 36 women for her all-women’s professional race, and 16 of those women have run 2:27:00 or better including this year’s fastest marathoner, Mary Keitany, and Boston Marathon champion Caroline Kilel.

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