The three-time Olympic champion is suffering from a shin injury.
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Earlier today, organizers of the Virgin London Marathon announced that three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba has withdrawn from what was set to be her debut marathon. In a press release, organizers said that Dibaba was forced to scratch because of a shin injury, which has caused problems in her marathon build up.
“I have been in training for the London Marathon, but the increase in mileage has caused a flare up of my previous lower leg injury,” Dibaba, 27, told race organizers. “As a result, I won’t be able to compete in this year’s London Marathon but I look forward to making my debut there next year.”
Dibaba was set to take on Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelana, also from Ethiopia, as well as world champion Edna Kiplagat and Olympic silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo.
“Of course, it is disappointing to lose Tirunesh. She has been such a fantastic athlete on the track, and everyone was full of anticipation to see how well she performed in a marathon,” said race director Hugh Brasher. “We still have a fantastic women’s race in prospect, however, with the Olympic and World Champions going head-to-head.”
Dibaba’s announcement comes one day after the Boston Marathon –also a World Marathon Majors event– released a statement noting that Kenyan Moses Mosop and American Ryan Hall would not be competing due to calf and quadriceps injuries, respectively.
Making up for the loss of Mosop and Hall, Lelisa Desisa a 2:04:45 marathoner and the winner of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last January, was added to the field, along with Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene and Laban Korir.
The Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, while the Virgin London Marathon will be held six days later on April 21.