Top Contenders Withdraw From U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon

Abdi Abdirahman (left), Aaron Braun and Chris Derrick will not race in Los Angeles. Photos:

With less than two weeks to go until the U.S. Olympic Trials in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, a few top contenders have recently announced they won’t be running in the race due to injury and other circumstances.

The most recent scratch is four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, the third-place finisher at the 2012 Trials in Houston, whose agent, Ray Flynn, told Sports Illustrated on Monday that “Abdi had a setback in training recently that has prevented him from training properly for 10 days and has made the difficult decision that he will not be ready for the marathon trials.” The 39-year-old Abdirahman recently dropped out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon on Jan. 17. He was there to pace to Olympic Trials hopefuls to a sub-65-minute qualifying time. Flynn said that if Abdirahman can get healthy it’s possible he’ll run a spring marathon. Abdirahman’s absence, along with Ryan Hall’s recent retirement, means that 40-year-old Meb Keflezighi is the only remaining member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team taking part in this year’s Trials race.

Last week, three-time U.S. cross-country champion Chris Derrick, who was to making his marathon debut at the Trials, announced that a setback in training had derailed his upcoming racing plans. “After dealing with a setback and missing some training in an already short build up, Jerry and I have decided to not pursue the OT marathon,” Derrick Tweeted. “I’m very excited about my future in the marathon, but right now it makes the most sense to focus on the upcoming track season.”

Finally, Aaron Braun, a six-time national champion whose 2:12:54 marathon personal best put him amongst the top contenders for this year’s Trials race, Tweeted on Jan. 26 that an injury was going to keep him off the starting line in L.A. “I’m sad to announce, due to lingering groin/hip injury and consequential lack of fitness, I will not be competing in marathon trials.” In Braun’s case, not racing the Trials at least relieves some of the pressure of knowing he’ll be home on Feb. 12—his wife’s due date for the birth of their second child.

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