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Khalid Khannouchi Out of US Olympic Marathon Trials
December 3, 2003
From Valerie McLean, Race Director US Olympic Men's Trials

Due to chronic, repeating injuries, American marathon record holder Khalid Khannouchi announced today that he will not be running in the 2004 USA Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials. “We are sad to hear this news.  Birmingham has been looking forward to hosting Khalid along with the other American athletes coming to town for the Olympic Trials in February.  His presence will be missed and we wish him a full and healthy recovery of his injuries,” said Valerie McLean, race director for the Trials.

Below is a statement sent by Khannouchi to McLean earlier today.

"For the last 8 months I have being dealing with chronic injury on my foot and my knee. I tried to be careful about it and had much physiotherapy treatment during these last 8 months. I went to Ireland to see Gerard Hartman and got good results. As a professional, I was worried about how much time I would have to train for the Olympic Trials. I began training too fast too soon and this mistake was causing the injuries to return.  During 2003 I canceled many races and was looking for different treatment, hoping to be healthy enough to continue the training for the Trials.  The Olympic Marathon Trials could be the race of my career. Running the Trials is the only chance that I may have to make the Olympic team in the marathon.  As this point I see that my dream is not going to be fulfilled.

“I had my last option of treatment by going to the Dominican.Republic. A doctor whom was recommended from a friend of mine who used to have the same injuries saw and treated me. His last advice was that I must take 2 weeks off to make sure that I will not put pressure on the injuries and will not jeopardize the treatment. He also told me that I must start my training very slowly if I wanted to save my running career. Coming to fast into training was not an option. Fast speed training should be done after 6 weeks of regular running and strengthening exercises. By following this advice I should be back by this spring. It seems to me that making the Olympic Trials at this point is impossible. With only 9 weeks left, I do not feel that racing in the Trials is a possibility for me.

“I hear from many people that it would be easy for me to do it in 9 weeks and that I do not need to be 100% in shape to win. For me, they have no idea what they are talking about and they are over estimating the Americans runners.  First of all, is not my style to go to a marathon if I am not 100% sure that I am capable to perform in a high level and be able to win.  For me, American marathon runners are as competitive as any Kenyan runner that I’ve raced against.  In my past experiences I learned that the marathon is not always about the athletes or the competition. It is more about the distance. I believe that I am not going to have the time to prepare properly for the distance. I am very sad, and I know that for the next 2 months, life for me will be very stressful. The fact that this will be the second time that I will miss the Olympic Trials due to injuries will affect me and my family very much. But is nothing that I can do. I want to go back to my normal life as an athlete and I decided to take it slowly. May be the Olympic is not going to be there for me during my running career or is possible that there will be something else out there for me.”

View by an MRI (Files can be made available for reading)

The Foot:  A chronic tear of the flexor tendon between the first and second metatarsal. A chronic inflammation around the tendon and was caused by repeated trauma.

The Knee:  Shows some minor symptoms of chondramalacia.  A chronic inflammation of the Patella tendon caused by repeated trauma.

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