KIPCHOGE WITHDRAWS THROUGH SICKNESS FROM BUPA GREAT BIRMINGHAM RUN
October 19, 2012
Former World 5,000 metres champion Eliud Kipchoge has withdrawn because of illness from the Bupa Great Birmingham Run on Sunday.
Kipchoge who successfully made the transition from track racing to road running when clocking a world class time of 59 minutes 25 seconds for the half marathon distance on his debut last month, has been sidelined with 'flu.
That will see him miss a high profile clash with Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese winner of a fifth World Championships title over the 13.1 miles distance in Bulgaria a fortnight ago and his fellow Kenyan Micah Kogo.
Despite Kipchoge's absence a tremendous race is anticipated with both Tadese and Kogo hoping to challenge the former's UK All Comers's record of 59:35 which he posted when claiming his fourth World Championships victory in Birmingham three years ago.
"At first I had a cold some days ago which wasn't that bad," Kipchoge told race organisers. "However the last two days the cold became 'flu.
"I feel terribly sorry to say, but I can't decide anything different than to cancel Birmingham. I always plan my races carefully and it's very hard for me (to pull out).
The IAAF Bronze Label race with 18,000 runners will be televised live by Channel 5 on Sunday from 1000am to midday, with Haile Gebrselassie's 12 month old course record of 1:01:29 another target for the international field.