Tirunesh Dibaba withdraws from 2013 London Marathon with shin injury

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Dibaba vows to make her marathon debut at 2014 London

Courtesy of the London Marathon
March 14, 2013

Tirunesh Dibaba has pulled out of the 2013 Virgin London Marathon with a shin injury.

The Ethiopian triple Olympic track champion was due to make her debut over 26.2 miles in London on 21 April but has been forced to postpone her move up to the marathon because a previous problem with her lower leg re-emerged during training.

She said: “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.

“As a result, I won’t be able to compete in this year’s London Marathon but I look forward to making my marathon debut there next year.”

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Dibaba retained her Olympic 10,000m title at London 2012 last summer and added a bronze in the 5000m after winning both events at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. She has also bagged four gold medals at World Championships and five World Cross Country titles in an illustrious career.

She won the Great North Run half marathon last September and was aiming to become the first Ethiopian since her cousin Derartu Tulu in 2001 to win the women’s race at the London Marathon.

picture of Tirunesh Dibaba

The marathon debut of the 5000 record holder is being put on hold for a year.
*More 2008 Bislett Games Photos

Dibaba’s withdrawal leaves Olympic champion Tiki Gelana to spearhead the Ethiopian challenge at her first London Marathon. Gelana will face World Champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, plus World and Olympic silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo in a race featuring five women who have completed the distance in less than two hours 20 minutes.

London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said: “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, so we would be naturally delighted to see her return to London in 2014 as part of the London Marathon elite field.

“We still have a fantastic women’s race in prospect, however, with the Olympic and World Champions going head-to-head, and so many winners from major city marathons around the world.”

The women’s elite field for the 2013 Virgin London Marathon:

Tiki Gelana ETH 2:18:58
Lucy Kabuu KEN 2:19:34
Yoko Shibui JPN 2:19:41
Florence Kiplagat KEN 2:19:44
Edna Kiplagat KEN 2:19:50
Priscah Jeptoo KEN 2:20:14
Meselech Melkamu ETH 2:21:01
Atsede Baysa ETH 2:22:03
Yukiko Akaba JPN 2:24:09
Remi Nakazato JPN 2:24:28
Jéssica Augusto POR 2:24:33
Alevtina Biktimirova RUS 2:25:12
Mai Ito JPN 2:25:26
Chika Horie JPN 2:26:11
Renee Baillie USA 2:27:17
Olga Dubovskaya BLR 2:28:08
Freya Ross GBR 2:28:10
Adriana da Silva BRA 2:29:17
Joyce Chepkirui KEN Debut
Helen Clitheroe GBR Debut

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