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Tirunesh Dibaba Withdraws From London Marathon

It was to have been the Olympic gold medalist’s debut.
By Scott Douglas;
Runner’s World
March 14, 2013

The women’s race at next month’s London Marathon has lost one of its main story lines, as three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba is injured and won’t make her marathon debut there.”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 said. “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.”Dibaba, from Ethiopia, won the 10,000-meter race at last summer’s Olympics. At the 2008 Olympics, she won the 5000- and 10,000-meter races. She has also won four world titles on the track and five world cross country championship races.

Dibaba has raced on the roads sparingly, but with great success. She ran her first half-marathon last fall at the Great North Run in England, and won in 1:07:35, defeating runners such as Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelana. Dibaba’s 15-K PR of 46:28, set in 2009, is the world record for the distance.

The “previous lower leg injury” Dibaba referred to kept her away from consistent racing for much of the time between the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Even with Dibaba’s departure, the women’s race at London should be stellar. Gelana will face defending world champion Edna Kiplagat and the Olympic silver medalist, Priscah Jeptoo. The field includes five women with sub-2:20 bests.

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