On Friday, the NN Running Team and Kenenisa Bekele announced that the second-fastest marathoner of all time will not race in Sunday’s London Marathon.
He wrote on Instagram: “I am very disappointed that I cannot race on Sunday. It has been a tough preparation time, with lockdown, when I couldn’t have my NN team around me. I was in good shape but then I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training sessions close together in the last weeks of preparation. I have been having treatment every day since then and I truly believed I would be ready, but today it is worse and I now know I cannot race on it.”
He continued, “This race was so important to me. My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realise many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organisers and my fellow competitors. I will take time to recover and become fit again and I hope to be back in London next year.”
The event was billed as a showdown between Eliud Kipchoge and Bekele. The runner’s personal bests are only two seconds apart, and they are the two fastest marathons in history. Kipchoge is still scheduled to race at 5:15 a.m. ET on Sunday.