Kenya's Wanjiru out of Berlin marathon

12:51, August 12, 2010      

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Veronica Nyaruai Wanjiru of Kenya celebrates after winning the women's 3,000 meters final at the 11th IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing, Aug. 19, 2006.(Xinhua Photo)

Beijing Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru will have to wait for another year before he can compete at the Berlin marathon.

The Kenyan on Wednesday ruled himself out of the Berlin marathon next month, saying he will not be ready, but confirmed he will be ready to defend his Chicago marathon title in October as he starts his preparations after spending the last three months recouping in Italy and Kenya.

"I will not be ready for Berlin. It is a disappointment that I will miss out on a race I really wanted to run. But all is not lost, Chicago has a fantastic course and I will return there to defend my title," he said.

Wanjiru holds a 2:05:10 personal best time over the 42km race which he got in winning the 2009 London marathon, and the world record over the 42km race of 2:03.59 set by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia in Berlin in 2008 will be on his mind.

However, Wanjiru will not attempt to break it in Chicago, and instead lined up the Dubai marathon, another fast race in January as his ideal course to go for the world record.

"I will be ready mental and physically for the Dubai marathon and with its fast course, I am sure I will be able to attempt breaking the world record," said Wanjiru.

Gebrselassie won the Dubai marathon in January clocking 2:06:09, which fell short of breaking his own world record that he had set earlier in Berlin.

Now Wanjiru is eyeing to start taking the races his predecessor won before and Dubai will be his first stop before heading to Berlin in 2011.

"The world record can go down to 2:02 and if the weather is perfect and we have coordinated well. I believe Kenya has enough talented runners to bring that crown home. I will make my attempt, but is still far away to focus on it now," he said.

The Kenyan athlete has only raced on three occasions this year, at Lisbon half marathon where he was beaten by compatriot Martin Lel, in London marathon where he pulled out after just 25km and in Italy, where he has been recouping for the last three months.

"After London, I went to Italy and together with my manager, I have been in and out of hospital trying to get medical assistance for my right leg knee," Wanjiru said.

"I fell while in Nyahururu during the preparation for London marathon and hit the tarmac hard. It got worse during the race in London and forced me out. But it is all gone and now the race is on to get the fitness ahead of Chicago."

The London marathon was the only race the 24-year-old Wanjiru has failed to finish in his short marathon career.

He has raced in six races, winning five and losing only once to Lel in London in 2008.

Source: Xinhua


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