Gebrselassie withdraws from 2011 Tokyo Marathon

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 24 February 2011 - 3:56pm

Ethiopian distance legend, Haile Gebrselassie, will not start in the Tokyo Marathon this Sunday after the World's marathon record-holder fell on a rock during a training and bruised his knee.

Gebrselassie, 37, wrote of his disappointment on his Twitter page this morning as he was really eager to show the world that he came back well after his injury and sudden retirement in New York last year.

"I am really disappointed that I have to withdraw from Tokyo Marathon, I was feeling great in training," Haile posted. 

"I am training in the countryside of Ethiopia and fell, that happens more often but this time with my knee on a stone. Bad, bad luck for me."

"I need time to recover and I am really sorry for my Japanese fans, but I will come back to Tokyo, unfortunately not this weekend," he added.

Gebrselassie, who has set 27 world records in his career, was considered one of the favourites for Sunday's race before his withdrawal. His next target will be the Vienna Half Marathon on April 17 and the Bupa Great Manchester 10K Run on May 15.

In Gebrselassie's absence, the favorites in Tokyo are now the Ethiopian duo of  Yemane Tsegay and Hailu Mekonnen as well as Kenyans Felix Limo, Salim Kipsang, Gideon Ngatuny and Paul Biwott.