Kenenisa Bekele has in a statement from his management company, Global Sports, announced pulling out of the London Marathon.
Bekele (2:01:41) was ready to take on world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:39) in a race the entire world was watching.
"An unfortunate calf injury has forced Kenenisa to withdraw from the race. London was going to be the first race back for Bekele after his astonishing performance at the 2019 BMW Berlin Marathon where he was only 2 seconds removed from the world record," the press statement released on Friday reads in part.
He said; "I am very disappointed that I cannot race on Sunday.”
"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.”
Bekele's manager Jos Hermens indicated that the marathoner's preparation had been affected by the Covid-19. Most of his teammates were not available as before due to the health restriction that affected many sportsmen across the globe.
"On the level where we work it is a thin line between a top performance and staying healthy. The unusual circumstances complicated this situation, unfortunately. We will work hard to get him back to the highest level again,” the manager said.
The development now means it will be Eliud Kipchoge and his village mate Marius Kipserem to squaring it out in London.