Former New York marathon champion Stanley Biwott of Kenya has pulled out of the London Marathon set for April 23.
Biwott, 31, will miss out after citing a recurrent in a hamstring injury, which has failed to heal since he got injured five months in New York. Biwott dropped out approximately 14km into the race in November last year and has been struggling to get his form back with the hamstring failing to heal in time. “It is a disappointment for me to miss out this race. I had hoped to do well and maybe see if I can compete at the London World Championships in August,” Biwott said Tuesday. “I have to focus on healing it before I can put a timeline on when I expect to compete. I thought I had the injury under control but in the last 10 days it got worse. I will come back stronger in 2018 and try to win the race,” he added.
Biwott has had a good run at the London Marathon. He finished runner-up in 2014 and fourth in 2015. Last year was not a good year for Biwott, who made a late call to the national team after he was a late bloomer. First he pulled out of the Rio Olympic marathon in the last stretch of the race with stomach cramps after he drunk wrong drink provided by the volunteers having his special water bottle that had been made for him – a sugary mix – confused with that of fellow Kenyan Wesley Korir, which had Citric juice.
Two years ago, Biwott was in a class of his own when he won the New York Marathon race in 2:10:34, and had the best performance of his career at the London Marathon last year when he finished second behind compatriot Eliud Kipchoge and clocked a personal best time of 2:03:51. It was the last competitive race he cleared. He failed to clear the race at the Rio Games and in New York. Now he has to wait another period before competing as he will be out of London race in two weeks time. Biwott’s injury makes it four elite athletes from Kenya who will be missing major city marathons after Patrick Makau and world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto too pulled out of Boston marathon, which will be on April 17. However, Kenya will still have a strong team in the race led by former world marathon champion and current Chicago Marathon winner Abel Kirui and Amsterdam Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru.