LONDON, England, April 18- Men’s world champion Abel Kirui and Portuguese runner Rui Silva have both been forced to withdraw from the Virgin London Marathon with stress fractures.
Kirui, who won the Olympic silver medal in London last August, has a grade two stress fracture in his right shin, while Silva has symptoms of the same injury.
Kirui was one of seven Kenyans in the 2013 elite men’s line-up described as probably the greatest field ever assembled for a single race. He won the World Championships marathon in 2009 and 2011 but is yet to make the podium in three apearances here.
After showing painful bruising around his right leg, Kirui was investigated by the Department of Elite Sports Medicine in the Dutch town of Ede and found to have a “grade two stress reaction with edema in the right distal fibula bone with reactive edema in the surrounding soft tissue”.
Silva was due to make his first foray over 26.2 miles after a long career as one of Europe’s leading middle distance runners. The 35-year-old was the world indoor 1500m champion in 2001 and picked up the 2004 Olympic 1500m silver medal in Athens.
He missed out on the London 2012 Olympics with injury but was preparing well to take on the best marahton runners in the world.
London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said: “Of course, we are disappointed to lose two important names from our elite men’s field. Abel Kirui was keen to show his best form here and we were looking forward to seeing how Rui Silva would perform over the marathon distance.
“But even in their absence we still believe this is the best possible field for a single marathon race, with 10 men who’ve run faster than two hours six minutes, and six of the 10 fastest of all time, including the world record holder, the reigning London champion, the London course record holder, and the current World Marathon Majors champion.”