Lel to miss London again


LONDON, April 13 – Three-times former winner Martin Lel has withdrawn from this month's London Marathon for the second straight year, organisers announced Tuesday.

The Kenyan, who pulled out just before the 2009 edition with a hip injury, has seen his bid for a record-breaking fourth win ruined this year by a right leg problem.

"It is very disappointing to lose Martin for the second year in a row," said race director David Bedford.

"He is one of the greatest marathon runners in the world and one of London’s great champions.

"We look forward to welcoming him back next year."

Lel won the London Marathon in 2005, 2007, and 2008, the New York City Marathon in 2003 and 2007 and the Great North Run in 2007 and 2009.

Despite Lel’s absence, Kenya’s flag will be flown by Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru is set to defended the title he won 12 months ago when this year’s London Marathon takes place on April 25.

Meanwhile, the women’s race is set to see Germany’s Irina Mikitenko bidding for a third successive victory.