NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep13 – Elijah Manangoi has pulled out of Kenya’s 1500m team for the IAAF World Championships in Doha due to an ankle injury he picked.
The defending champion picked the injury during road training last week at his Rongai Athletics Club base and according to his coach Bernard Ouma, he has been training with a lot of pain and with the Worlds only 10 days away, they have decided against competing.
“It was just a small thing and we thought he would be okay, but for the last few days, he has been training with a lot of pain. We have made the decision just now with advise from the coach and it is for his own good that he will not compete in Doha,” Ouma told Capital Sport.
Manangoi who won his first world title in London in 2017 confirmed as much on his official Twitter account and this will now mean a new champion will emerge off the race in Doha.
Sad that I am not able to defend my 1500m title in Doha WC due to an ankle injury I picked in training I had no choice, it’s not my fault. But GOD knows the reason why. All my Fans in the World, to Continue to have faith in me. All the best to my team mates,. Make DOHA fan. pic.twitter.com/GjTmevw0oB
— Manangoi Lion (@Manangoi_lion) September 16, 2019
Ouma has added on that they will now focus on next year’s Olympics in Tokyo with Manangoi looking to clinch a medal that evaded him in Rio 2016 after he pulled out of the semi-finals also due to injury.
“It is a small setback but we have to look at the bigger picture which is the Olympics. He will use this time to recover and get ready for Tokyo,” Ouma noted.
The team will now be left with his younger brother George, reigning Diamond Trophy champion and training partner Timothy Cheruiyot as well as Ronald Kwemoi.
“We have notified Athletics Kenya of the decision to pull out and it is now up to them to decide whether or not they will replace him because Kenya has four slots for the race,” Ouma, who is also Team kenya’s middle distance coach said.
Manangoi had said he was confident Kenya will sweep the medal table in Doha and was looking forward to defend his title after running sparingly this season.