“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to race this Sunday. I was in good shape but felt a problem in my left calf after two training sessions too close together in the last weeks of preparation. I have been receiving treatment every day since I really believed then that I would be ready, but today is worse and now I know I can’t run, “Bekele lamented in a statement on the race website.

The Ethiopian stressed that the London race was “very important” to him and that his performance last year in Berlin had given him “great confidence and motivation” for this exciting duel with the world distance record holder.

“I have worked very hard for it and I know that many people around the world have been looking forward to this race, so I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organizers and my fellow rivals. I will take some time to recover and get back in shape. I hope to return to London next year, “he added.

The duel between Kipchoge and Bekele was scheduled for last April, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the delay until this Sunday. Now, without his great rival, the Ethiopian’s favoritism is much greater, although the race director, Hugh Braser, still expects a nice ‘battle’.

“The world has been waiting to see this head-to-head between Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge, but now it won’t happen. We know how disappointed he is and we wish him a speedy recovery. We never thought it would be a two-man race only, anymore. that we have four of the ten fastest marathoners in history and six men who have lost 2:05, including Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, second and third last year, and Shura Kitata, second in 2018, “he stressed.