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Kenenisa Bekele out of London Marathon

3/16/2015
Kenenisa Bekele's recovery from a leg injury will keep him out of one of the year's top marathon fields. AP Photo/Michel Euler

LONDON -- Ethiopian distance-running great Kenenisa Bekele has pulled out of next month's London Marathon because of an Achilles tendon injury.

Bekele, a multiple Olympic and world champion on the track, had been scheduled to make his debut in the London race on April 26, but picked up the injury to his right Achilles while competing in the Dubai Marathon in January.

He says he "desperately wanted to run in London this year, but the injury to my Achilles has not healed sufficiently for me to compete against such a great field."

Organizers announced two new entrants to the field Monday: Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai and Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia.

Mutai is a two-time New York Marathon champion and winner of the 2012 Berlin Marathon.

The lineup already features current marathon record-holder Dennis Kimetto and former record-holder and defending champion Wilson Kipsang.

Copyright 2015 by the Associated Press