Defending world champion Tirunes Dibaba and her husband, Olympic silver medalist, Sileshi Sihine have both withdrawn from the 10,000m at this year’s world championships sighting injuries.
Source: Press Association
Tirunesh Dibaba will not defend her 10000 metres title at the World Championships after a leg injury forced her to pull out of Saturday’s final in Berlin.
The Olympic champion finally lost her battle to regain full fitness, although remains hopeful she will be able to compete in next Wednesday’s 5000m heats.
Despite her absence, the gold medal is expected to remain in Ethiopian hands for the third successive championships with a great contest forecast between Meseret Defar and Meselech Melkamu.
Melkamu leads this year’s rankings with a stunning time of 29 minutes 53.80 seconds, which has only been bettered by the world record of 29min 31.78sec controversially posted 16 years ago by China’s Wang Junxia.
However, Defar, a newcomer to the distance this year and the reigning 5000m champion, has all of the credentials to challenge her, particularly if it is a slow tactical race.
Defar has a blistering finish and showed she also possesses the required stamina after blazing to a time of 29:59.20 a month ago in Birmingham.
Reese Hoffa will be under pressure to defend the shot put title he won in Osaka two years ago with a throw of 22.04m.
The American will be wary of last summer’s Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski, who stunned the opposition with his surprise victory.
Majewski has constantly improved after his fifth place in Osaka and leads this year’s rankings by just six centimetres from Hoffa with a best effort of 21.95m, which should ensure a close battle.
Hoffa will be determined to atone for his poor display in Beijing, when he slumped to seventh position as Majewski claimed Poland’s only gold medal.