Injuries force two top female contenders to the sidelines.
Race organizers announced this afternoon that Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar and 2011 New York City Marathon champion Firehiwot Dado, both of Ethiopia, have been forced out of Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon due to injury.
Mark Wetmore, Defar’s agent, informed elite athlete coordinator Matthew Turnbull that the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia champion was struggling with injury and didn’t take the decision to pull out lightly. Defar, who was in top form following her Olympic success, hoped to regain the U.S. all-comers record she lost to last year’s victor, Kim Smith of New Zealand, in what was anticipated as a titanic clash between some of the world’s premier distance athletes.
Dado, who is hoping to defend her title in New York this Novemeber, pulled out as a precaution after suffering a slight injury during her training last week.