NAIROBI – Beijing Olympic marathon champion says he had decided to withdraw from the IAAF World Championships last this summer in attempt to concentrate on break the world record in the Berlin marathon.
The 22-year-old who was named in a Kenyan 20 athletes training squad to prepare for the worlds, decided to give up his spot, citing the closeness of the two meetings in the German city, as the prime reason.
"I had already set out my programme to run in the Berlin marathon on September 20 and there was no way I could reverse that decision right away," Wanjiru was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The world championship will be held from August 15-23 with the marathon coming a month later.
Athletics Kenya (AK) press officer Peter Angwenyi, who confirmed Wanjiru’s withdrawal, said the runner has been replaced by four-time Boston marathon winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who was originally selected as a reserve.
Included in the team is Duncan Kibet, the world’s second fastest marathon runner who clocked 2:04.27 in Rotterdam in April.