Ethiopia’s Bekele, Dibaba to miss world cross country

March 5th, 2009 | by addis portal |

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s world cross country champions Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba will miss this month’s championships in Jordan, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said.

Both were missing from Ethiopia’s provisional team of 24 runners posted on the IAAF Web site.

“It is now pretty certain that a slow recovery from a leg injury will rule out reigning men’s champion Kenenisa Bekele, while women’s champion Tirunesh Dibaba has confirmed 100 percent she will miss Amman also due to injury,” the IAAF report said.

The absence of Bekele is aa massive blow to the Ethiopians as they will compete without the 26-year-old in their squad for the first time in nine years.

The Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion has not raced since November after he bruised his ankles while attempting the World 15km record at the 2008 Seven Hills road race in Njimegen, the Netherlands.

The world cross country championships take place in Amman, Jordan on March 28.

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