Stanley Biwott was set to start as the fourth quickest man in the elite men’s field of the 2018 London Marathon but has been forced to pull out with a leg injury. The injury to his left leg is said to have stopped him being able to train for the past two weeks.
Biwott looked likely to challenge the ‘big three’ in the elite field - Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele and Britain’s Olympic Champion, Mo Farah.
Biwott finished second behind fellow-Kenyan Kipchoge in London two years ago, finishing with a time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 51 seconds – Biwott’s fastest marathon time. His performance at the 2016 London Marathon also makes him one of fewer than 10 men to run a sub 2 hours 4 minutes marathon.
He earned his first major marathon victory in 2015, when he won the New York City Marathon, crossing the line in 2 hours 10 minutes and 32 seconds. Biwott completed miles 21, 22 and 23 in less than five minutes each, and crossed the line 14 seconds ahead of his competition.
The 32-year-old has been struggling with injury problems for the past two years, missing last year’s London Marathon with hamstring problems and the Rio Olympic Marathon race. He was also unable to defend his title at the 2016 New York Marathon, stepping off the course at mile 10 with a calf injury.
Leaving the race open to fellow Kenyan runners Kipchoge and Wanjiru, Farah is said to have his eyes set on beating Steve Jones’ long-held British record of 2 hours 7 minutes and 13 seconds.