Reigning world champion Elijah Manangoi and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will be absent from the 1500m at the world track and field championships that start next week in Doha.
The Kenyan Manangoi is out with a reported ankle injury.
Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from New Zealand, will miss worlds for the first time since 2009 after not receiving an invitation from the IAAF, according to New Zealand’s track federation. The 36-year-old did not run a fast enough time this year to qualify outright and was not ranked high enough to receive any extra spots awarded by the IAAF in the 1500m.
Kenya is still favored to win despite lacking Manangoi and the suspended Asbel Kiprop, who won three straight world titles from 2011-15.
That’s because of Timothy Cheruiyot, the 2017 World silver medalist who lost just three times over the last two years, taking second to Manangoi in each instance, according to Tilastopaja.org.
The U.S. contingent at worlds is led by Matthew Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m champion in 108 years.
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