Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, the Olympic and world champion and world-record holder at 10,000m, withdrew from the world track and field championships, according to the IAAF.
Ayana, who in Rio clocked 29:17.45 to chop 14.33 seconds off a 22-year-old world record, has raced just once since the start of 2018. That came at the Pre Classic on June 30, when she was last of 18 finishers in a 3000m.
Ayana underwent surgery on both knees in July 2018, according to the IAAF.
In her absence, the favorites for the world championships race on Saturday could include Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, the mile world-record holder, should she choose to enter the 10,000m.
The world’s fastest woman over the last two years is Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey at 30:37.89.
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Usain Bolt is track and field’s male athlete of the year, winning the award from the sport’s governing body for a sixth time.
Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia won the women’s award, after her world-record run to win Olympic gold in the 10,000 meters.
The awards were handed out Friday by the IAAF at a gala ceremony in Monaco. The winners were chosen by athletics officials, athletes, journalists and an online public poll.
Bolt won golds in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters at the Rio Olympics, repeating his feats of the 2012 London Games and in Beijing in 2008.
Ayana smashed the world record in the Olympic 10,000m. Her time of 29:17.45 shaved more than 14 seconds off the previous best.
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The first medal in track and field is attached to a world record.
Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana blazed a 26:22.88 in the women’s 10,000m run, beating her nearest competitor by 15 seconds to claim gold.
Now the world and Olympic record holder, Ayana is joined on the podium by bronze-claiming countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba.
Silver went to Kenya’s Vivian Jepkemoi, while Team USA’s Molly Huddle finished sixth. That’s no small accomplishment, as her 30:13.17 is an American Olympic record.
Fellow American Emily Infield 11th, while USA’s Marielle Hall ran 33rd.