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Ethiopian runner Abadi Hadis dies at age 22

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Abadi Hadis, the bronze medalist in the 2017 world cross-country championships, died Tuesday.

Ethiopian news site Addis Standard said Hadis was being treated in a hospital for an unspecified illness. Other news outlets reported that the runner had been ailing for several months.

World Athletics said Hadis was one of only five people with a hat trick of milestone performances — under 13 minutes for 5,000 meters, under 27 minutes for 10,000 meters, and under 59 minutes for the half marathon. 

Last year, Hadis won the Bahrain Night Half Marathon and finished second in the RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates.

He also was a regular on the Diamond League circuit from 2017 to 2019, with his best results a pair of third-place finishes in Stockholm and Lausanne in 2018.

His lone Olympic appearance was a 15th-place finish in the 10,000 meters in 2016. That year, he won the Ethiopian championship, also at 10,000 meters.

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Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele set London Marathon duel of fastest men in history

Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele will go head-to-head at the London Marathon on April 26, marking the first time in five years that the world’s top two ranked marathoners will toe the start line in the same 26.2-mile race.

The Kenyan Kipchoge, who set the world record of 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon, and the Ethiopian Bekele, who clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September, are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

Bekele’s addition to the London field was announced Thursday night, a month after Kipchoge was confirmed. It also includes the third- and fourth-fastest men in history — Ethiopians Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew.

“I am looking forward to racing against Eliud once again,” Bekele said in a press release. “We have had many great battles over the years on the track, roads and cross-country. He is a special athlete who proved that again with his magnificent achievements last year.”

Kipchoge has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team. Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

“I feel like my win in Berlin proved that I am still capable of winning the biggest races in the world and in world-class times,” Bekele said. “I am really looking forward to what I can do in London.”

London could be a preview of the Tokyo Olympics. Kipchoge is expected to headline the Kenyan team that may be named before the spring marathon season. Bekele was controversially left off Ethiopia’s team four years ago.

The London Marathon has historically been the world’s second-fastest record-eligible marathon behind Berlin. Kipchoge owns the course record of 2:02:37.

The last time the world’s top-ranked marathoners (on record-eligible courses) entered the same 26.2-mile race the 2015 London Marathon, pitting then-world-record holder Dennis Kimetto against Emmanuel Mutai. Kipchoge won.

The last time the world’s top-ranked marathoners (on any course) entered the same 26.2-mile race was the 2009 Berlin Marathon, pitting then-world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie against Duncan Kibet. Gebrselassie won.

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MORE: Eliud Kipchoge on his marathon bucket list, shoe technology debate

Almaz Ayana out of world track and field championships

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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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