World 800 metres record holder David Rudisha has pulled out of the world athletics championships due to a quad muscle strain, the Kenyan said on Twitter on Monday.
Rudisha, reigning Olympic and world champion, is the first and only person to run under 1 minute 41 seconds for the 800m. He would have been one of the star names at the Aug. 4-13 global showpiece event in London.
“Its (sic) sad and disappointing to announce my no show in the forthcoming #london2017 WC due to a quad muscle strain,” the 28-year-old said.
Rudisha won his first 800m world title in Daegu in 2011, a year before his world record-performance at the Olympics in the same London Stadium where the world championships are being held.
A knee injury in 2013 forced him to miss out on defending his title in Moscow but he recovered to reclaim his crown in Beijing two years ago.
Rudisha said last month that he was in even better form than 2016 when he successfully defended his Olympic title in Rio.
He did, however, hint in May that he had fitness problems when he said he experienced a “minor strain” which led to him finishing outside the top three in Shanghai’s Diamond League meeting that month.
Rudisha was slated to be one of 49 Kenyan athletes heading to London this week. The first wave of the team is due to arrive in the British capital on Tuesday.
No announcement has been made on whether Rudisha’s place in the squad will be filled by another athlete.
There are four other 800m runners in Kenya’s team – Emmanuel Korir, Michael Saruni, Ferguson Rotich and 19-year-old Kipyegon Bett.