August 31, 2011 / 3:13 PM / in 6 years

Bekele will not defend 5,000m world title

DAEGU, South Korea (Reuters) - Ethiopian double world record holder and Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will not defend his 5,000 metres world title due to injury, his management company said on Wednesday.

Kenenisa Bekele (R) of Ethiopia celebrates after winning the 5000 meters final during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Bekele failed to finish the 10,000 metres at the Daegu world championships on Sunday in his first race for more than a year.

He is now back in Ethiopia and has begun his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.

“Obviously, after my 10,000 it is a little bit too soon to run the 5,000,” Bekele said in a statement. The first round of the 5,000 is scheduled for Thursday.

“It was not nice to lose (in Daegu) since I have never lost a 10,000 in my career, but Sunday was my start of preparation for London 2012,” said Bekele, the Olympic and world record holder at that distance as well.

His calf injury has healed but other small problems prevented him from being fully prepared for Daegu.

Bekele’s next race will be in at the Brussels Diamond League meeting on September 16.

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