Yamauchi withdraws from marathon

05 August 2012 / 14:24

Mara Yamauchi's Olympic marathon lasted less than 10 kilometres on the rainy streets of London as Ethiopian Tiki Gelana took a surprise gold.

A week after Paula Radcliffe withdrew from London 2012 with a foot problem, an injured Yamauchi stopped in tears on the side of the road around 9.4km into the race as she decided she could go no further.

The 38-year-old Oxford athlete had been hampered by a bruised heel in the build-up to the Games and, although determined to get to the startline, was clearly not fit.

Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in two hours 23.07 minutes, an Olympic record, with Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo taking silver and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova the bronze.

Scotland's Freya Murray, who had only been called up to the team a week ago following Radcliffe's withdrawal, was the first Briton home in 44th place, clocking 2hrs 32.14mins.

Her team-mate Claire Hallissey finished 57th in 2:35.39.

Yamauchi, though, was one of eight in the 118-strong field not to finish.

The 38-year-old, who finished sixth in the Beijing Olympic marathon but has since been plagued by injury, could not live with even the steady early pace of the large leading pack.

"I was more than confident I could give it a good go and I started off but on about the second corner it (my heel) started hurting," she said. "I did my best - it's not the best situation to be in, dropping out of the Olympic marathon at a home Games - but I gave it my very best and I didn't want my Olympic journey to end like this.

"I'm sorry for all the people who supported me and encouraged me and came today in the pouring rain to support me but I am still so pleased for their help. I did think about withdrawing beforehand but I decided it's not that bad I can run I can do the race and I had much higher hopes but sadly it wasn't to be."