Ankle injury rules Ritz out of London

Dathan Ritzenhein has been forced to withdraw from the 2011 Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 17 April with a persistent ankle injury.

The 28-year-old American, who was added to the elite men's line-up two weeks ago, was aiming to smash his personal best of 2 hours 10 minutes on the 26.2 mile course.

But an ankle injury sustained while training indoors in December has been slow to heal, and Ritzenhein and his coach Alberto Salazar believe he will not have time to do the necessary training for the sub-2:07 performance he had been hoping for.

David Bedford, race director of the Virgin London Marathon, said: �"It is very disappointing to lose Dathan from this year's race. I know he was hoping to produce a fast time but unfortunately he has been beaten by injury. We wish him well and hope to see him in the future.

�"The men's field is still one of the best we've ever had, including our defending champion Tsegaye Kebede, the Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru and the world champion Abel Kirui. I am sure it will be a fantastic race."

Elite athletes and their best marathon times

Tsegaye Kebede ETH 2:05:18
Patrick Makau KEN 2:04:48
Samuel Wanjiru KEN 2:05:10
Abel Kirui KEN 2:05:04
Bazu Worku ETH 2:05:25
Jaouad Gharib MAR 2:05:27
Emmanuel Mutai KEN 2:06:15
Viktor Röthlin SUI 2:07:23
Abderrahim Bouramdane MAR 2:07:33
Yonas Kifle ERI 2:07:34
José Manuel Martinez ESP 2:08:09
Marilson Gomes dos Santos BRA 2:08:37
Lee Troop AUS 2:09:49
Dmitry Safronov RUS 2:10:12
Luis Feiteira POR 2:11:57
Cuthbert Nyasango ZIM 2:12:40
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir MGL 2:12:42
Jason Lehmkuhle USA 2:12:54
Mike Shelley AUS 2:13:05
Michael Aish USA 2:13:21
Andrew Lemoncello GBR 2:13:40
Collis Birmingham AUS Debut
Mohamed Trafeh USA Debut
Javier Guerra ESP Debut
Stephan Shay USA Debut
Patrick Smyth USA Debut

Liliya Shobukhova RUS 2:20:25
Zhou Chunxiu CHN 2:19:51
Irina Mikitenko GER 2:19:19
Constantina Dita ROU 2:21:30
Askale Tafa ETH 2:21:31
Inga Abitova RUS 2:22:19
Lornah Kiplagat NED 2:22:22
Aselefech Mergia ETH 2:22:38
Bezunesh Bekele ETH 2:23:09
Bai Xue CHN 2:23:27
Mariya Konovalova RUS 2:23:50
Zhu Xiaolin CHN 2:23:57
Aberu Kebede ETH 2:23:58
Yukiko Akaba JPN 2:24:55
Edna Kiplagat KEN 2:25:38
Magdalena Lewy Boulet USA 2:26:22
Liz Yelling GBR 2:28:33
Lisa Weightman AUS 2:28:48
Mary Keitany KEN 2:29:01
Kirsten Melkevik NOR 2:29:12
Fiona Docherty NZL 2:32:17
Tanith Maxwell RSA 2:32:33
Jo Pavey GBR Debut
Jessica Augusto POR Debut
Nikki Chapple AUS Debut
Hayley Yelling GBR Debut
Maria Sig Moller DEN Debut

For more information please contact the Virgin London Marathon Press Office:
Nicola Okey 020 7902 0182 / 07799 661345;
Hannah Finch 020 7902 0199;