An Achilles’ tendon injury has prompted Moses Mosop to withdraw from the marathon team that Kenya will be sending to the 2012 Olympic Games. He will be replaced by Emmanuel Mutai, according to Isaiah Kiplagat, president of the Athletics Kenya federation.
“We have received a letter from Mosop and his doctor saying he cannot compete and we have made the change,” Kiplagat told Capital FM in Kenya.
Mutai’s manager, Michel Boeting of the Netherlands, confirmed the replacement via Twitter. “I feel sorry for Moses Mosop but very happy [that] Emmanuel Mutai gets the opportunity to be at the Olympic Marathon in London!” Boeting posted this morning.
By finishing second at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, Mutai won the 2010–2011 World Marathon Majors series and its $500,000 prize. The 27-year-old also won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in 2:04:40, his personal best, and is the 2009 IAAF World Championships silver medalist.
“Emmanuel is a good runner and he helped Abel [Kirui] to the  world title,” Kiplagat was quoted in Capital FM. “It is unfortunate for Mosop but in this country, any runner is [as] good as the other and we still remain confident of retaining our Olympic title.”
Mosop, who set a course record of 2:05:37 in winning the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, has a personal best of 2:03:06 from his runner-up finish in the 2011 Boston Marathon. It is the second-fastest time in history, trailing only the 2:03:02 recorded by compatriot Geoffrey Mutai in winning that race. Mutai’s time, although the fastest marathon ever run, is not recognized as an official world record because of the downhill, point-to-point nature of the course.
In selecting Emmanuel Mutai to replace Mosop, the federation again passed over Geoffrey Mutai and Patrick Makau. In addition to his Boston victory last year, G. Mutai also won the ING New York City Marathon, ahead of E. Mutai, and Makau set the current world record (2:03:38) in the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg