What you need to know:
- Kenenisa is the second fastest man over the 42km distance behind Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge.
- The two athletes were to face-off in London on Sunday.
- Kenenisa said he has a niggling calf injury.
The world was Friday evening in shock after Ethiopian long-distance legend Kenenisa Bekele announced that he was withdrawing from Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon due to a calf injury.
This effectively put off the much-anticipated duel between the Ethiopian and Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge - who is the world record holder over the distance.
Nation Sport samples some of the reactions online following the announcement.
"Kenenisa Bekele pulls out of the #LondonMarathon due to a calf injury.
Absolutely unbelievable!" - NTV Sports anchor Idah Waringa said on Twitter.
Sports marketer Tom Bwana expressed his disappointment also on Twitter.
Kenyan sports journalist, Vincent Voiyoh, tweeted: "Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele,the second fastest man in history over the marathon distance, has withdrawn from this Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon with a calf injury. It's now Eliud v Kipchoge on Sunday."
Raila Odinga Junior, the son of former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, also weighed in:
And there was humor too.
More disappointment was registered.
There were some statistics too.
The two athletes, who run under the Netherlands based Globals Sports Communication management, are separated by only two seconds over the marathon.
Kipchoge set the world record of 2 hours, one minute and 39 seconds in 2018 when he won the Berlin Marathon while Bekele fell short of obliterating the record by two seconds last year on the same course.