Not long after we’d written about 21-year-old Degitu Azimeraw in our Day 2 Elite Preview earlier this afternoon London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher announced that the young Ethiopian runner had been ruled out of the race after testing positive for Covid-19.
The test and subsequent positive results had been conducted before Azimeraw had left Ethiopia on the chartered flight to London. Her coach Haji Adelo had also tested positive and will also be absent from the event. Adelo had not been in contact with his other athletes Shura Kitata and Alemu Megertu within the last two weeks and therefore they were cleared to travel and confirmed they will still be able to participate in the race on Sunday.
The rest of the elite fields for the race have arrived at the Bio-Secure and secret hotel location, just outside London, where they will all stay along with coaches and support staff in the lead up to the main event on Sunday. All athletes were tested before departing their respective countries, hence this positive result for Azimeraw, and they will continue testing every day right up to race day.
Each athlete will be staying in a single room with strict social distance guidelines in place, while face coverings are mandatory at all times other than training. In addition to these restrictions everyone involved in the race is using “bump technology” this week, where a device worn on a pendant records time spent in proximity to others. It allows organisers to warn athletes and operational staff if they are breaching social distance guidelines.
It is a shame that Degitu Azimeraw has had to withdraw from the race. After running 2:19:26 in her debut at the Amsterdam Marathon last October it would’ve been fascinating to see her racing in this adapted London Marathon against the more experienced runners such as Brigid Kosgei and Vivian Cheruyiot.