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Almaz Ayana out of world track and field championships

Almaz Ayana

London , United Kingdom - 13 August 2017; Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia competes in the final of the Women’s 5000m event during day ten of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium in London, England. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, the Olympic and world champion and world-record holder at 10,000m, withdrew from the world track and field championships, according to the IAAF.

Ayana, who in Rio clocked 29:17.45 to chop 14.33 seconds off a 22-year-old world record, has raced just once since the start of 2018. That came at the Pre Classic on June 30, when she was last of 18 finishers in a 3000m.

Ayana underwent surgery on both knees in July 2018, according to the IAAF.

In her absence, the favorites for the world championships race on Saturday could include Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, the mile world-record holder, should she choose to enter the 10,000m.

The world’s fastest woman over the last two years is Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey at 30:37.89.

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