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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Kenya star denied Manchester visa
European cross-country champion Mo Farah
Britain's Mo Farah will be after Haile Gebrselassie's world record
World half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru has been forced to pull out of Sunday's Great Manchester Run after failing to obtain a visa.

The Kenyan, who is based in Japan, applied for his visa on 15 April but was denied entry to the United Kingdom.

"It is outrageous to deny an internationally recognised runner like Wanjiru a visa," said Athletics Kenya secretary-general David Okeyo.

"We don't know the reason but it is surprising. We'll send a protest note."

Matthew Turnbull, the elite race director, said: "It's frustrating to lose a star athlete through administrative procedures yet again."

Uganda's Boniface Kiprop was denied a visa for a race in Scotland in January.

The field for the 10km run still features world cross-country champion Zersenay Tadesse from Eritrea and Kenyan star Micah Kogo.

They have been tipped to challenge Haile Gebrselassie's world record of 27 minutes and two seconds.

Britain's European cross-country champion Mo Farah will be looking to join the two Africans in their record attempt.

"I know he'll be giving it his best shot, but we must acknowledge he is putting his neck on the line," said Turnbull.

"His rivals are much more experienced road runners and will be highly motivated, knowing on the very flat course they could enter the record books."

Jo Pavey carries British hopes in the women's race, where Boston marathon winner Lidiya Grigoryeva and New York marathon champion Jelena Prokopcuka are favourites for victory.

Meanwhile, double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes will be among the 28,000 fun-runners.



SEE ALSO
Holmes set to race in Manchester
13 Apr 07 |  Athletics


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