Former world champion Eunice Barber has pulled out of the heptathlon at this week's World Championships in Japan because of a right leg injury.
Barber won the world heptathlon title in 1999
The Frenchwoman, 32, was a serious medal contender and her withdrawal raises the medal hopes of British duo Kelly Sotherton and Jessica Ennis.
Barber, who won heptathlon silver behind Carolina Kluft in 2005, still intends to contest the long jump.
Morocco's Jaouad Gharib will not defend his marathon title because of injury.
The 35-year-old, who won back-to-back world titles in Paris and Helsinki, has been struggling with an injury since finishing fourth in this year's London Marathon.
The men's marathon is the opening event of the championships in Osaka on Saturday, when Sotherton and Ennis also begin their heptathlon campaigns.