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Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 21:07 UK

Elite runners face missing London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon
Date: Sunday, 25 April Start: 0830 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two (0830-1000) and BBC One (1000-1240), BBC Radio 5 live (0830-1200) and the BBC Sport website

By Elizabeth Hudson

Sammy Wanjiru
Kenya's Sammy Wanjiru will be hoping to defend his London crown

London Marathon organisers are concerned a number of elite athletes may miss Sunday's race because of the ongoing travel problems.

The drift of volcanic ash from Iceland has closed British airspace until at least 1900 BST on Monday.

Organisers say the race will definitely take place but most of the top-class field are currently stranded across Africa, Europe and the United States.

They say they are looking at all alternatives to get athletes to London.

Among the athletes likely to be hampered are defending champions Sammy Wanjiru from Kenya and Germany's Irina Mikitenko as well as Britain's Mara Yamauchi, who is based in Japan.

The elite wheelchair race is also affected with a number of athletes scheduled to take part in Monday's Boston Marathon before travelling on to London.

It is hoped some of the European-based competitors in the elite races may be able to travel overland to Britain but there could problems for the competitors based further afield.

The travel chaos has been caused following a significant eruption at the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland, the second in less than a month.

Marathon organisers added that they are monitoring the air pollution levels in London and will be providing more information to runners later in the week.

At present, they say that analysis of the dust material from the Scottish Environmental Agency indicates that it does not contain material that is seriously harmful to health.

see also
Weir suffers flat as Cassidy wins
25 Apr 10 |  Disability Sport
Europa semis get Uefa green light
19 Apr 10 |  Europe
Volcano cloud threatens F1 teams
19 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Lel to miss London Marathon again
13 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Briton Yamauchi wins in New York
21 Mar 10 |  Athletics
Wanjiru sets London course record
26 Apr 09 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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