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Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Saturday, 2 August 2008 13:07 UK

Radcliffe rival out of marathon

Irina Mikitenko
Mikitenko's back and pelvis injuries have spread to her foot

London Marathon winner Irina Mikitenko has pulled out of the Beijing Olympics because of a foot injury brought on my back and pelvic problems.

The 35-year-old German was a medal hopeful after winning in London in two hours, 24 minutes, 14 seconds.

Mikitenko's withdrawal is a boost for world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.

She hopes to run and has flown to the British team's holding camp in Macau after being diagnosed with a stress fracture to her left femur in May.

Radcliffe had been stepping up her rehabilitation at her training base in the French Pyrenees after a recent MRI scan revealed she was recovering well.

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Mikitenko finished fifth at the 2000 Sydney Games and seventh in Athens 2004.

Under her maiden name, Volynskaya, she represented Kazakhstan in the 5,000m at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Her withdrawal follows that of another German medal hope, world champion discus thrower Franka Dietzsch, who is also injured.

see also
Kogo and Mikitenko win in London
26 May 08 |  Athletics
First GB athletes arrive in China
28 Jul 08 |  Olympics
Radcliffe reserve to miss GB camp
31 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB
London Marathon as it happened
13 Apr 08 |  Athletics
Radcliffe faces race against time
14 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Paula's understudy
09 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Radcliffe 'on schedule' for Games
20 Jun 08 |  Athletics
Injury 'bombshell' hits Radcliffe
22 May 08 |  Athletics

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