NEW YORK (AP) — Reigning men’s champion Lelisa Desisa has dropped out of the New York City Marathon after completing just seven miles, perhaps hurting following a grueling victory at the sweltering world championships last month.
Desisa, who is from Ethiopia, was in 17th place at the seven-mile mark before leaving the course Sunday. It was 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) at the start of the men’s race, ideal for marathoning.
Desisa was attempting to defend his title 29 days after winning worlds in Doha, Qatar, in boiling conditions he described this week as “dangerous.” With a temperature of 84 degrees F (29 degrees C) for the midnight start, 18 of 73 men didn’t finish that race.
Conditions were even worse for the women’s marathon in Doha, where 28 of 68 starters failed to finish.
Shortly after, the IOC announced plans to move next year’s Olympic marathon from steamy Tokyo to the cooler northern city of Sapporo, leading to a spat with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. She conceded to the IOC on Friday.
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