Charlotte Purdue has been forced to pull out of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on 22 April with a thigh injury sustained at the recent IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia.

Purdue broke 2 hours 30 minutes for the 26.2-mile distance for the first time when she was 15th in last year’s London Marathon, the second British finisher behind Alyson Dixon, and went on to place 13th at the 2017 World Championships in London last August.

As the quickest Briton in the women’s elite field, the 26-year-old would have been favourite to win a place on British Athletics’ team for the European Championships in Berlin this summer. Purdue already holds the qualifying time but needed to finish as one of the top two Briton’s at this year’s London Marathon to guarantee selection.

Purdue has withdrawn from the race after a scan revealed a bone stress reaction in her femur following her performance in Valencia on 24 March when she finished 21st. Purdue, a former European junior cross country champion, won the women’s race at the Vitality Big Half in London on 4 March when she clocked a personal best of 70 minutes 29 seconds.

Purdue’s absence leaves three British women on the elite Start Line, headed by Tracy Barlow of Thames Valley Harriers and Purdue’s Aldershot, Farnham and District clubmate, Lily Partridge, who are both capable of beating the 2:36:00 qualifying time.

They will be joined by Rebecca Murray of Bedford and County, who will make her full marathon debut after finishing 10th at last September’s Great North Run.

Updated entry lists for all the elite, wheelchair and World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup races at this year’s London Marathon can be found in the Media Resources section.