Alphonce Simbu has withdrawn from the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April with a hamstring injury.

Simbu ran a personal best of 2 hours 9 minutes 10 seconds to finish fifth in last year’s elite men’s race behind Kenyan winner Daniel Wanjiru and went on to clinch a World Championship bronze medal for Tanzania in London last August.

Nine months earlier he came close to ending a 36-year Olympic medal drought for his country when he was fifth in the marathon at the Rio Games and he was made the flag bearer for Tanzania at the Closing Ceremony.

The 26-year-old had hopes of making the podium in Sunday’s race when he was due to take on Wanjiru again but has been forced to pull out with a hamstring injury to his right leg.

Simbu was one of 14 men in this year’s line-up who have run the 26.2-mile distance quicker than 2:10 and he leaves a formidable field containing four men who have run sub-2:04 and eight who have finished under 2:06.

Wanjiru will defend his title against three of the greatest distance runners of their generation – Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who’s going for his third London Marathon victory, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, seeking a first London win after placing third and second in the last two years, and Britain’s Sir Mo Farah, kicking off his marathon career after winning multiple world and Olympic titles on the track.

The latest Elite Men’s start list can be found in the Media Resources section of the website.