JOHANNESBURG – Former champion Caroline Wostmann has withdrawn from the Comrades Marathon.
Wostmann made the announcement through her running club KPMG.
"We all understand that her withdrawal is a loss for the 2018 Comrades Marathon and Caroline’s large number of loyal supporters. This was a very tough and emotional decision, but we all believe it was the right one for the athlete at this point in time," the club said.
"As a previous winner of both the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons, Caroline was doing everything in her power to properly prepare for this race she so dearly loves. The KPMG Running Club will continue to support Caroline on her journey back to full fitness."
Wostmann, 2015 Comrades Marathon and two-time Two Oceans champion, was in the middle of her journey back to full fitness after struggling most of 2017 with a torn quadratus femoris muscle (muscle under the glute) in her left leg.
Hoping to defend her title at the Two Oceans marathon in April last year, Wostmann was forced to drop out of the race just after 10km as the injury became unbearable. She would later withdraw from the Comrades Marathon, as she was forced to watch her peers battle for top spot in the famous Ultramarathon.
Months of rehabilitation and recovery followed for Wostmann including time in a hyperbaric chamber, anti-gravity treadmill and aqua jogging.
Despite her obvious disappointment at having to withdraw, Wostmann wished her fellow runners well for the race on June 10.
"Finishing a race like Comrades takes great courage and strength,"said Wostmann.
I would like to wish all my mates at KPMG Running Club well as they seek to complete this historic race."
African News Agency (ANA)