Nairobi, May 20 (IANS) World 3,000-metre steeplechase champion Milcah Chemos Cheywa will not defend her crown in Beijing World Championships in August.
Cheywa, 29, is still rooted in the medical rooms in Nairobi and Brussels as she nurses a back problem, which has seen her miss out on all competition since September 2014, reports Xinhua.
"I will not be running in Beijing World Championships. I will probably not run again this year. But I am doing everything possible to return to training and compete again," Chemos said on Wednesday from Eldoret.
"I wanted to defend my title in Beijing, but I still have a long way to go. I am in and out of rehabilitation and the physiotherapists have advised me to take a complete rest and heal first," she said.
However, she has set her target to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
In her absence, her understudy Virginia Nyambura is stepping up and Cheywa believes she has what it takes to win gold in Beijing.
Nyambura, who was entered in the Doha Diamond League meeting last week in Qatar as a pace maker, went on to win the race. That has inspired her and now she targets to set a new Africa record in the steeplechase race.
That will mean that Nyambura has to shave off 15 seconds her personal best time to be able to break Chewya's Africa record of 9:07.14 minutes.