Kenya's former champion Sum pulls out of world 800m

By Mitch Phillips
Eunice Sum of Kenya reacts after after placing third in the women's 800m event during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - Former world 800 metres champion Eunice Sum has withdrawn from the World Athletics Championships due to illness, Kenyan officials said on Thursday. Sum, who won gold in Moscow in 2013 and bronze in Beijing two years ago, was scheduled to race in the 800m heats on Thursday and though she said on Wednesday she was pulling out, officials initially said there was still a chance she could run. However, they issued a statement on Thursday confirming her withdrawal. "A decision has been made by Team Kenya in consultation with the athlete and Kenyan and IAAF medical staff for her to withdraw on medical grounds," the statement said. "She has not been feeling well since arriving on Aug. 6 and the cold weather of the past two days has only made her case worse." South Africa's Olympic and former world champion Caster Semenya, who won bronze in the 1500m on Monday, is the strong favourite. (Editing by Toby Davis)