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Injury heartache for Yamauchi
OXFORD’S Mara Yamauchi was in tears after pulling out of the Olympic Marathon due to a heel injury.
The 38-year-old former Headington Road Runner was Britain’s leading hope at London 2012 after Paula Radcliffe herself withdrew before the Games.
Yamauchi finished a British women’s best sixth in Beijing, but dropped out at 9.4km of the race, which was won by Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana in an Olympic record time of 2hrs 23mins 7secs.
The Oxford runner went through the 5km mark in 17mins 26secs, just behind the leaders, but even then was hurting.
“I had a heel bruise, which I was able to run on and I was managing it,” said Yamauchi. “It wasn’t the best situation to be doing the Olympic marathon with.
“I was more than confident I could give it a good go – but on about the second corner it started hurting.
“I gave it my very best and I didn’t want my Olympic journey to end like this.”
The former Oxford High School pupil added: “I did think about withdrawing beforehand, but I decided it wasn’t that bad. I had much higher hopes, but sadly it wasn’t to be.”