Published: Oct 4, 9:52p ET
Updated: Oct 5, 8:40a ET

Dibaba to make marathon debut at Chicago Marathon

In a surprise announcement today, officials of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced that 2004 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba of Ethiopia would make her marathon debut at their race on Sunday.

Dibaba, 29, whose track credentials include two world championships bronze medals, has never competed in a race longer than 10 kilometers, and has raced sparingly over the last two years. However, she has sterling track speed with career best times of 30:18.39 for 10,000m and 14:32.74 for 5000m. Dibaba is the older sister of two-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba.

Chicago officials also announced that four athletes had withdrawn from the race: Russia's Inga Abitova (illness), Ethiopia's Chala Dechase (illness), Australia's Benita Willis (injury) and China's Wei Yanan (injury).

Sunday's race in Chicago will be the 34th edition of America's second largest marathon. Last year's race recorded 36,159 finishers.

(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission

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