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British marathon runner denied visa

British marathon runner denied visa
By Eurosport

13/10/2010 at 18:15Updated 14/10/2010 at 13:25

Great Britain's Andrew Lemoncello has been left baffled after he was denied a Chinese visa and, as a result, will miss this weekend's IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning.

Lemoncello, who finished eighth at this year's London Marathon, revealed he has not been given a reason by the Chinese Federation for his refused entry.

The US-based Scottish athlete, who was also the top home finisher at the recent Great North Run, admitted he was clueless as to the reasons for the decision.

"I'm really disappointed that I can't run the championships because of a visa issue - I haven't even been given a reason as to why it was denied," said Lemoncello, who will compete over the full marathon distance in Fukuoka in December.

"My focus has been solely on this event since returning to the US at the end of September and I have tapered my training accordingly. I'll now have to re-focus for my marathon in Japan later this year."

UKA Chairman Ed Warner added: "This is wholly unacceptable. We are very disappointed Andrew has been prevented from running thereby depriving Britain of a representative in the men's race, and we are now in dialogue with the IAAF to secure an explanation from the Chinese Federation."

Great Britain's Claire Hallissey, who won the official trial race in Bristol with a lifetime best of 72 minutes two seconds, will complete in China.