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Ethiopian Star Sick - 2002-12-27

Illness has forced former world 10,000-meter running champion Gete Wami of Ethiopia to pull out of the View From Great North Cross Country race in Newcastle, England.

The 28-year-old Ethiopian is based in the Netherlands. She has returned to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, for further medical treatment. Doctors have not been able to make a diagnosis, but think she is suffering from a virus.

Her illness will keep the speedy Ethiopian out of the January 4 event. Gete Wami will also miss the Belfast International Cross Country event on January 11.

The absence of this year's Amsterdam marathon champion leaves Ethiopian countrywoman Derartu Tulu the task of taming local favorite Paula Radcliffe of Britain in the six-kilometer race in Newcastle. Kenya's Edith Masai is also expected to be among the frontrunners.