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Andrew Lemoncello

13 October 2010

Andrew Lemoncello (coach: Greg McMillan) today expressed his disappointment at being refused a visa for entry into China for this weekend’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning (Saturday 16 October).

The Chinese Federation has not disclosed a reason for refusing his entry into the country, but the US-based Scottish athlete, top Brit in the recent BUPA Great North Run, has been left bewildered.

“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.”

Claire Hallissey (coach: George Buckheit), however, the winner of the official trial race in Bristol in a lifetime best of 72:02, will compete in China.

Having recorded a 10k PB of 33:01 on 12 September, she will be looking to better her 25th place finish in the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships in a field which includes former World Cross Country champion Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) and China’s Xiaolin Zhu, fifth in the 2009 World Championships marathon.

Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea), the current World Record holder, will be targeting a fifth successive title in the men’s race.