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Running: Mergia bidding for record third Dubai Marathon title

Aselefech Mergia Medessa returns to the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon after winning the 2011 and 2012 titles. Photo: Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

Aselefech Mergia returns to the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon after winning the 2011 and 2012 titles.

December 28, 2014: Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia will bid for a third Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon title when the women’s course record holder competes in the world’s richest marathon in the UAE on January 23, 2015.

 

After winning the 2011 title, Mergia won one of the most famous women’s marathons in history when she clinched the 2012 title in 2 hours 19 minutes 31 seconds, as three women ran under 2:20 in the same race for the first time. The Ethiopian will return to the scene of one of her greatest triumphs after taking time away from competitive running to have a baby.

 

Other top Ethiopians in the field include defending champion Mulu Seboka (PB 2:23:12), also winner of the 2014 Toronto Marathon, Shewaye Aberu Kebede (PB 2:22:21), the reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion, and Firehiwot Dado, winner of the New York Marathon in 2011.

 

Lucy Kabuu, who finished just three seconds behind Mergia in 2012 (PB 2:19:34), and marathon debutant Gladys Cherono, the reigning half marathon world champion, will lead the Kenyan charge. The field also includes other former Dubai winners and international marathon champions from across the world.

 

Event Director Peter Connerton said: “It is without doubt one of the strongest fields we have ever had. The depth of quality in the field is impressive and I’m sure Aselefech will be determined to join her compatriot, the legendary Haile Gebrselassie, as a three-time winner of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.”

 

The Dubai Marathon will feature more than 25,000 runners competing in the full marathon, the 10km road race and the 4km ‘Fun Run’.

 

Ahmed Al Kamali, President of the UAE Athletic Federation and IAAF Board Member, said: “With Kenenisa Bekele headlining the men’s field and so many champions from races across the world coming together in the ladies’ event, we fully expect two exciting marathons on January 23.”

 

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, Adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Sport 360, Masafi, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police and the RTA.

 

Source: Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon (www.dubaimarathon.org); Editing by SportAsia

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