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Running: Melkamu looking to go one better in Dubai Marathon

Meselech Melkamu finished runner-up last year.

Meselech Melkamu finished runner-up in Dubai last year.

January 18, 2015: After being beaten to the finish tape 12 months ago, Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu will bid to go one better and win her first Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon women’s title on Friday.

 

Despite starting as favourite in the world’s richest marathon, Melkamu had to settle for second place behind compatriot Mulu Seboka in a time of 2:25:23, well outside her personal best, before claiming fifth in the the Boston Marathon in 2:21:28.

 

In an even stronger women’s field this year, Melkamu is ranked third quickest behind fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia, the two-time champion and Dubai course record holder, and Kenyan flyer Lucy Kabuu. The women’s field features 23 runners with personal bests of sub-2:28.

 

Now 29, Melkamu ran her personal best when she made a superb marathon debut with victory in Frankfurt in 2012, clocking 2:21:01 despite almost freezing conditions – at the time, the third-fastest debut ever. She is also the African 10,000m record holder with 29:53.8 and it’s that speed on the track that suggests potential for running even faster in the marathon.

 

“In future I want to run marathon times that are as good as at 10,000m,” says Melkamu, who comes from a running family.

 

The marathon, 10km road race and 4km fun run will attract the largest field ever seen in the 16-year history of the IAAF Gold Label event. In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the 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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