Running: Seboka faces tough title defence at Dubai Marathon
- Updated: January 11, 2015
January 11, 2015: Defending champion Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia faces one of the toughest battles of her career as runners with more than 20 international marathon titles to their names look to steal her crown at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 23.
The world’s richest marathon features a star-studded field including winners of titles in New York, Berlin, Chicago, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Toronto, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
If Seboka is to successfully defend her title on the streets of Dubai and win the US$200,000 first prize, she’ll need to hold off stars including two-time champion Aselefech Mergia (2011 and 2012), 2012 Berlin Marathon champion Aberu Kebede and 2011 New York Marathon winner Firehiwot Dado.
Event Director Peter Connerton said: “It’s wonderful to have Mulu back to defend her title after what was the best year of her career, winning marathons in Dubai, Canada and South Korea.
“However, both Aselefech Mergia and Lucy Kabuu have run personal bests of sub 2:20 at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and will be the favourites alongside last year’s runner-up Meselech Melkamu. It promises to be quite a race in both the men’s and women’s marathon.”
Seboka won last year in 2:25:01 before going unbeaten for the year, also winning in Daegu and Toronto. In South Korea she ran 2:25:23 and then a personal best of 2:23:15 in Canada in October.
It has been a long road since her marathon debut in 2003, when she recorded a time of 2:43:30 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Five years later, she broke 2:30 and after winning the 2008 Mumbai Marathon in 2:30:04, she made the breakthrough later that year with 2:29:06 in Toronto.
The Dubai Marathon will feature the marathon, a 10km road race and a 4km fun run. 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