Dubai (UAE): Olympic medalist and twice a winner of the London Marathon Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede will be one of the elite athletes to watch when the 2016 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon gets underway on January 22.
Kebede, winner of the London Marathon in both 2010 and 2013, will make his debut in the world’s richest marathon when he adds Dubai to a running CV that boasts podium success at some of the biggest events in long distance running. As well as wins in London, Kebede has also won the Chicago, Paris and Fukuoka marathons and comes to the UAE for what will be a key race as elite athletes chase Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will see Kebede take on a course firmly established as one of the fastest in the world.
Although one of the smallest athletes in any elite field, Kebede has been one of the most consistent marathon runners of the past few years. As well as marathon titles in the US, Japan, UK and France, he won marathon bronze at the Beijing Olympics as well as a bronze medal at the World Championships in Berlin.
Since making his marathon debut in Amsterdam in 2007, the diminutive Ethiopian moved through the gears finishing second behind Samuel Wanjiru in the 2009 London Marathon and two years later taking third place in the 2011 New York City Marathon.
Although Ethiopia did not send Kebede to the London Olympics in 2012, he kept up his training regime resulting in a new personal best of 2h:04m:38s and victory in the Chicago Marathon.
After taking fourth at the World Championships in Moscow, he also secured victory in the Men's 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors series by taking second place in the 2013 New York City Marathon.
“Tsegaye Kebede has been one of the most prominent and consistent marathon runners over the past few years so we are delighted he has chosen to run in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in Olympic year,” said Event Director Peter Connerton.
“As well as two wins in London, he has two top three places in New York to his name so he could prove to be a real threat to the Dubai course record next month. The demand from athletes to get a fast time under the belts early in the year means we are seeing a huge amount of interest in running in Dubai on January 22 and we are currently finalising our elite line-ups in both the men and the women’s event.”
As well as the traditional marathon distance of 42.195km, athletes will also be able to compete in the popular 10km event or the 4km Fun Run by registering through the official website www.dubaimarathon.org. 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, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police and the RTA.
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