Dubai: Top five under 2:05! from Alfons Jucks, EME News, deep thoughts by Larry Eder

Thumbnail image for Desisa_Lelisa-Ottawa10.JPG
Lelisa Desisa, 2010 Ottowa 10k, 
photo by

Close finishes have happened before. I recall Kenny Moore writing about the Spartakiad marathon, a test for Moscow 1980, held in 1979, and three guys coming on the track with less than six hundred meters a go. Moore wrote then that he wondered if it was a view of the future. 

In the 1970s, there had been some close marathons, one where the late Brian Maxwell and John Bramley, duked it out until the final 400 meters, where Maxwell won, in 2:14:00. Maxwell was a pretty tough guy, and Bramley, like his training buddy, Pat Devaney, were that of legend. 

Close marathons were the marathoners nightmare. I recall having to run my fastest mile of the day to take third in a small marathon in the Santa Cruz mountains. I was pleased with my finish, but not happy I had to run so damn fast over the last mile (well for me). 

So, yesterday, was a close finish for the ages. Five men together, with 1,000 meters to go, before Lelisa Desisa, in his debut, puts it to them, and runs a 2:04.45! 

Ethiopian marathoners took four of the top five places in the men's race, and six of top six in women's race. 

Marathons have become fast track races, over roads. The challenge is, that, these fast marathons are nothing like a championship races. Marathoners, such as Meb Keflizighi, Stephen Kiprotich, possess skills different from successful city marathon runners. 

Dubai Marathon is a precursor. What will 2013 bring in the marathon?

I am, speechless....



DUBAI (UAE, Jan 25): Ethiopians ruled at the 14th Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, on a foggy Friday morning in the Emirates. Lelisa Desisa only got away from his rivals in the final 200 metres, but the marathon debutant won in 2.04.45, for the 13th fastest time in history; and with four other men close behind, the quintet thus beat last year's Dubai record of being the first marathon in history to feature four sub-2.05 men. Desisa's colleague, long-time race leader Berhanu Shiferaw was second in 2.04.48, while another compatriot, veteran Tadesse Tola clocked a personal best 2.04.49 in third. Yet another Ethiopian, Endeshaw Negesse was fourth in 2:04:52, and Kenyan debutant Bernard Koech finished fifth with 2:04:53. The winner comes from Oromia, homeland of the Bekele brothers, the Dibaba sisters and other athletics luminaries such as Olympic marathon winners, Fatuma Roba and Tiki Gelana. In contrast, the women's race lived up to predictions in all but the finishing time, according to the winner. Tirfi Tsegaye was a big favourite, following her victory in Paris last year and a second place in Berlin last October, won in 2:23:23. Her colleagues, Ehitu Kiros and Amane Gobena gained ground on her in the last five kilometres, but finished behind her in that order, Kiros second in 2.23.39, and Gobena third, in 2.23.50. They were followed by Aheza Kiros 2:24:30 and Belaynesh Oljira 2:25:01. Top non-Ethiopian Sweden´s Issabelah Andersson clocked 2:26:05 as 7th. Namibia´s Beata Naigambo improved to 2:27:54 as 9th. Writes Pat Butcher.



LONDON (GBR): First-time race director Hugh Brasher has made a grand entrance by securing what is arguable the best-ever elite field for the Virgin London Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, April 21.  World record holders, Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and champions of other World Marathon Majors events grace the field. The men's contest is anchored by three of Kenya's very best athletes: world record holder Patrick Makau (2:03:38), reigning London champion and Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang (2:03:42), and reigning World Marathon Majors points champion and 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai (2:03:02).  Remarkably, reigning Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (2:04:38), Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:07:20), Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion Abel Kirui of Kenya, and former Virgin London Marathon champions Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40) and Martin Lel (2:05:15) of Kenya are supporting players. The women's race boasts two-thirds of the 2012 Women's Olympic Marathon podium, gold medalist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia (2:18:58) and silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya (2:20:14); bronze medalist Tatiana Arkhipova is pregnant and not available to race.  Three other excellent Kenyan women will also run: reigning world champion and 2010 ING New York City Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50), 2010 world half-marathon champion Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44), and two-time Olympian Lucy Kabuu (2:19:34). Interestingly the best woman to enter the race has never run a marathon.  Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba will make her marathon debut in London.  The eight-time world champion from Ethiopia won Britain's Bupa Great North Run half-marathon last year in 1:07:35 in her longest road race to date. Informs Race Results Weekly.



HUSTOPECE (CZE): All star high jumpers arrived to south east of Czech Republic to Hustopece (6000 population) for the first meet of 9th Moravia High Jump Tour. On Saturday in the expected packed hall olympic winner Ivan Ukhov will meet with world champion Jesse Williams, world leader Mutaz Essa Barshim and former world champion Donald Thomas of Bahamas. Local hero Jaroslav Baba already jumped 226, but also Gianmarco Tamberi and French Mickael Hanany want to jump high. In the 13 jumpers strong field only one is not having PB over 230. In the women competition world junior champion Alessia Trost will jump against experienced Emma Green-Tregaro, Bulgarian Venelina Veneva and mainly 204 jumper Irina Gordeyeva from Russia. In the competition having 12 women only one is not having her personal best over 190 cm. Special guest is 1968 Olympic winner and flop inventor Richard Fosbury. Follow all the action at the in english section with live stream and live results.



VOLGOGRAD (RUS): Legendary Tatyana Lebedeva is going to compete in the triple jump at the Governor Cup meet here on Saturday. World lead Olga Kucherenko is the star of the long jump. Jamaican Patricia Hall is scheduled to run the 400 m against Antonina Krivoshapka. Aleksandr Shustov is the main name in men high jump amd Kenyan Collins Cheboi in the 1500 m. Sudanese Yusif Rabah is entered into the 400 m and in the long jump world junior record holder Sergey Morgunov is facing Ignisious Gaisah of Ghana.







BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian heptathlete Sara Aerts is back in good shape after a series of injuries kept her from performing well. Aerts just returned from a training camp in South Africa and confirmed to Belgian media she will compete in a few indoor meetings. Her main goal is the outdoor season the athlete added, and explained she wants to qualify for the IAAF World championships when competing at the IAAF combined events challenge meeting in Gotzis.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Talented 400m hurdles runner Stef Vanhaeren is currently in South Africa on a training camp where he is training together with twin brothers Jonathan and Kevin Borlee. Vanhaeren has ended his studies to focus solely on track and field and has high hopes for the upcoming season. His main goal is the European U23 championships, while he is also hoping to be included in Belgium's successful 4x400m relay team.


ROUEN (FRA): Renaud Lavillenie is again set to be the star of the Elite pole vault tour staged this time in Rouen on Saturday. Lavillenie managed to win the two previous stages of the tour with jumps at 583 and 586 but will be heavily challenged on Saturday by Raphael Holzdeppe, Steven Lewis and Jérôme Clavier. The women's competition is highlighted by the presence of Angelica Bengtsson and Kristina Gadschiew confirms


DUBAI (UAE): Ken Nakamura adds interesting stats after Dubai marathon. Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45), Berhanu Shiferaw (2:04:48), Tadese Tola (2:04:49), Endeshaw Negesse (2:04:52) and Bernard Koech (2:04:53) became 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th runner to go sub 2:05. Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45) and Bernard Koech (2:04:53) became 4th and 5th fastest (3rd and 4th on stanfdard course) marathon debutante in history.  Best marks for place for 3rd (2:04:49 by Tadese Tola), 4th (2:04:52 by Endeshaw Shumi Negesse), and 5th (2:04:53 by Bernard Koech) were set. Top 10 average performances for Dubai Marathon is now 2:04:48, second only to Berlin whose average is 2:04:37.  Third is Rotterdam with the average of 2:04:54.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): UK Athletics on Thursdayday unveiled a new identity for the sport, "British Athletics". The new look and feel will be on show for the first time at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Saturday. Following a memorable 2012 for the sport, British Athletics will be the face of athletics across the country engaging and inspiring new and existing audiences. British Athletics will be used in all external communications, with UK Athletics reflecting the governance and NGB duties of the organisation.


TRENTO (ITA): Respected agend Gianni DeMadonna informs that top Kenyan female marathon runner Mary Keitany is expecting her second child. She will meet up again with the world of running in 2014, when she will return to compete.


ADDIS ABABA (ETH): One of the top long distance runners ever Kenenisa Bekele became a father on Friday, after two daughters a son was born.







DRESDEN (GER, Jan 25): At Dresden Jumping indoor meeting 2009 World Champion Anna Rogowska of Poland won the pole vault with world leading 463 in second attempt. In Margon Arena she tried then at 472. Second European champion Jirina Svobodova with 442.  Russian Sergey Mudrov won the men high jump with 229 in second try and three attempts at 232. Second Romanian Mihai Donisan 226 in first and third German Matthias Haverney 226 in second.


MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 25): At Moscow championship first day Kseniya Zadorina won the 400 m in 52.24, in another race Nadezhda Kotlyarova 52.38. Anna Shchagina was the best in the 1500 m 4:09.95 and Aleksandra Antonova 8.10 in the hurdles. Angelina Krasnova improved to 455 in the pole vault and Oksana Zhukovskaya won the long jump as guest with 668. Viktoriya Yarushkina won the 60 m in 7.30 and Pawel Vruchinskiy the men race in 6.73. Olympic winner from 2004 Yuriy Borzakovskiy clocked 47.33 to win the 400 m and Pawel Shalin leaped to 788 in the long jump.


WELLINGTON (NZL, Jan 25): 2008 olympic medalist Nick Willis won his second New Zealand 3000 metres title on Friday evening at the Capital Classic meeting in Wellington in 7:57.63. Camille Buscomb from Hamilton ran a brilliantly judged race to retain her New Zealand women's 3000 m title in 9:17.05. Second 16 year old Rosa Flanagan in 9:21.86. Tauranga hurdler Michael Cochrane ran an outstanding solo 400 m hurdles recording 50.62.


BUCURESTI (ROU, Jan 25): Former olympic winner Marian Oprea achieved during first day of local series meet 17.17 in the triple jump. Alexandru Tufa improved to 227 in the high jump and Cristina Bujin registered 14.24 in the triple jump.


BELGOROD (RUS, Jan 22): Mariya Bykova clocked here world all-time best 6:05.29 in the 2000 m women steeple.


ST. PETERBURG (RUS, Jan 25): Ukrainian Anzhela Shevchenko achieved fast 4:07.65 in the 1500 m at the city indoor championships. Maksim Kolesnikov leaped to 794 in the long jump and Veronika Mosina 668 in the women competition.


SPALA (POL, Jan 25): Patryk Dobek clocked at Polish Junior Championships already in heats 47.33 in the 400 m what is new national junior record.

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