One of the busiest weekends of the year is a prime example of the good and the challenges in the sport. With so many events in running, it is hard to promote events. In Italy, there are 2 major marathons. I am in Milan and will be coveing it live at 9 am on Sunday. Below, thanks to EME News, is some of the events that will happen on Sunday!
ROTTERDAM (NED): In Sunday’s NN Rotterdam Marathon, Kenya’s Marius Kipserem will try to regain the title he won in 2016 while Valencia Marathon winner Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekele Dido is quickest woman on paper. Kipserem has a point to prove after his 2:04:04 in Abu Dhabi in December on a short course. Last year’s Frankfurt Marathon champion Ethiopia’s Kelkile Gezahegn (2:05:56 PB) is among the favourites although he is not among the five athletes with valid sub-2:05 times with Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen and Markos Geneti the quickest in the line-up with 2:04:32 and 2:04:54 respectively. Kenya’s Emanuel Saina, who clocked 2:05:02 in the Dubai Marathon in January, could also challenge for the title. Turkey’s Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (2:06:10) leads the European challenge while Abdi Nageeye (2:08:16) and Khalid Choukoud (2:10:52) head the domestic field. Dido’s recent 2:21:14 may make her favourite, but compatriot Sentayehu Lewetegn (2:22:45) and Bethlehem Moges (2:24:29) and Kenya’s Stella Barsosio (2:23.43) also line-up.
BERLIN (GER): European 5000m champion Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands is targeting the world record of 64:51 in the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday, informs organisers. “I will try to attack the world record. I will see how it goes on Sunday.” Hassan broke the European record with 65:15 on her first competitive race at the distance in Copenhagen last September. Her main rival will be Kenya’s Veronica Nyaruai (67:58 PB). With reigning champion Eric Kiptanui a late withdrawal, the fastest entrant in the men’s race is Wilfred Kimitei with a 59:40 PB.
VIENNA (AUT): European marathon silver medallist Tadesse Abraham from Switzerland is targeting Mo Farah’s European record of 2:05:11 in the Vienna City Marathon on Sunday, informs Race News Service. He said at the press conference that he had two short term goals: break the European record and qualify for the Olympic marathon in Tokyo next year, with the overall target of “fulfilling my potential”. Abraham is the second fastest in the men’s field with a 2:06:40 PB behind Kenya’s Gilbert Kirwa with 2:06:14.
PRAGUE (CZE): Fancy Chemutai, the second fastest woman in history, highlights the field for the 21st edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon tomorrow. The Kenyan clocked 64:52 last year, one second outside the current mark. Compatriot Caroline Kipkirui, who clocked 65:07 in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year, also lines up here. Kenya’s Lucy Cheruiyot (67:32) and European 10,000m champion Lonah Salpeter of Israel (67:55) are next quickest. American Amy Cragg (68:27) and Diane Nukuri (69:12) are among the fastest non-Africans. On the men’s side, Benard Kimeli defends his title as one of five sub-hour runners. Providing stern opposition will be fellow Kenyan Stephen Kiprop, who became the sixth fastest time in history with 58:42 in Ras Al Khaimah in February. Also boosting a strong Kenyan challenge are Felix Kibitok (59:21), Abel Kipchumba (59:29) and Geoffrey Koech (59:50), while Eritrea’s Yohanes Ghebregergis is quickest elsewhere with 60:16. 62:23 runner Jiri Homoloc spurs Czech hopes. Temperatures of 8 C and light winds are expected. The race will be shown live on the race website. Kenya’s Mangata Ndiwa (PB 59:07), Andamlek Belihu (59:18) and Sondre Nordstad Moen (59:48) were late withdrawals.
DAEGU (KOR): Defending Daegu Marathon champion Janet Rono and last year’s runner-up Evans Korir are among the leading entrants for the Daegu Marathon on Sunday. Rono, who has a lifetime best of 2:26:03, is the third fastest in the elite women’s field after Ethiopian veteran Mulu Seboka (2:21:56) and former Paris Marathon winner Meseret Mengistu (2:23:26) while Korir, who clocked 2:06:35 in last year’s race, lines up alongside former world record-holder Dennis Kimetto, former multiple Amsterdam Marathon winner Wilson Chebet and world over-40 record-holder Mark Kiptoo. From IAAF.
HANNOVER (GER): Defending champion Seboka Negussa is a late addition to the elite field for the HAJ Hannover Marathon on Sunday. The Ethiopian has clocked 2:09:14, but the eight sub-2:10 athletes are led by compatriot Abdela Godana Gemeda (2:08:32). Germany’s Arne Gabius is targeting the Olympic qualifying time. The women’s race includes Germany’s Anja Scherl (2:27:50), Poland’s Karolina Nadolska (2:26:32), Ethiopia’s Tigist Memuye Gebeyahu (2:27:39) and Kenya’s Racheal Mutgaa (2:28:39).
PYONGYANG (PRK): First and second last year, Kim Hye-Gyong and Jo Un-Ok are among the standout entrants for the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon on Sunday. However, the quickest entrant in the women’s race is Kenya’s Emily Samoei with a 2:26:52 PB. The men’s line-up features Kenya’s Willy Kotile (2:09:58) and Ethiopia’s Dejene Kelkilew (2:11:21). From IAAF.
MANCHESTER (GBR): After a recent 64:03 half marathon, Matt Clowes and Jenny Spink will start favourite for the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday.
MADRID (ESP): Rio Olympian Tesfaye Abera from Ethiopia makes his comeback to racing in the Madrid Half Marathon on Sunday. Abera, who clocked a 2:04:24 PB in the Dubai Marathon also in 2016, faces a strong Kenyan contingent including Emmanuel Kipsang, Kipkemoi Kiprono and Bernard Kipyego, the latter who has a 59:10 PB. Standout entrants in the women’s race include Ethiopia’s Muliye Dekebo, who clocked 67:57 in the Rome to Ostia Half Marathon last month, and Italy’s Sara Dossena. From IAAF.
WASHINGTON (USA): Ethiopians Jemal Yimer and Buze Diriba will defend their titles at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run over 10-miles on Sunday, informs organisers. Yimer will face past winners Stanley Kebenei and Stephen Sambu while Diriba also faces former winner and teammate Hiwot Gebrekidan. Other notable entrants on the men’s side include Bahrain’s Aweke Ayalew and Kenya’s Josphat Tanui while Ethiopians Gotytom Gebreslase and Hiwot Ayalew and Brit Steph Twell also compete in the women’s race.