NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Dubai marathon organizers will cut down the
number of Ethiopian athletes and instead lure more top Kenyan
runners and dangle higher bonuses and incentives to try and
break the world marathon record.
Ahmad Al Kamali, the
General Coordinator of Dubai Marathon and also IAAF Council
Member, said they are keen to see a world record set at the
event in 2019.
This follows fast times set by an all Ethiopian team at this
year’s race last Friday in UAE.
"We need to bring more Kenyans now because they are crazy
about the world record.
"They don’t care about stopping after 30km.
"This is the trick needed to break the world record," he said
The current world record has withstood the test of time since
Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto set it in Berlin in 2014 clocking
Since then Kenyans athletes have tried lowering it with
Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge missing out by just 36 seconds
to clock 2:03:32.
Kipchoge holds a personal best time of 2:03:05 set in 2016
London Marathon win, missing the world record by eight seconds.
Kenyans are the closest to overcome to breaking the world
Four times the record has been broken by Kenyans and not
Ethiopians in Berlin (Paul Tergat 2:04.54, Patrick Makau
(2:03.38), Wilson Kipsang (2:03.23) and Kimetto (2:02.57).
The only Ethiopian to break the record was Haile
"We are considering bringing more Kenyans for the next race
but we are absolutely on the track to break the world record,"
said Al Kamali.
On Friday, Ethiopians took the first 10 places, six of them
at 2:04:15 or quicker as Mosinet Geremew won in 2:04:00, while
Roza Dereje became the seventh quickest woman in history with
2:19:17, leading a record four women under 2:20.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Mary Keitany’s hopes of breaking the world
marathon record in London this April have been given credibility
by the current holder herself, Paula Radcliffe.
"I don’t want it to be broken but the nature of the sport is
one day it will be done and I have always known that.
"I’m amazed it has lasted this long and I have always felt
Mary would be the one to take it.
"Hopefully it happens in a good race with much to admire,"