NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former World marathon bronze medalist Sharon
Cherop and Ruth Chepngetich said Wednesday that they are capable
of ending 12-year Ethiopian title grip on the Dubai Marathon on
Speaking in Nairobi prior to their departure to
Dubai, Cherop, who holds a personal best of 2:22:28 from Berlin
in 2013, believes she has the experience to end Ethiopian reign
on her return to Dubai.
"It is seven years since I raced in Dubai.
"I finished seventh, but the time was fast (2:22:39).
"Today my goal is to win the race irrespective of who will be
running against me," Cherop said.
However, the onus to dethrone the Ethiopians, who have won
for the last 12 years in Dubai, will not fall on Cherop alone.
She travels with compatriot Chepngetich, who also has
experience running fast time in the marathon circuit.
Ethiopia’s winning streak of the women’s race in Dubai goes
back to the past 12 editions.
But that dominance will be under threat on Friday.
Chepngetich surprised the athletics world in November last
year when she successfully defended her Istanbul Marathon title,
smashing her best time by four minutes with 2:18:35 and moving
to equal seventh on the world all-time list.
But while Chepngetich boasts the fastest personal best of the
field, Worknesh Degefa is more experienced when it comes to
The Ethiopian has contested just two marathons to date, both
of which were in Dubai.
She won on her debut in 2017 in 2:22:36 and reduced her best
time to 2:19:53 one year later to finish fourth in a
Sintayehu Lewetegn (2:22:45) in Frankfurt last year, and
Rahma Tusa, who has won four of her nine completed marathons to
date, add to the Ethiopian strength in Dubai.
"This will be the 20th time we have staged the marathon in
its current format and I have no doubt the athletes will once
again provide us with a race worthy of the occasion," said event
director Peter Connerton.
"Last year saw new course records in both the men and women’s
races, while we had seven men finish within two hours and five
minutes and four women within 2:20.
Those were both unique results in marathon history and
emphasized the depth of quality in the fields we put together in
Dubai," Connerton said.
There will also be a third Kenyan competing in the men’s
Emmanuel Saina is the lone wolf with a last minute gash of
"The focus is not on me. But I want to hold back and see how
fast they run," said Saina.
Guye Adola, who clocked the fastest ever marathon debut in
Berlin in 2017 when he finished a close runner-up to Eliud
Kipchoge in 2:03:46, is the fastest man in this year’s field.
Others are Compatriots Asefa Mengstu and Sisay Lemma.