Posts tagged with "Worknesh Degefa"

Soloman Deksisa, Worknesh Degefa,Ethiopian, Dubai Marathon, sports, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Dubai, marathon, runners, athletes

Dubai Marathon

Ethiopian duo Soloman Deksisa and Worknesh Degefa will spearhead a strong elite field featuring major city marathon winners and athletes with more than 35 international victories between them when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged on Friday (January 24).
 
Deksisa and Degefa boast the best Personal Bests in the men and women’s fields respectively and will be among the big favourites when the elite side of the IAAF Gold Label event race gets underway at 6am.
 
For Deksisa – who set his PB of 2:04:40 when finishing third in Amsterdam in 2018 – it’s a debut appearance on the flat and fast roads of Dubai and the 25-year-old will be looking to add to the back-to-back city marathon wins he enjoyed in Hamburg and Mumbai in 2018.
 
Another Dubai debutant is Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui whose personal best of 58:42 makes him the fastest half marathon runner ever entered into the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and the 29-year-old can maintain Dubai’s reputation as being a perfect course for debutants.
 
It was only a year ago when Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla won the race on his debut in a course record time of 2:03:34 – and Kiptanui has the explosive potential to continue this tradition and possibly end Ethiopia’s eight-year dominance of the men’s race.
 
But while Deksisa and Kiptanui are Dubai “new boys”, for Worknesh Degefa it’s a welcome return to one of her favourite hunting grounds. The diminutive 29-year-old holds the distinction of being the fastest Ethiopian female marathon runner of all time thanks to a stunning personal best of 2:17:41 – the fifth fastest marathon time ever run by a woman – set in Dubai just twelve months ago.
 
As well as that personal best when finishing second last year, Degefa won in Dubai in 2017 and finished 4th in 2018. A superb victory at the Boston Marathon back in April 2019 shows she remains a serious world talent and will start as a hot favourite this weekend.
 
As always, however, she will have her challengers, most notably former Boston Marathon winner Bizunesh Deba (2:19:59) and the up-and-coming Bedatu Hirpa, who won the 2017 Athens Marathon at the age of just 18.
 
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has again brought together a field of elites with marathon victories to their names in cities such as Rome, Athens, Milan, Shanghai and Lisbon.
 
“We are pleased to be the title sponsor of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon for the 16th consecutive year,” said Rola Abu Manneh, CEO for Standard Chartered Bank, UAE. “This flagship event, now in its 21st year, has become one of the region’s most anticipated social and sporting platforms bringing together thousands of people from all over the world. For the few hours of the marathon, all participants are united on one single path – to the finish line.

“As well as the elite runners, the event will also attract athletes and participants who want to challenge themselves; some who want to be fitter and healthier; some who want to raise money for charity; and some who just want a fun day out with their friends and family. And just like every year, we will have over 600 people from Standard Chartered who will be volunteering or running at the event.”
 
While the elite fields will take to the roads at 6am on Friday with the masses off an hour later at 7am, the honour of getting the day’s action underway falls to a stellar international field of wheelchair athletes.
Among those starting a battle royale at 5.55am will be the defending champions Marcel Hug and Sandra Graf of Switzerland
 
“Last year we witnessed two new course records and some fantastic Marathon times,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “This week, the course is the same for the 21st running of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon so we are looking forward to yet another high-quality race from a talented group of elite athletes.
 
“Our thanks go out to our sponsors as well as the Dubai Sports Council and all the Government bodies who come together to provide the framework for this event. Without their assistance and invaluable support, a race of this scale on the streets of the city would not be possible.”
 
Runners looking to take part in the Marathon, the 10km Road Race (8.15am) or the 4km Fun Run (11am) can register online until Thursday (Jan 23) either at dubaimarathon.org or at Run Number collection at Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre. UAE Nationals in particular are encouraged to take part in the event thanks to the ‘#My City_My Race’ campaign, launched by Dubai Holding.
 
Khalid Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Holding said: “We introduced the UAE National Winners Category for the Dubai Marathon as part of our ongoing commitment to community wellness and fostering Emirati pride. We are delighted to see that the number of Emirati participants has grown by 325% with more than ever before set to take part in the 2020 edition of the city’s signature fitness event.  I am also pleased to say that more Emirati women are participating in the Marathon. Last year, we saw almost 200 Emirati women running across the different race categories, which is 21% more than in 2018.“
 
He added: “This year, with our ‘#MyCity_MyRace’ campaign, we have put even more emphasis behind actively encouraging UAE Nationals of all fitness levels to take part in the 10km, 42km and Wheel Chair categories with early figures showing that 30% more will participate versus last year. We look forward to seeing record numbers of Emirati’s on the start line on Friday and hope that one day, the winner of the full marathon will be a UAE National.”
 
In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Holding, Masafi, Channel 4 Radio Network, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA. Live TV streaming of the race will be available at http://bit.ly/DubaiMarathon2020.

Dubai marathon office, 360 MAGAZINE

POWERFUL ELITE FIELD GROWS

FOR STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON

Fastest-Ever Ethiopian Woman Worknesh Degefa Confirmed in Line-up

A powerful field of elite athletes from the hotbeds of African distance running will come together for the first major international marathon of the new year when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged on January 24.

Soloman Deksisa (2:04:40) and Seifu Tura (2:04:44) of Ethiopia lead the men’s field, while former winner Worknesh Degefa (2:17:41) and Alemu Megertu (2:21:10) – also from Ethiopia – will head up the women’s elite division when Dubai hosts many of the best marathon runners in the world for the 21st time.

With a world-class personal best of 2:04:40, 25-year-old Deksisa is the fastest athlete in the start list. Despite his relatively young age the talented Ethiopian has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At the age of just 20, he won the San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 60:12, while less than two years later he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive debut in Rotterdam where he finished second in 2:06:22. Since then he has fully focussed on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. He capped his best year so far in Amsterdam with a marathon personal best of 2:04:40 that is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla.

Deksisa’s compatriot Tura is another of Ethiopia’s crop of rising stars who made an impressive marathon debut with a solid second place in 2:09:26 in Seoul in 2017. Still just 22, Tura enjoyed his best day at the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon when he took full advantage of the renowned fast course to carve a big slice off his personal best, improving by over four minutes to run 2:04:44 for seventh. The young Ethiopian has also sealed marathon wins in Milan and Shanghai, while setting a Half Marathon personal best of 59:17 in Buenos Aires in August.

In the women’s field, Worknesh Degefa – Ethiopia’s fastest female marathon runner of all time – will start as red-hot favourite thanks to an enviable record running the flat and fast streets of Dubai.

In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut. A year later, she broke the 2:20 mark for the first time but had to settle for fourth, while last year saw her finish second in Dubai in a remarkable time of 2:17:41. Not only did Degefa smash the Ethiopian record by 15 seconds, she also set what is now the fifth fastest time in women’s marathon history.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be the first major sporting event in what is a historic year for the city with some 30,000 runners expected across three races.

As well as the classic marathon distance, runners of all abilities can still register for the associated 10km Road Race and 4km Fun Run at the official website for the Middle East’s first and only IAAF Gold Label Marathon at www.dubaimarathon.org.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Holding, Masafi, Channel 4 Radio Network, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA.

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.

The two Ethiopians – winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively – are key figures in the roll of honour of the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label Marathon in the region.

Lemi has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in a time of 2h:05m:28s, he set his personal best at the event when as defending champion he finished runner-up in 2016 in 2h:04:33.

Still only 25, Lemi has also competed at World Championship level and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning the Hengshui title with 2h:08m:51s in September 2018, the Xiamen Marathon in 2017 (2h:08m:27s) and the 2014 Taiyuan Marathon (2h:13m:10s).

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 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will welcome a number of the world’s best athletes as the marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary with elite fields in both the men and women’s races.

Among the leading elite women in the line-up, Worknesh Degefa who stunned the athletics world in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai. The Ethiopian caused quite an upset beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in a time of 2h:22m:36s although she was disappointed 12 months later.

Running in the defence of her crown Worknesh set a new personal best 2h:19m:53s yet failed to break into the top three as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon once again proved its strength in depth with four women breaking the 2h:20m – the first time the feat has ever been achieved in one race.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2h:05m – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

The elite marathon athletes will get their race underway at 6am on January 25, five minutes after the wheelchair athletes take to the course. The mass marathon field will face the starting gun at 7am with the 10km Road Race beginning at 8.30am and the 4km Fun Run at 10.30am. Runners looking to register can still do so by visiting 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, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the RTA.