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Kenyan duo eye victory in Dubai marathon

24 December 2013, 12:39

Nairobi - Jonathan Maiyo and Nicholas Kipkemboi will lead Kenyan charges in the next Dubai marathon, which will be held on January 24.

Kenya has not done well in this event, especially the men's event. However, the two colleagues are keen to break the duck and secure the title from the strong Ethiopia grip. Lucy Kabuu and Mary Keitany, are some of the women from Kenya who have ruled the roost in the United Arab Emirates premier marathon race in the past.

"It is important that I improve on my third place finish in 2012 and win the ultimate prize," said Maiyo.

"However, Dubai is now a bid city marathon attracting top clash athletes and it will be hard. However, I focus on my strength and not the competitors and that is why I am certain of doing well and end the long wait for the gold medal in Dubai," Maiyo told Xinhua, Sunday in Eldoret.

The Dubai Marathon has a prize money of 200,000 US dollars for the winner plus an additional bonus of $100,000 for breaking the world record.

Two Ethiopian debutants have won the most recent editions of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in spectacular style - Ayele Abshero broke the course record with 2:04:23 in 2012 and Lelisa Desisa clocked 2:04:45 this year. Might a third consecutive upset be on the cards in just over a month?

The pair will be on the start line alongside their more experienced compatriot Markos Geneti, who finished third in the 2012 Dubai race in a personal best 2:04:54.

Maiyo was fourth in the 2012 Dubai Marathon and smashed his personal best by almost eight minutes, improving from 2:12:45 to 2:04:56, when finishing behind an Ethiopian trio. Also returning to this superflat course is Nicholas Kipkemboi.

Ayele Abshero broke the course record with 2:04:23 in 2012 and Lelisa Desisa clocked 2:04:45 last year. When the next edition is staged on 24th January the Kenyans will be going all out to reclaim supremacy.

But the Ethiopian blend of experience and promising debutants could prove a potent mix.

Nicholas Kipkemboi, who made his marathon debut in Dubai in January, clocking a fine 2:06:33 for sixth place.

Atsedu Tsegay, who won the New Delhi Half Marathon two weeks ago will also be in the mix. Abera Kuma is another promising Ethiopian making his debut at the marathon in Dubai.

- Xinhua


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