World’s best battle for 2024 Dubai Marathon titles this Sunday, the 7th of January 2024

January 05, 2024

Perhaps due to its location being nearer to the Eastern African region, compared to other big marathons in the world, hence making it more convenient for a bigger number of runners from the long-distance powerhouses to travel to, Dubai Marathon has consistently produced some of the world’s fastest times in Marathon with close-margin finishes in the top ten positions.

It should be the same case on Sunday as some of the world’s best distance runners descend on the biggest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to showcase what they are best known for.

Since it was started in 1998, the winners of the men’s race in all the editions except one have either been Ethiopians or Kenyans. However, in the recent past, the race has been dominated more by the Ethiopians, with all the top ten men’s and women’s positions going out to them at the last edition on 11th February 2023.

Multiple winners over the years include Ethiopia’s Gebrsellasie (2008, 2009 and 2010) and Kenya’s Wilson Kibet (2000, 2001 and 2002).

Course records stand at 2:03:34 for the men by Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla and at 2:17:08 for the women by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich.

Back to defend her title in the women’s race is Dera Dida. After winning the Dubai Marathon last year, the 27-year-old Ethiopian proceeded to lower her Marathon personal best time to 2:19:24 at the Berlin Marathon in September last year and will be hoping to maintain her upward momentum as she runs against other elite runners assembled for Sunday’s World Athletics Gold label Marathon.

Rotterdam and Osaka Marathon winner Haiven Hailu of Ethiopia and 2023 Rome Marathon champion Betty Chepkwony of Kenya are part of the impressive women’s field ready to tackle the Dubai Marathon course on Sunday and to offer a worthy competition to Dida.

In the absence of a defending champion, Abdisa Tola, in the men’s race, it appears open to a new winner this time round.

Ethiopia’s Workineh Tadese and Kebede Tulu Wami are leading the men’s elite entrants. Tadese has a personal best time of 2:05:07, which he ran at the Hamburg Marathon in 2022. This was a significant improvement of more than two minutes from his previous personal best time set at the Amsterdam Marathon half a year before that.

Tulu has a personal best time of 2:05:19 and is one of the fastest elite runners on a steady upward trend in the marathon.

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