Seoul – KenyaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Eliud Kiptanui and EthiopiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Koreni Jelila will start as the marginal favourites for the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s races at the Seoul International Marathon on Sunday (17), but the competition still remains wide open for the honours at the onlyÃ‚Â IAAF Gold Label Road RaceÃ‚Â in Korea.
The race will mark its 84thÃ‚Â year with an international elite field of 32 men and 13 women, who will be joined by more than a hundred of KoreaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top long distance runners.
Jelila aims to continue Ethiopian streak
The womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race is missing the three podium finishers from 2012 but Ethiopia has ruled the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race in recent years, having produced the past four winners, and Jelila will be a contender to continue that.
Jelila, who ran her personal best of 2:22:43 when winning the 2011 Toronto Marathon, comes to Seoul having won three of her five marathons since the start of 2011, including in Istanbul last November.
Her compatriot Robe Guta returns to the race and is chasing her third Seoul International Marathon title, following victories in 2009 and 2011.