NAIROBI, Kenya – Jonathan Maiyo and Nicholas Kipkemboi will lead the Kenyan charge in the next Stanchart Dubai Marathon, which will be held on January 24.
Kenya has not done well in this event, especially the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s event. However, the pair is keen to break the duck and unlock the title from the strong Ethiopia grip.
David Barmasai Tumo was the last Kenyan victor here in 2010 with Delia Asiago the last female to bag the title way back in 2006.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is important that I improve on my fourth finish in 2012 and win the ultimate prize,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Maiyo.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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,Ã¢â‚¬Â Maiyo said on Sunday from Eldoret.
The Dubai Marathon has 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 marathon in spectacular style Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ayele Abshero broke the course record with 2:04:23 in 2012 and Lelisa Desisa clocked 2:04:45 this year.
The pair will be at the starting line alongside their more experienced compatriot Markos Geneti, who finished third in the 2012 Dubai race in a personal best 2:04:54.
Maiyo smashed his personal best by almost eight minutes, improving from 2:12:45 to 2:04:56, when finishing behind the Ethiopian of Ayele, Dino Sefir Kemal (2:04:50) and Markos.
Also returning to this super flat course is Nicholas Kipkemboi.
Kipkemboi, 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.