Defending Champion Negewo Faces Stern Test at Cape Town Marathon

Asefa Negewo made history in 2016 when he won the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in a South African all-comers’ record of 2:08:41. The Ethiopian returns to the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday to defend his title, but will face tough opposition.

Negewo doesn’t have the fastest PB of this year’s field. That honour belongs to Kenya’s Laban Mutai, who ran 2:08:01 on his marathon debut in Cologne in 2012. The 32-year-old has won three of the 10 marathons he has competed in, including his most recent outing at the distance, the Ljubljana Marathon last October in 2:09:16.

Negewo’s win in 2016 was his best marathon performance to date. The 32-year-old is a relative novice over 26.2 miles, having competed in only four marathons to date. But knowing the route should give him an advantage over most of the other contenders.

Ethiopia’s Seboka Nigusse is the next fastest in the field with a 2:09:14 PB run in Amsterdam in 2015, while Duncan Maiyo’s best of 2:09:25 came in 2016 at Eindhoven.

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