Yacob Jarso to defend Seoul Marathon title

Yacob JarsoYacob Jarso will defend his title at the Seoul International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (15).

The Ethiopian won last year’s edition in a personal best of 2:06:17, the second-fastest winning time in the history of the race when contested as a marathon, although the former top-class steeplechaser was less impressive in his last outing over the classic distance and could only place eighth in 2:14:31 at the Hengshui Marathon in September.

“However, since the end of last year I have been preparing solely for this race. I have trained well and if the conditions are good, then I have a chance of breaking the course record,” said Jarso at a press conference on Friday.

Among his rivals will be Kenya’s course record-holder Wilson Loyanae, who won the 2012 race in 2:05:37.

No fewer than five men will be on the starting line in the Korean capital with career bests faster than 2:07:00.

Kenya’s Levy Matebo ran 2:05:16 when he finished second at the 2011 Frankfurt Marathon and although his form has been less impressive since, he did clock 2:08:09 to record his best marathon since his Frankfurt run to finish second in the Warsaw Marathon 11 months ago.

Another Kenyan, Eliud Kiptanui, propelled himself into the spotlight when he made a spectacular marathon debut and won the 2010 Prague Marathon in what remains his personal best of 2:05:39, but he has had a number of other good performances since then and clocked 2:07:28 to finish fifth at the Berlin Marathon last September.

Ethiopia’s Abreham Cherkos, a former world youth champion on the track, also has some fast times to his name.

Cherkos can boast of personal best of 2:06:13 from the 2011 Boston Marathon but finished fifth in Seoul last year in 2:07:08 and also came home second at the 2014 Shanghai Marathon last November in 2:08:47, his last international race over any distance

Source: IAAF.org