Ethiopian record-holder Worknesh Degefa will target a second victory at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
Worknesh Degefa will start as red-hot favorite thanks to her enviable record on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut, clocking 2:22:36. A year later, she finished fourth and improved her PB to 2:19:53.
Last year she finished second in Dubai in 2:17:41, taking 15 seconds off the Ethiopian record with what is now the fifth fastest time in history.
Aside from her three appearances in Dubai, the only other marathon she has contested is the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she won in 2:23:31.
Fellow Ethiopian Bezunesh Deba will be racing in Dubai for the first time. The 32-year-old set her PB of 2:19:59 when winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, but didn't race at all in 2019 so will be treating this as a comeback race.
Kebede Megertu Alemu made a big step up in the second half of 2018. She chopped eight minutes from her half marathon PB with 1:06:43 in Copenhagen and reduced her marathon best to 2:21:10 to finish second in Frankfurt.
Bedatu Hirpa will be one of the youngest in the field. The 2015 world U18 1500m champion has switched to the roads in recent years and clocked a marathon PB of 2:21:32 in Frankfurt in 2018.
Two years after making her marathon debut in Dubai, world cross-country silver medalist Dera Dida is back and aims to improve on the PB of 2:21:45 she set on her previous visit.
Dubai has often been a happy hunting ground for marathon debutantes, so 20-year-old Hawi Feysa will be hoping for a strong run in her first race at 42.195km. The 2017 world U20 cross-country silver medalist finished eighth in the 5000m at last year's World Championships.
posted Wednesday January 22nd
by World Athletics