Kim Hye Gyong and Jo Un Ok are set to run the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon

Kim and Jo finished 1-2 in last year's race clocking 2:27:31 and 2:27:42, respectively. That run was Kim's second fastest, behind the 2:27:05 run that propelled her to the tile in 2014.

That performance was a PB for Jo, also 26, who has run consistently in her country's biggest marathon, winning in 2017 and finishing third in 2016. She's raced well internationally as well, finishing fourth at last year's Asian Games.

On paper the fastest in the field is Kenyan Emily Samoei, but her best of 2:26:52 came back in 2012, form she'll need to chase to finish back on the podium on Sunday. 

Others to watch include Tizita Terecha of Ethiopia, who has a 2:28:02 career best from 2015, and her 27-year-old compatriot Tadelech Nedi, who clocked 2:32:28 in Casablanca two years ago.

The men's field features 34-year-old Willy Kotile of Kenya, whose 2:09:58 personal best dates back to 2015.

Ethiopian Dejene Kelkilew, 28, has a 2:11:21 lifetime best, but that too came in earlier stage of his career, back in 2014.

Tadesse Yae, anoher Ethiopian, could be a factor as well. The 30-year-old set his best of 2:11:50 in 2014, but more recently, finished 6th in New York in 2016.

posted Saturday April 6th