World class athletes Legese and Azimeraw at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon will welcome a strong elite field on Sunday, October 15. Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, who has run the fourth fastest time of all time with 2:02.48, will take a shot at the course record of 2:03.39. Bernard Koech (2:04.09) and Lemi Berhanu (2:04.33) also choose Amsterdam for their fall marathon. Among the women, Degitu Azimeraw is aiming for a second victory as well as a course record. Former winner Azimeraw will face competition from, among others, Tiruye Mesfin.
The 28-year-old Birhanu Legese is an all-time marathon runner behind three absolute legends: Eliud Kipchoge, Kelvin Kiptum and Kenenisa Bekele. The Ethiopian won the Tokyo Marathon in 2019 and 2020. At the 2019 Berlin Marathon, he finished second in 2:02.48 behind Bekele. Amsterdam will be the fifth Platinum Label marathon at which Legese will start.
Besides Legese, there are more candidates for the win. For example, Bernard Koech has been on the podium in Amsterdam before, when he finished second behind Tamirat Tola (the current course record holder) in 2021. Koech recorded the fourth fastest time this year in Hamburg last April: 2:04.09.
Koech will also take his training partner Kennedy Kimutai to Amsterdam, from whom an interesting debut is expected. With a personal best of 58.28, he already ran a very strong half marathon once (Valencia, 2021).
With Lemi Berhanu (2:04.33), Asrar Hiryden (2:04.43), Cybrian Kotut (2:04.47), Barselius Kipyego (2:04.48) and Abdisa Tola (2:05.42), the younger brother of Tamirat Tola, also at the start, it promises to be an exciting race.
For three editions in a row now, the women's course record has been broken. Since last year, the current course record of 2:17.20 is held by the Ethiopian Almaz Ayana. Degitu Azimeraw has fond memories of her debut marathon in Amsterdam: she raced to 2:19.26 in 2019. A time she tightened to 2:17.58 at the TCS London Marathon in 2021. Next month, the 24-year-old runner will return to the race circuit after her pregnancy.
With her best time, Tiruye Mesfin is not much inferior to her compatriot. The Ethiopian ran a strong debut of 2:18.47 in Valencia last year and so could also be the first woman to enter the Olympic Stadium on Sunday, October 15.
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is holder of the Platinum Label of the World Athletics, which makes the marathon attractive for the fastest long distance athletes in the world. The Platinum Label guarantees a fast course, with a good and tightly organized race. Legese, Azimeraw and Koech, among others, also have the Platinum Label status themselves. Their participation not only ensures an attractive race, but also further sustainability of the event.
Strong Dutch field
Organizer Le Champion previously announced that Nienke Brinkman, Khalid Choukoud, Richard Douma, Roy Hoornweg, Stan Niesten, Luuk Maas, Anne Luijten and Jill Holterman will be at the start. Lucas Nieuwenboer (second Dutchman in Amsterdam last year) and Roel Wijmenga have been added to the list. A strong group is being built around these top athletes so that they can aim for fast times and Olympic limits.
posted Friday September 8th
by Runners Web