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Ethiopia’s Sutume Asefa will return to the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon on Sunday, aiming to retain the title she took from the 2017 edition of the IAAF Gold Label road race.
The 24-year-old landed a 1:10:30 victory at the scenic Chinese city two years ago after winning a duel against fellow Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh in the final kilometre.
After renewing her personal best to 1:07:54 with a victory in Milan last March, she failed to compete at her best level in Yangzhou last month and only finished ninth in 1:12:11.
While Asefa will be keen to bounce back and regain the top honours, she will meet great challenge in front of a loaded field.
Her compatriot Degitu Azimeraw could be the biggest threat. The 20-year-old showed great quality in just her first year in senior level, clocking 1:06:47 in her first international half marathon race last February and winning the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon with another sub-70-minute run last April.
Two months ago, she improved her PB to 1:06:07 to finish fourth at the RAK Half Marathon.
Pauline Kamulu is another woman to watch. The Kenyan achieved a career best of 1:06:56 when taking bronze at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships last year. The 24-year-old bettered 70 minutes for the fifth straight time in March when she clocked 1:08:34 at the Bahrain Night Half Marathon.
With the absence of four-time defending champion Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia, who set the course record of 59:52 in 2015, Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben, runner-up last year, is the highest returner with the fastest PB in the line-up.
The 26-year-old will target nothing but the top place of the podium in his third consecutive appearance in Yangzhou.(04/18/2019) ⚡AMP
The Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon takes place in April in Yangzhou, People’s Republic of China. The event is named in honor of Jianzhen, a Chinese monk from the city who propagated Buddhismin Japan in the 8th century. The event was first held in 2006 and grew exponentially in its first six years: it gained IAAF Silver Label Road Race...more...