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Hiwot Gebrekidan and Gebretsadik Abraha took an Ethiopian double at the Guangzhou Marathon, smashing the course records

Hiwot Gebrekidan and Gebretsadik Abraha took an Ethiopian double at the Guangzhou Marathon, smashing the course records at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday (8).

The 24-year-old Gebrekidan enjoyed a comfortable sole lead before 30km and wrapped up her convincing victory with a lifetime best of 2:23:50, smashing the 2:25:12 course record set by compatriot Rahma Tusa in 2017.

Helped by a pacemaker, the women’s race was soon reduced to a duel between Gebrekidan and Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir before the 5km water tables. The duo led side-by-side and when they passed 25km in 1:24:38, they were already nearly five minutes ahead of the chasers and well on track to attack the course record.

After a further two kilometres, the in-form Ethiopian broke clear from Chepchirchir and continued widening the gap until the finish.

It is Gebrekidan’s second title over the classic distance following her victory two years ago at Lake Tiberias where she achieved her previous PB of 2:25:45.

The 23-year-old Chepchirchir, who set her PB of 2:24:48 in Seoul nine months ago, finished second in 2:27:10 while local runner Zhang Meixia finished as a remote third finisher with a career-best time of 2:32:01.

The top six finishers in the men’s race all beat the 2:10:01 course record set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

The 27-year-old Abraha emerged victorious from a three-man battle in the last 10 kilometres to take the top honours in 2:08:04, which is the fastest time achieved by the former Prague and Marrakesh marathon winner since 2014.

Abraha, whose personal best of 2:06:23 was registered back in 2012, patiently hid himself in a lead pack of more than 10 runners that passed the 10km mark in 30:27 and 15km in 46:03.

The leaders were trimmed to 10 by 25km in 1:16:11 and further cut to six after another five kilometres in 1:31:38. Abraha then started his powerful charge, with only Kenya’s Mike Kiptum and Emmanuel Naibei managing to keep up with his pace by 32km.

The 27-year-old Kiptum, a 2:06:22 performer, quit the title contest before 40km. Abraha waited for another kilometre to finally pull clear and never looked back before hitting home in style.

Naibei knocked nearly two minutes off his PB to take the second place in 2:08:27. Kiptum held off a strong challenge from Chinese runner Dong Guojian in the last kilometre to notch the third place with a margin of just two seconds in 2:08:58.

(12/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guangzhou International Marathon

Guangzhou International Marathon

The Guangzhou Marathon was launched in 2012 and certified by CAA as the A level event. From 2014 to 2017,Guangzhou Marathon was recognized as the CAA Gold Medal Race for four consecutive years. The year of 2018 has seen this event was upgraded as IAAF Gold Label Road Race after it was awarded as IAAF Bronze and Silver Label Road...

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Ethiopia’s Mulu Seboka will take on the in-form Celestine Chepchirchir of Kenya at the Guangzhou Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday

The Prolific Ethiopian racer, who will compete in her fifth marathon of the year, owns the fastest personal best in the field at 2:21:56 set in Dubai four years ago. The 35-year-old competed in the southern Chinese city in 2016 and finished second in 2:32:26.

Seboka, a past Dubai Marathon, has a season’s best of 2:27:19 from her four marathons. She will obviously not be running with fresh legs in Guangzhou as her last race was just one week ago in Kunming, where she scored a 2:32:54 victory.

The rising Chepchirchir, 23, is the second fastest but the highest ranked (43) woman toeing the line. She knocked more than two minutes off her PB to finish third in Seoul in 2:24:48 nine months ago and went on to set a course record of 2:26:44 at the Cape Town Marathon in September.

Guangzhou will be her third race of the year and first time competing on Chinese soil.

Lilia Fisikovici of Moldova also improved lifetime best this April to 2:27:26 and has been pursuing her second international marathon title following her win in Krakow last April.

Other sub-2:30 runners in the field include two-time Daegu Marathon winner Pamela Rotich of Kenya who has a PB of 2:27:48, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan, who set a winning mark of 2:25:45 in See Genezareth two years ago, as well as Chinese duo Ding Changqin and He Yinli.

The men’s field is led by Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui. The 30-year-old clocked a PB of 2:05:21 to finish second at the Berlin Marathon four years ago and has managed to run inside 2:10 every year since 2014. But the past winner in Ottawa and Prague has yet to break that barrier in 2019 as he only clocked a mediocre 2:14:15 to finish seventh in Xiamen in January and failed to finish in Taiyuan three months ago.

Kiptanui’s countryman Mike Kiptum took more than three minutes off his career best to finish third at Seoul Marathon in 2:06:22 in March, suggesting that the 27-year-old would be another serious candidate not only to win the title but also to rewrite the 2:10:01 course record set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

The powerful Kenyan contingent also includes Felix Kirwa, whose PB of 2:06:13 was set in Eindhoven two years ago, and 31-year-old Josphat Letting, winner of the Tallinn Marathon in September.

Ethiopia’s Gebretsadik Abraha could be the biggest threat to the Kenyans. Although the 27-year-old achieved his 2:06:23 PB back in 2012, the consistent Abraha has maintained a high level of competitiveness, earning four podium finishes in his six races since 2017.

(12/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guangzhou International Marathon

Guangzhou International Marathon

The Guangzhou Marathon was launched in 2012 and certified by CAA as the A level event. From 2014 to 2017,Guangzhou Marathon was recognized as the CAA Gold Medal Race for four consecutive years. The year of 2018 has seen this event was upgraded as IAAF Gold Label Road Race after it was awarded as IAAF Bronze and Silver Label Road...

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Morocco’s Mohammed Ziani and Tigist Girma of Ethiopia beat the rain and cold weather to take top honours at the Guangzhou Marathon

The 25-year-old Mohammed Ziani emerged victorious from a four-man battle to claim his first marathon title clocking 2:10:44, 43 seconds shy of the course record set by compatriot Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

It was the third marathon for Ziani, who clocked 2:13:40 to finish fifth in Guangzhou last year. The race began in rainy and cold conditions with the temperature of about 45F degrees.

A leading group of six, including two pace-setters, brought the field through 10km in 30:28 and 20km in 1:00:57. The pacers stepped off the course at 25km and 30km respectively.

The other four leaders, including Ziani, Tsegay Tuemay of Eritrea as well as Ethiopian duo Gadisa Shumie and Balew Derseh, remained together until they passed 40km in 2:03:59.

After a series of unsuccessful mini-breaks in the following kilometers, the quartet were still shoulder-to-shoulder until they reached the final kilometer.  

Tuemay was the first to fade away while Ziani broke away to build a lead of several meters.  Shumie sped up in the last 10 meters but his effort were in vain as he clocked the same time as Ziani did but had to settle for second.

The 20-year-old Derseh finished third in 2:10:53 in his marathon debut. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya, the fastest entrant in the women’s race, stayed in the leading pack in the early stages but quit the title contest after 15km.

The race was then dominated by two Ethiopians, Girma and Zinash Debebe, who led together from 15km to 35km, before Girma pulled away to notch the convincing 2:26:44 victory.

The 25-year-old Girma improved her personal best by 2:16 but her winning mark is still shy of the 2:25:12 course record set by fellow Ethiopian Rahma Tusa last year.

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Defending Guangzhou Marathon champion Dickson Kipsang Tuwei wiil not defend his title this year

Defending Guangzhou Marathon champion Dickson Kipsang Tuwei has ruled out defending his title at this year's event in the southern Chinese city on December 9. The 26-year-old says he has not recovered in time after competing at the Shanghai Marathon where he finished third, clocking 2:09:21. "I am still resting and recovering from the grueling Shanghai Marathon. I love running in China and my plan was to win in Shanghai, but unfortunately, I was not strong enough to compete for the victory and had to settle for the bronze medal," he said on Saturday. However, Tuwei believes Kenya will have a strong representation in Guangzhou, with Edwin Kipngetich Koech hoping to win on his second attempt at the distance, while veteran Georgina Rono will be lining up in the women's race. 26-year-old Koech, who set an Italian all-comers' record with a time of 2:07:13 in the Milan Marathon, took third place in Guangzhou last year, clocking 2:10:27. "I have always dreamed of representing Kenya at the World Championships," said Koech. "I know I have a long way to go because Kenya always has strong runners. Winning in Guangzhou may be one step closer for me to attain my goal. But I have to be the best for me to stand any chance of gaining entry to the Kenya team." Koech says he will target the course record of 2:10:01 set three years ago by Morocco's Abdellah Tagharrafet, which Tuwei came within two seconds of last year. (12/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Moses Mosop will lead a quality field at the Guangzhou Marathon this weekend

Five sub-2:10 runners will toe the line in the men’s race targeting the course record of 2:10:01 set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015. 33-year-old Mosop owns the fastest PB of this year’s entrants with his 2:05:03 clocking from the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. He also holds the Chinese all-comers’ record of 2:06:19, set at the 2015 Xiamen Marathon. The Kenyan, however, hasn’t raced since placing third at the 2016 Dongying Marathon in 2:09:33 so there is a question mark over his form ahead of this weekend. Compatriot David Kemboi Kiyeng, 35, is perhaps the most experienced marathon runner in the field, having won in Reims, Seoul, Chuncheon Sao Paulo, Daegu and Kosice over the past 12 years. But the 35-year-old’s best recent performance was a 2:17:59 clocking in Taiyuan three months ago, more than 11 minutes shy of his PB. Fellow Kenyan Cosmas Jairus Birech – not to be confused with the steeplechaser with the similar name – is arguably the most in-form runner in the field. The 32-year-old improved his PB to 2:08:03 to take his first title over the classic distance in Rome eight months ago. The field also includes Birhanu Teshome of Ethiopia, who has a PB of 2:09:03, and Kenya’s Mathew Kipsaat, whose lifetime best of 2:09:19 was achieved in Rome last year. Despite the absence of defending champion and course record-holder Rahma Tusa, Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech could challenge the course record of 2:25:12 in the women’s race. Cheyech, the fourth-place finisher at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, set a PB of 2:21:22 in Paris last year. Her season’s best is 2:33:01, set at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in March. Ethiopia’s Zinash Debebe is another title contender. The 22-year-old cut nearly three minutes off her PB to finish fourth in Seville in 2:27:47. It will be Debebe’s third marathon of the year and she is still chasing her first career victory over the distance. (12/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Tusa Run PR to win Guangzhou Marathon

24-year-old Rahma Tusa of Ethiopia won the Guangzhou Marathon today. She built up a comfortable lead after midway and trimmed more than two minutes from her personal best to wrap up the third marathon title of her career in 2:25:12. Tusa’s winning mark also beat the course record of 2:26:46 set by Mulu Seboka back when the race was started 2012. It was Tusa’s third marathon in 2017. She arrvied in Guangzhou with high spirits after successfully defending her title at the Rome Marathon in April. (12/10/2017) ⚡AMP
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Seboka Returns to Guangzhou

Course record-holder Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia will return to the Guangzhou Marathon in a bid to regain her title from five years ago. Seboka clocked 2:26:46 to take a convincing victory at the inaugural edition of the race back in 2012 and her course record has stood untouched ever since. The 33-year-old, who set a personal best of 2:21:56 when finishing sixth in Dubai in 2015, is still seen as one of the favourites. (12/08/2017) ⚡AMP
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