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News28 Dec 2014

Mergia returns to Dubai Marathon looking for hat-trick of victories


Aselefech Mergia takes the Dubai Marathon title in 2:19:31 (© Organisers)

Ethiopia’s two-time Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon winner Aselefech Mergia will bid for her third victory at the 2015 race on 23 January, organisers of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race announced on Sunday (28).

Mergia won the 2011 and 2012 Dubai Marathons and is also the course record-holder for the women’s race having won the latter in 2:19:31. Having taken time out to have a baby, she has returned to racing over short distances, but this will be her first marathon since the London 2012 Olympic Games, where she finished a disappointing 42nd.

She will be joined in a powerful line-up by fellow Ethiopian and defending Dubai champion Mulu Seboka, who set her personal best of 2:23:12 when winning the 2014 Toronto Marathon in October, Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu, who finished just three seconds behind Mergia in 2012 and ran what remains her personal best of 2:19:34, Ethiopia’s 2014 Frankfurt Marathon winner Aberu Kebede, and marathon debutant Gladys Cherono of Kenya, the world half marathon champion.

“It is without doubt one of the strongest fields we have ever had,” said event director Peter Connerton.

“We also have the winner of the 2011 New York Marathon, Firehiwot Dado from Ethiopia. The depth of quality in the field is impressive and I’m sure Aselefech will be determined join her compatriot, the legendary Haile Gebrselassie, as a three-time winner of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon," he added.

The 2015 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon should see more than 25,000 runners compete across three races: the full marathon, 10km and the 4km Fun Run.

Organisers for the IAAF