News03 Oct 2015

Olympic champion Gelana will return to Amsterdam Marathon


Tiki Gelana takes a 2:22:08 win at the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon (© Orange Pictures)

The 2015 TCS Amsterdam Marathon has signed up Ethiopia’s Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelana for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 18 October.

The 27-year-old hasn’t won a marathon since her victory in London three years ago but showed signs that the injury problems of 2013 and 2014 are now behind her when she clocked 2:24:26 for third place at the Tokyo Marathon in February, her fastest outing since her Olympic triumph.

Gelana’s national record of 2:18:58 from the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon makes her the fastest in the women’s elite field and has always run well in the Netherlands, setting several personal bests over shorter distances in Dutch road races.

She also won the Amsterdam Marathon back in 2011, setting what was then a personal best and course record of 2:22:08, so Gelana has some familiarity with the race itself and knows fast times can emerge if there are favourable weather conditions.

Two places behind Gelana in the Japanese capital at the start of this year was Kenya’s 2014 Commonwealth Games winner Filomena Cheyech, and the latter will also be on the start line in Amsterdam. Cheyech has a best of 2:22:44, set when winning the Paris Marathon last year.

Another Kenyan added to the Amsterdam women’s field is African 10,000m champion Joyce Chepkirui. Despite her credentials on the track, Chepkirui has yet to really impress at the marathon and her best stands at a relatively modest 2:29:07, when finishing 10th in Boston this year.

However, she won the high quality Dam tot Dam 10 mile road race in and around Amsterdam last month, running a personal best of 51:30, and this suggest she might be ready to make a big improvement over the marathon distance.

"This is the first time I will be running the TCS Amsterdam Marathon," said Chepkirui. "I'm in good shape now and expect to run a personal record. A time under 2:25 is possible, perhaps even 2:21."

Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF