FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Both Course Records Targeted, Ethiopians Tola and Lema the Favourites
Organisers of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf hope that both course
records will be broken on Sunday, when they start the 10th edition of their
race. The men's field has never been as strong before in the history of the
event with Ethiopians Seboka Diriba Tola and Kebebush Haile Lema the
favourites. A group of strong African runners will be challenged by Japan's
Adding all running events staged on Sunday the METRO GROUP Duesseldorf
Marathon will feature around 14,000 athletes. The marathon is an IAAF
Bronze Label Road Race.
In probably fine weather conditions the men's leading group is expected to
go through half way in 63:50 minutes. This pace would be well inside the
present course record, which was set by Iaroslav Musinschi (Moldova) two
years ago with 2:08:32. Seboka Diriba Tola will be the favourite since he
improved to 2:06:17 in Dubai in January. With this personal best he is the
fastest runner ever entered into the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf.
But regarding the depth of the men's elite field this is also unique for
this race. Besides Tola there are five more runners who have been faster
than 2:09: Joseph Ngeny (2:08:10), Evans Ruto (both Kenya/2:08:36), Yuki
Kawauchi (Japan/2:08:37), Duncan Koech (2:08:38) and Abraham Chelanga (both
Kenya/2:08:43). Additionally the defending champion Nahashon Kimaiyo will
also return. The Kenyan, who has a PB of 2:10:36, clocked 2:10:53 in very
warm weather conditions last year.
"On Sunday I want to show in Duesseldorf that I can compete with the
Africans," said Yuki Kawauchi during a press conference on Friday. "My goal
is to run at least 2:10 here. If they run 63:50 minutes for half way, this
will be fine for me. I have already run a 63:30 split in Tokyo before." For
Yuki Kawauchi this will be the first time he competes in Europe. He is
aware that there is quite a big Japanese community in Duesseldorf. "I want
to show them something on Sunday," he said.
In the women's race organisers hope that the eight year-old course record
set by Luminita Zaituc (Germany/2:26:44) will finally be broken. Kebebush
Haile Lema is the one who is supposed to be able to go faster than Zaituc
in 2004. The 26 year-old Ethiopian enters the event with a personal best of
2:24:09. Fellow-Ethiopians Gishu Mindaye (2:28:30), Melkam Gisaw (2:29:12)
and Fantu Eticha Jimma (2:30:25) could do well as well. Kenya's Agnes
Jeruto plans to run a very fast debut marathon. While her half marathon
best of 72:03 does not sugggest something spectacular she targets a 2:25
Two German runners hope to beat the national qualifying time for the
Olympics in Duesseldorf: Jan Fitschen, the 10,000 m European Champion from
2006, will have to improve from 2:15:40 to 2:12:00 to book a place in
London, while Anna Hahner will have to reach 2:30:00 in her debut marathon.
Unfortunately André Pollmächer and Melanie Kraus had both had to cancel
their starts due to injuries.
More information and online entry is available at: