FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ERITREAN OLYMPIAN LOOKS FOR DUBAI GLORY AFTER BEIJING SUPER SHOW
Dubai (UAE): Eritrea's Yared Asmerom will line up in the 2010 Standard
Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 22 backed by a remarkable success story
that saw him claim a top ten place at the Beijing Olympics just four years
after joining the ranks of competitive running.
Asmerom comes to the world's richest marathon six years after taking to the
track for the first time as a reluctant competitor in an army 5,000m race.
Luckily for the world of track and field, a convincing win in that debut
race convinced the self confessed lazy runner that he had the potential to
reach the top.
While others spotted his potential, the young Eritrean was unconvinced
until that debut win set him on a road that culminated in a magnificent
eighth place finish in Beijing just four years later.
"At military camp, my commander wanted me to participate in a military
athletic qualifier but I refused," said Asmerom. "A friend of mine was not
happy about it and begged me to do it. I decided to go for it and without
any training or racing kit, I was a surprise winner. It was kind of a 'wake
up call' and made me focus on running. I gave up drinking and smoking and
worked hard. I took on a 10km race and won that then joined the Debub
Athletic Club in Adi Keih."
With his teammates at a slightly higher level, Asmerom knew he had to work
hard to keep up yet in his first half marathon he still claimed third in a
respectable time of 1h:12m. "I thought it wasn't a bad for a beginner but
once I started my second half marathon I was better and lowered my time to
1h:07m before getting it down to 1h:05m in my third."
Asmerom's rapid progress and ambition saw him head to Beijing with medal
hopes for the marathon. Unfortunately, a podium place was out of his reach
but eighth place against the world's best distance runners just four years
after his debut as a novice proved he has the potential to keep up with the
best - a fact emphasised by a time of 2h:10m and third place in the 2009
Lake Biwa Marathon behind the legendary Paul Tergat and Spain's Jose Rios.
"I was only born as an athlete in 2004 but with that little experience I
set out for Beijing aiming to stand on the podium with an Olympic medal.
Unfortunately, technical errors in the last few kilometres meant that dream
did not come true but I was happy with eighth."
With that unconventional route to the top behind him, Asmerom is one of a
clutch of top class runners heading for the 2010 Standard Chartered Dubai
Marathon. "You can't help but admire Yared's amazing progress since his
early days at military camp," said Event Director Peter Connerton. "To
finish eighth in your first Olympics is hugely impressive and we look
forward to seeing how he copes with the flat route and expected benign
weather here in Dubai."
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice
President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and staged under
the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai
Marathon is supported by Dubai Holding, Dubai Sports Council, The Westin
Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, ARN and DMI, TNT, Fitness First,
Men's Fitness, Vittel Water, RTA, Dubai Municipality and the Dubai
Emergency Services. Such has been the demand for entries, organisers are
allowing late entrants to register online only up until January 12 at