FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Defending Champions Target Olympic Slots at
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
Dubai (UAE): Defending champions David Barmasai and Asselefech Medessa will
return to the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon next month and like the
many of the elite field they will have one thing on their minds - Olympic
With London staging the Olympic Games in the summer of 2012, the cream of
distance running has just a few months to secure a good time and national
selection for the biggest marathon of them all - and with the Dubai route
renowned as arguably the flattest in the world, organisers expect a line-up
of male and female runners intent on pushing themselves and their rivals to
the absolute limit.
This year's Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon saw Kenya's Barmasai emerge
as the surprise package in the men's field, storming home for the second
win of his short marathon career in a time of 2h:07m:18s, while Medessa
clinched the women's title for Ethiopia in 2h:22m:45s.
"We are delighted that both David and Asselefech will return in 2012 but
they are both well aware that the field will be one of the strongest ever
seen in the history of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon," said event
director Peter Connerton following fact-finding missions to both Kenya and
"It's Olympic year which means runners are focused on qualifying for
London. There are only six marathon slots available per federation - three
for men and three for women - which means plenty of talented athletes will
miss out. But if they can post a quick time in Dubai they may well make the
plane to London. The stakes are high and we expect that to be reflected in
the pace of the race in January."
To be held on January 27, the 2012 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is
once again staged under the auspices of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and
under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council with Standard Chartered as the
While Barmasai was the first Kenyan to win the men's race since 2007, it
was also an indication of a swing in the balance of power in distance
running with Ethiopia losing its grip on the classic distance.
"During our trip to Africa, we visited the heartlands of distance running
to meet with agents, coaches and athletes alike," said Connerton.
"The state of the sport is particularly strong in Kenya right now and the
training camps are brimming with emerging talent. However, despite Kenya's
recent dominance over Ethiopia in marathon running, we were also able to
meet the best up-and-coming talent in Ethiopia and expect to announce some
great additions to the field in due course."
Now recognised with Gold Label status from the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is
supported by The Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Holding, "Official Outfitter"
adidas, Emaar, Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, Sport 360, TNT, Fitness First, Plan B
and by government departments Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Municipality DHA and
the Dubai Ambulance Services.
Runners looking to compete in the Marathon, the 10km or the 3km Fun Run can
register online at www.dubaimarathon.org.