FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Weidlinger eyes London Olympic qualification and Mohammed
targets course record in Duesseldorf
A close race with a targeted time of sub 2:10 in the men's race and a chase
for the women's course record are expected at the METRO Group Marathon
Duesseldorf. Germany's upcoming spring marathon will be staged on 8th May.
Günther Weidlinger (Austria), Stephen Kiogora (Kenya) and Chala Lemi
(Ethiopia) are among the leading contenders in the men's race while the big
favourite for the women's crown will be Merima Mohammed (Ethiopia), who
features a personal best of 2:23:06. The METRO Group Marathon Duesseldorf
is an IAAF Bronze Label Race.
A year ago Moldavia's Iaroslav Musinschi caused a huge surprise when he ran
away right from the start. His pacemaker dropped out at half way but he
kept going and clocked a course record of 2:08:32. This year European
athletes could again play a strong role in the METRO Group Marathon
Duesseldorf. "The course is fast and I am sure that I will be supported
very well from the organisers regarding pacemakers," said Günther
Weidlinger. The 33 year-old intends to qualify early for the Olympic Games'
marathon in London 2012. If conditions are fine Weidlinger will go for his
personal best which stands at 2:10:47. He had achieved this time when
finishing tenth in Frankfurt in 2009. "We are proud that an international
athlete of the calibre of Günther Weidlinger has decided to run in
Duesseldorf. This is proof of the great development of the METRO Group
Duesseldorf Marathon in recent years. The race becomes more and more
attractive for elite and fun runners," said Race Director Jan Winschermann.
One of the favourites in Duesseldorf will be Stephen Kiogora. The 36
year-old Kenyan is an athlete with plenty of experience in the marathon. He
has achieved a number of great results at major marathons in the past seven
years. In 2004 Kiogora was fourth in Boston and seventh in Chicago, in 2006
he was second in New York and a year later he took third in Boston.
Additionally he won the Las Vegas Marathon in 2005. His personal best
stands at 2:09:21. The fastest runner in the field so far comes from
Ethiopia: Chala Lemi clocked 2:08:49 when he finished second in the Toronto
Marathon in 2009.
In the women's field Merima Mohammed is by far the fastest runner in the
field. The 18 year-old Ethiopian features a personal best of 2:23:06, which
makes her the fastest woman ever entered into the METRO Group Marathon
Duesseldorf. Mohammed ran this time when finishing third in the Toronto
Marathon 2010. This year she has already shown fine marathon form, when she
took second place at the Mumbai Marathon in India in January with 2:26:57.
It was only in the final strides of the race that she was beaten in Mumbai.
Her fellow country-woman Koren Yal snatched victory by just one second!
With Merima Mohammed in the race, who has a half marathon personal best of
68:36 minutes, a new course record is a real possibility. It is the first
time in many years that the mark of Germany's Luminita Zaituc could be
under severe threat. Zaituc had won the METRO Group Duesseldorf Marathon
with 2:26:44 back in 2005.
Negotiations with further elite athletes are ongoing and more competitors
are to be released before the race.
More information and online entry is available at: