[dehai-news] (Athletics Weekly) Newly married Zersenay Tadese to make highly anticipated Marathon debut

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Tue Nov 25 2008 - 09:34:29 EST

*Sparkling men's field confirmed for Flora London Marathon*
By Steven Mills, November 25th 2008

*Lel seeks to become the first four-time winner, whilst Wanjiru and Tadese
also headline*

A loaded field has been assembled for the 2009 Flora London Marathon, which
will commence on April 26th. The line-up features the three medallists from
the Beijing Olympic Games, the debutant Zersenay Tadese and the reigning
champion Martin Lel, who will attempt to make London Marathon history by
attempting to become the first four-time winner.

After victories in 2005, 2006 and 2008 as well as wins in the New York
Marathon, Lel will also attempt to become the first athlete to win three
consecutive London Marathon titles since Mexico's Dionicio Ceron achieved
this feat in the mid-1990s. The Kenyan star commented: "It's wonderful to be
coming back to London. I have great memories from my last three victories
and I will be doing my best to put my name in the record books with a fourth
win." However, a race Lel did not win was the Olympic Games, where he was
burnt off by his compatriot Sammy Wanjiru, who is also in the field.

In Beijing, Wanjiru astonished the field. Obviously making no concessions
for the adverse weather conditions, the 22-year-old pushed the pace from the
outset, storming to an Olympic record of 2:06:32. The Kenyan, who is based
in Japan, was second in the Flora London Marathon this year, and might start
as the early pre-race favourite this time.

At the Olympic Games, Wanjiru defeated Morocco's Jaouad Gharib and Ethiopian
Tsegaye Kebede and the silver and bronze medallists from Beijing will also
feature in London.

But perhaps the most intriguing entrant is Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese, who
will be making his highly anticipated debut at the marathon. The former
Olympic 10000m bronze medallist is unbeatable on the roads over the shorter
distances, having won the World Half-marathon Championships for a third time
this season and the 26-year-old is a former winner of the BUPA Great
Manchester Run and the BUPA Great North Run, where he set a world-best of
59:05 on his debut in 2005.

Other contenders include last year's world bronze medallist Viktor Rothlin
from Switzerland, the former world record-holder Khalid Khannouchi, this
year's third placer Abderrahim Goumri from Morocco and the 2006 champion
Felix Limo from Kenya.

Martin Lel KEN 2:05:15
Sammy Wanjiru KEN 2:05:24
Abderrahim Goumri MAR 2:05:30
Khalid Khannouchi USA 2:05:36
Felix Limo KEN 2:06:14
Emmanuel Mutai KEN 2:06:15
Tsegaye Kebede ETH 2:06:40
Hendrick Ramaala RSA 2:06:55
Jaouad Gharib MAR 2:07:02
Viktor Röthlin SUI 2:07:23
Yonas Kifle ERI 2:07:34
Tessema Abshiro ETH 2:08:26
Dathan Ritzenhein USA 2:11:06
Zersenay Tadese ERI Debut
Hicham Bellani MAR Debut

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