Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede headlines next month’s 2016 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Jan. 22, race organizers announced Thursday.
Kebede is a bronze medalist from the 2008 Olympic marathon in Beijing and a two-time winner of the London Marathon. His resume also includes victories in the Chicago, Paris and Fukuoka marathons.
“As well as two wins in London, he has two top three places in New York to his name so he could prove to be a real threat to the Dubai course record next month,” event director Peter Connerton said in a press release. “The demand from athletes to get a fast time under the belts early in the year means we are seeing a huge amount of interest in running in Dubai on January 22 and we are currently finalizing our elite line-ups in both the men and the women’s event.”
Kebede was originally scheduled to race October’s Chicago Marathon before withdrawing due to injury. In his most recent marathon, Kebede ran 2:07:58 for an eighth place finish at the 2015 Tokyo Marathon in February. He ran 63:44 for a 16th place finish at the New Delhi Half-Marathon on Nov. 29.
Kebede has a chance to bring home one of the biggest prizes from a marathon as the Dubai Marathon men’s and women’s champions take home $250,000 respectively. Ethiopia's Eyele Abshero holds the men’s course record with a 2:04:23 victory in 2012.
A victory by Kebede would extend the Ethiopian winning streak to five straight years. Last year’s men’s race was won by Ethiopian Berhanu Lemi in 2:05:28.
- Christopher Chavez