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Kinde Atanaw, Tadu Teshome lead Ethiopian charge at Shanghai Marathon on Sunday

Addis Ababa, November 25, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s Kinde Atanaw and Tadu Teshome are strong favorites for success at the Shanghai Marathon in the men’s and women’s race, respectively, on Sunday 26 November.

Taking into account the strong line-up, assaults on both the men’s and women’s course records are expected at the Shanghai Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race.

According the data from World Athletics, a total of 12 runners in the men’s field have personal bests inside the 2:07:14 course record set by Kenya’s Paul Lonyangata back in 2015.

Kinde Atanaw of Ethiopia is the fastest entrant courtesy of his 2:03:51 PB set four years ago in Valencia, where he staged a convincing victory in his debut over the classic distance.

The 30-year-old went on to register two sub-2:06 marks in 2021 and 2022 respectively, including a fourth-place finish at the London Marathon last year, but he failed to finish the race in London this year in what has been his only outing of 2023 so far.

Ethiopia’s Abayneh Degu, a 2:04:53 performer, will chase his first career marathon title in Shanghai. He clocked 2:08:28 in Osaka in February and finished fifth in China’s Lanzhou in 2:12:57 five months ago.

Fellow Ethiopian Tadu Abate is one of the most in-form runners in the men’s field. He has achieved sub-2:06 results in both of his two races of the year so far, including improving his PB to 2:05:38 to finish sixth in Tokyo.

In the women’s race, a quintet of sub-2:21 runners will be gunning for the course record of 2:20:36 set by Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese in 2018.

The 22-year-old Tadu Teshome of Ethiopia, owning a PB of 2:17:36, is the favourite in Shanghai. The 2022 Copenhagen Half Marathon champion, who is also a former winner of marathons in Barcelona and Riyadh, achieved her career best mark last year in Valencia. She clocked 2:20:04 to finish fifth last month in Chicago.

Bahrain’s national record-holder Eunice Chumba and Selly Chepyego of Kenya could be the biggest threats to Tadu Teshome.

Other title contenders include Ethiopian Etagegne Woldu, who set her PB of 2:20:03 last year in Valencia, and Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu, who finished eighth, one place behind Chepyego, in 2:27:23 in Budapest. Before that she improved the national record to 2:20:29 to finish fourth at the World Championships in Oregon in July 2022.

On the other hand, Ethiopia’s Asayech Ayichew and her compatriot Likina Amebaw are the star names at the Cross Internacional de la Constitucion, the sixth Gold level event in this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour, to be held in Alcobendas on the outskirts of Madrid on Sunday (26).

The women’s 8040m race witnesses a rematch between Likina Ambaw and Asayech Ayichew. The Ethiopian athletes battled hard for the victory last weekend in Soria, with the win eventually going to the former after a close sprint finish.

It is known that Likina has raced four times this cross country season with three podium places to her name in Amoberieta and Soria, where she won, plus her Cardiff runner-up spot. The Spain-based athlete will turn 26 years of age next week and will compete in Alcobendas fully recovered from the fever she suffered just before the Soria event. Having enjoyed an average training week at the altitude (1350m) of her base in Peguerinos (Avila), she will hope to be successful again on Sunday to improve on her 2021 third place.

As for Asayech Ayichew, the relatively unheralded Ethiopian will try to prove that her brilliant performance in Soria was no fluke.

Both will have stiff opposition provided by Kenya’s defending champion Lucy Mawia.

Notable past winners here include Eritrea’s former world half marathon record-holder Zersenay Tadese (2005), Kenya’s Joseph Ebuya (2007 and 2010), Ethiopia’s former world marathon champion Tamirat Tola (2015), Uganda’s world half marathon record-holder Jacob Kiplimo (2018), Portugal’s 1993 world cross country champion Albertina Dias (1996), Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu (2005 and 2006), Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot (2009) and her compatriot Linet Masai (2008 and 2015).

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