Ethiopian legend Bekele confirmed his appearance at Dubai Marathon 2017

09/01/2017 05:18:02 PM

DUBAI, 9th January, 2017 (WAM) -- Three months after running the second-fastest marathon time in history, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele has confirmed his appearance at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday, January 20.

The three-time Olympic gold medallist stormed to victory at the Berlin Marathon in September, crossing the finish line in an Ethiopian record of 2:03:03, just six seconds short of Dennis Kimetto’s world record.

After voicing his disappointment at missing out on the world record, Bekele is targeting Dubai for the next chapter in his marathon running career. It will be his second appearance at the event after an injury forced him to pull up on his Dubai debut in 2015.

"It’s a massive boost to have Kenenisa confirmed for the 2017 staging of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon," said event director Peter Connerton. "His performance in Berlin proves that he is now very comfortable at the distance and we know he has unfinished business in Dubai after dropping out here two years ago."

Bekele still holds the world records for 5000 and 10,000 metres, and at those distances, he is one of only a handful of men who have won the Olympic double, and was the first man to win the World Championship double. Including all the cross country victories to his name, he has accrued 16 World titles; and may yet add another. "If the Ethiopian federation selects me, I’ll run the Worlds in London," he added.

Bekele said: "It was fantastic for me to get a personal best (in Berlin), but I’m still disappointed to have missed out on the world record. But I could see that I still had to make a couple of changes in my training."

The Marathon will include three categories: the 42.195km Challenge, the 10km Road Race and the 4km Fun Run.

Staged under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and held under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2017 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is the first world-class marathon of the year.