Ethiopian distance runner Meselech Melkamu (© Getty Images)
Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu, second in Dubai two years ago, is the latest top-quality runner to be added to what is already a strong women’s field in this year’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Friday (22).
In 2014, Melkamu missed out on victory by just 22 seconds to fellow Ethiopian Mulu Seboka and the two will duel again later this week.
With a marathon personal best of 2:21:01, set in Frankfurt in 2012, Melkamu is the second fastest woman in the field behind another compatriot and 2013 Dubai champion Tirfi Tsegaye, who has a best of 2:20:18.
The second fastest female 10,000m runner in history, Melkamu’s marathon personal best came on her debut, at the time the third fastest debut ever.
In her running career, the 30-year-old has also accumulated a haul of eight medals at IAAF world championships – outdoors and indoors on the track, and at cross country – which suggests that she can still improve further over the classic 42.195km distance despite not having gone faster in her seven marathons since her debut.
“The field is in great shape for both the men and women’s race,” said Dubai Marathon Event Director Peter Connerton.
“While both lists are sprinkled with winners of many of the world’s biggest events, we also have three former Dubai winners in the women’s field in the shape of Tirfi Tsegaye, Mulu Seboka and Mamitu Daska. Having Meselech confirm her place adds even greater competition to what should be a fascinating race,” he added.
Organisers for the IAAF