Tamirat Tola out to inflict more pain on Kenyans in Valencia Marathon

 Tamirat Tola

Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola runs toward the finish line to win the men's marathon final during the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon on July 17, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Jim Watson | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Tola's compatriots Getaneh Molla - who is the fastest in the field with a PB of 2:03:34 - Dawit Wolde (2:04:27) and Chalu Deso are among the favourites.
  • Other competitors in the race include Jonathan Korir (2:04:32), Eritrea’s Hiskel Tewelde (2:04:35), (2:04:53), Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay (2:04:55), Kenyans Simon Kipkosgei (2:07:07) and Ronald Korir (2:07:2 9) among others.

World marathon champion Tamirat Tola from Ethiopia will renew his rivalry with Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui when they line up in the Valencia Marathon in Spain on Sunday.

This is one of the fastest courses in the world and most athletes will be out to improve on their personal bests.

Tola wants to lower the course record and if possible run a world record time.

The world marathon record of 2:01:09  is currently held by Eliud Kipchoge. The marathon great lowered his record of 2:01:39 in the Berlin Marathon this year.

“If the weather conditions will be good I believe I can do something special on that day but it also depends on the athletes we are going to compete with. You have to be pushed by your opponents during the race for you to run faster,” said Tola.

Tola told Nation Sport in Addis Ababa he is confident that he will do well as he sets his eyes on lowering his personal best time of 2 hours three minutes and 39 seconds.

“I know the race will be tough but the course is known to be fast and I may want to use that to run faster,” said Tola, who was born in Lubai in the Oromia region.
The soft-spoken athlete said the gold he won at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon changed his career.

In 2017, he settled for silver behind Geoffrey Kirui.

“The medal is so special to me because I have competed in various world events for my country but I had never won gold," he said.

Tola's compatriots Getaneh Molla - who is the fastest in the field with a PB of 2:03:34 - Dawit Wolde (2:04:27) and Chalu Deso are among the favourites.

Other competitors in the race include Jonathan Korir (2:04:32), Eritrea’s Hiskel Tewelde (2:04:35), (2:04:53), Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay (2:04:55), Kenyans Simon Kipkosgei (2:07:07) and Ronald Korir (2:07:2 9) among others.

In the women's category, debutant Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia will be eyeing the course record.

Gidey, who has been training in Addis Ababa ahead of the race, has set her sights on the record having broken the half marathon record last year at the Valencia Half Marathon when she clocked 62:52.

She won this year’s 10,000 metres gold at the World Championships in Oregon, USA before moving to the road races.

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