New York City Marathon / Berlin Marathon / Diamond League / World Championships Doha /

• Emmanuel Mutai heads field with five sub 2:06 runners in Hamburg

Article source: Athletics


Emmanuel Mutai hopes he will return to running fast again when he competes in the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday. The Kenyan is the fourth fastest marathon runner ever with a personal best of 2:03:13. In what is probably the strongest men’s elite field ever assembled in the history of Germany’s biggest spring marathon five men feature personal bests of sub 2:06. The field includes the Olympic Champion from London 2012, Stephen Kiprotich. However there are half a dozen runners in the race with faster personal bests than the Ugandan. 

The strong line-up increases hopes that the five year-old course record may be broken. Kenya’s superstar Eliud Kipchoge established this mark in 2013, when he won his debut marathon in 2:05:30. Current weather forecasts seem to be suitable for fast times, however conditions can change quickly near Germany’s North Sea coast. 

Sweden’s Isabellah Andersson heads the women’s field with a personal best of 2:23:41. Organisers of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg registered a total of 33,183 entries including events at shorter distances. 14,250 runners will compete in the marathon.

Emmanuel Mutai won the London Marathon back in 2011 and then improved to 2:03:13 when he was second in Berlin in 2014 behind fellow-Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who broke the world record with a time of 2:02:57. However the last time Mutai ran a sub 2:10 time was in 2015 when he was fourth in Berlin with 2:07:46. „In recent years my performance was not so good. I had some problems with my stomach, but it is okay now,“ said 33 year-old Mutai, who finished under 2:07 nine times. „I want to improve on Sunday. All of us want to win, me too. But if I can’t do it then the goal is to finish in the top three. If weather conditions are good the course record is possible for one of us.“

The pace is planned accordingly. The first group is scheduled to run split times leading to a 2:05 finish. There will be a second group targeting a 2:08 time. It will be interesting to see who will join which group. Asked which one he will go with Stephen Kiprotich answered: „If the weather conditions are fine I will go with the 2:05 pace. Then it will be my goal to improve my personal best.“ The Olympic Champion from 2012 and World Champion from 2013 so far has a PB of 2:06:33.

After a couple of DNFs Sammy Kitwara came back with a big win last November: The Kenyan took the Valencia Marathon with 2:05:15. This performance makes Kitwara, who features a personal best of 2:04:28 from Chicago in 2014, a likely favourite in Hamburg. „I am the third fastest runner in the field - so I am not the favourite,“ joked Kitwara and added: „Of course I want to win, but I know that the others are strong and I will not underrate them. If the weather conditions are good then there is a chance to break the course record.“

„If all of us work together from the first kilometre up to may be 38 or even 40 k then it is possible to break the record,“ said Stephen Chebogut, who has already run 2:05:52 in 2015. Earlier in that year he was third in Hamburg with 2:08:01 although he was entered as a pacemaker and then decided to carry on. „May be I am able to deliver another surprise on Sunday,“ said Chebogut.

While former Kenyan Isabellah Andersson is the fastest woman on the start list the Swede has no intention to attack her personal best of 2:23:41. „It will be my first marathon after giving birth to my second child. My aim is to achieve the qualifying mark of 2:38:00 for the European Championships“, said Andersson, who trained in Eldoret in Kenya during the past four months. 

It is highly unlikely that the course record of 2:21:54 established by Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu two years ago will be under threat on Sunday. Organisers plan for a conservative 2:27 or 2:28 pace and expect a close contest. There may well be half a dozen runners in contention for victory with such a pace. Among them should be Sylvia Kibet of Kenya and Bahrain’s Mimi Belete, the former 1,500 m runner. Kibet was second in Hamburg in 2015 with 2:26:16 while Belete will run her debut on the fast course. She ran a 69:26 half marathon earlier this year in Barcelona.


Selected elite athletes with personal bests:


Emmanuel Mutai KEN 2:03:13

Ayele Abshero ETH 2:04:23

Sammy Kitwara KEN 2:04:28

Vincent Kipruto KEN 2:05:13

Stephen Chebogut KEN 2:05:52

Solomon Deksisa ETH 2:06:22

Stephen Kiprotich UGA 2:06:33

Solomon Yego KEN 2:07:12

Fikre Assefa ETH 2:08:36

Estefanos Tewelde ERI 2:09:16

Aychew Bantie ETH 2:09:40

Abdelhadi El Hachimi BEL 2:10:35

Philipp Pflieger GER 2:12:50

Ivan Gálan Bardera ESP 2:13:58

Solomon Tesfamariam SUI 2:14:51

Tadu Abate ETH Debüt



Isabellah Andersson SWE 2:23:41

Shitaye Eshete BRN 2:25.36

Sylvia Kibet KEN 2:26:16

Sally Chepyego KEN 2:26:43

Beata Naigambo NAM 2:26:57

Filomena Costa POR 2:28:00

Birke Debele ETH 2:29:45

Kuftu Tahir ETH 2:31:27

Tejitu Daba BRN 2:31:32

Mimi Belete BRN Debüt

More information about the Haspa Marathon Hamburg and online entry is available at:  www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de

Birhanu Legese and Ruti Aga defend their titles at the Tokyo Marathon 29 February 2020
Birhanu Legese and Ruti Aga defend their titles at the Tokyo Marathon
Ethiopian top runners Birhanu Legese and Ruti Aga will defend the titles they won last year at the Tokyo Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race and World Marathon...
Klosterhalfen Sets new European 5000m Indoor Record with 14:30.79 in Boston 28 February 2020
Klosterhalfen Sets new European 5000m Indoor Record with 14:30.79 in Boston
Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen clocked a new European 5000m indoor record at the Boston University Last Chance Invitational on Thursday (27). See full meet results...
Elite Athletes: Tokyo Marathon 2020 24 February 2020
Elite Athletes: Tokyo Marathon 2020
Elite Athletes: 2020 Tokyo Marathon (World Athletics Platinum label road race) - Sunday, March 1. Complete elite athele list MEN | ...
Ayenew Gebre (2:04:46) and Juliet Chekwel (2:23:13) Break Sevilla Marathon Course Records 23 February 2020
Ayenew Gebre (2:04:46) and Juliet Chekwel (2:23:13) Break Sevilla Marathon Course Records
Ethiopia's Mekuant Ayenew Gebre and Ugandan Juliet Chekwel broke Sevilla marathon course records on Sunday. The 29-year-old Gebre broke the tape in 2:04:46 beating the course...
Wayde Van Niekerk Wins 200m and 100m in Bloemfontein 22 February 2020
Wayde Van Niekerk Wins 200m and 100m in Bloemfontein
Olympic Champion and World record holder over 400m Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa clocked 20.31 in the 200m and 10.10 in the 100m on Saturday (22) in Bloemfontein . Van...
Duplantis to Attempt Another World Record at All Star Perche in Clermont-Ferrand 22 February 2020
Duplantis to Attempt Another World Record at All Star Perche in Clermont-Ferrand
Armand Duplantis will attempt another pole vault World record on Sunday at the annual All Star Perche meeting in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The 20-year-old Swedish star opened...
Latest Videos
Past Headlines Latest Results Upcoming Events
Watch Athletics
©2020 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.