The upcoming ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, scheduled for December 16, 2023, is brimming with anticipation as some of the world's top long-distance runners gear up for a thrilling competition. The event is particularly significant as it marks the return of several renowned athletes, creating an atmosphere of intense rivalry and high expectations.
Among the most eagerly watched contenders is Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia, a three-time Olympic champion returning to professional running after a hiatus. Dibaba, revered for her impressive track record, including five World Championship titles, is making a comeback following a break for maternity leave. Despite a modest performance at the Houston Half Marathon earlier in the year, her previous best time of 2:17.56 at the 2017 London Marathon positions her as a formidable competitor.
Facing Dibaba is Kenya's Brigid Kosgei, a former world marathon record holder. Kosgei's recent fourth-place finish at the New York Marathon demonstrates her resilience, despite the challenging course and her recovery process. This head-to-head match-up between Dibaba and Kosgei is anticipated to be one of the highlights of the marathon.
Adding to the competition's intensity are Hawi Feysa of Ethiopia and Maurine Chepkemoi from Kenya. Feysa, the 2019 All-African Games 5000m silver medalist, boasts a personal best of 2:23.38, while Chepkemoi, last year’s Enschede Marathon winner, is also a strong contender. The women's elite field is expected to challenge the course record of 2:20.41 set by Eunice Chumba of Bahrain.
In the men's field, Andrew Kwemoi of Uganda, at only 23 years old, is a runner to watch. With a personal best of 2:07.14 achieved at the Milano Marathon earlier this year, Kwemoi is a rising star in marathon running. His previous success at the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, where he earned a silver medal, makes him a top contender and adds to the overall excitement of the event.
The 2023 ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to be a showcase of some of the best talents in long-distance running, with seasoned champions and promising new athletes all vying for victory in what promises to be a memorable race.