Course records in danger as strong fields assemble for Sunday's Shanghai Marathon

ATHLETICS Course records in danger as strong fields assemble for Sunday's Shanghai Marathon

Abigael Wafula 19:24 - 25.11.2023

The course records at the Shanghai Marathon will be in danger as strong fields have been assembled for the men's and women's races.

The men’s and women’s races at the Shanghai Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, on Sunday, November 26 will promise to be a thriller.

In the men’s field, 12 runners will be looking to dominate with Kenya’s Paul Lonyangata course record of 2:07:14 in danger.

Ethiopia’s Kinde Atanaw is the fastest in the field owing to his Personal Best time of 2:03:51 which he set four years ago to win the Valencia Marathon.

He also registered two sub-2:06 marks in 2021 and 2022 respectively, including a fourth-place finish at the London Marathon last year. However, the 30-year-old failed to finish the race in London this year.

Elisha Rotich will lead the Kenyan charge. Rotich, 33, won the Paris Marathon two years ago with a PB of 2:04:21. He will look to open his season in China.

Another Ethiopian, Abayneh Degu will also be looking to impress by running alongside his compatriot Tadu Abate.

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Abate is one of the most in-form athletes in the field and has achieved sub-2:06 results in both of his two races of the year so far. On his part, Enock Onchari will also be looking to shine.

In the women’s race, athletes will be gunning for the course record of 2:20:36 set by Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese in 2018.

Tadu Teshome of Ethiopia, owning a PB of 2:17:36, is the favourite in Shanghai. Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba and Selly Chepyego of Kenya could be the biggest threats to Teshome.

Thirty-year-old Chumba has been in the form of her life and remained unbeaten after two races in 2023, clocking 2:20:31 to win in Rotterdam in April and winning the gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou early last month.

Chepyego, 38, is still making progress. The 2014 World Half Marathon bronze medallist set a PB of 2:20:03 to finish second in Barcelona in March and clocked 2:27:09 to place seventh at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Defending champion Zhang Deshun of China will also be on the starting line. Last year Zhang produced a 2:28:17 victory in Shanghai. In March, she improved her PB to 2:24:05 to finish fourth in Nagoya before finishing second behind Chumba at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2:27:55.