Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru pitted against Sifan Hassan at Tokyo Marathon

ATHLETICS Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru pitted against Sifan Hassan at Tokyo Marathon

Abigael Wafula 16:07 - 30.01.2024

Rosemary Wanjiru will return to the Tokyo Marathon to defend her title and she will have her work cut out since in-form Sifan Hassan has also been confirmed.

Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru will be up against the 2023 Chicago and London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan at the Tokyo Marathon scheduled for Sunday, March 3.

During last year’s edition of the race, Wanjiru destroyed a strong field to claim the top prize, cutting the tape in 2:16:28. She enjoyed her 2023 season and will be looking to continue the hot streak to 2024.

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Wanjiru also represented Kenya at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she finished sixth in the marathon.

Dutch woman Hassan is, however, not to be downplayed since she has proven what she can do both on the track and the full marathon.

Hassan made her full marathon debut at the London Marathon and won in the most dramatic way. She clocked 2:18:33 to beat marathon experts including Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic marathon champion.

She extended her winning streak to the Chicago Marathon where she stunned defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich to second place.

Hassan will be eyeing the Olympic Games and the Toyo Marathon is a better place for her to build up for the event.

Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Salpeter has also been invited and she will be out to challenge the double Olympic champion and Wanjiru for the top prize. 

Salpeter has also been making headlines recently and she finished third at the World Championships last year.

The Ethiopians will be led by Sutume Kebede and Tigist Abayechew who will be out to reclaim the title they lost to Kenya last year. 

Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania will also be hoping to continue soaring high after her dominant exploits in Berlin last year where she finished third.