Photo: Tsegaye Mekonnen and Meselech Melkamu with the elite race coordinator Christoph Kopp in Frankfurt (PHOTORUN) - None other than the great Haile Gebrselassie, the current Ethiopian record holder in the marathon, has encouraged Tsegaye Mekonnen to attack that same mark in the BMW Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday. It´s also thanks to Haile that Tsegaye has chosen Frankfurt for his latest marathon outing. The 19 year-old teenage sensation clocked a stunning though unofficial world junior best of 2:04:32 when he took the Dubai Marathon in January. Now he hopes to improve this mark and has also set his sights on the personal record of Ethiopia’s superstar: Gebrselassie ran the current national best of 2:03:59 in Berlin in 2008, which was a world record at the time.
While Tsegaye Mekonnen hopes to become the first non-Kenyan men’s champion since 2001 there is also the possibilty that Germany’s oldest city marathon will have its first double Ethiopian win on Sunday. Aberu Kebede and Meselech Melkamu are strong contenders in the women’s race. They all appeared confident in Frankfurt.