Meselech Melkamu breaks course record, Tesfaye Abera wins Hamburg

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( Photo: Haspa Marathon Hamburg / Hochzwei ) Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu smashed the course record by more than two minutes in the Haspa Marathon Hamburg. Finishing in 2:21:54 despite windy conditions she made a strong statement regarding the selection of Ethiopia’s marathon Olympic team. Fellow-Ethiopian and defending champion Meseret Hailu was second with 2:26:26 while Germany’s Anja Scherl caused an upset with a tremendous run for third place. Improving by more than eight minutes to 2:27:50 she has secured Olympic selection.

Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Abera took the men’s race in 2:06:58. Achieving his second marathon win this year after taking Dubai in a world lead of 2:04:23, he should gain selection for the Olympic team. Kenyans Philemon Rono and Josphat Kiprono followed in second and third with 2:07:20 and 2:10:44 respectively.

Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday: Ethiopians plan fast races

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(photo:Haspa Marathon Hamburg / Hochzwei )A quintet from the impressive stable of Ethiopia's world class runners will be aiming for top times with Olympic selection in mind at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday. Among those striving for the trip to Rio will be the fastest man in the world at the distance this year, Tesfaye Abera. The 24 year old triumphed in Dubai in January with his lifetime best of 2:04:24. His key rivals should include compatriots Feyisa Bekele and Abayneh Ayele, the latter having finished fourth in the Word Half Marathon Championships in March. In the women's field, Meseret Hailu returns to defend her title and this looks a tough task with her fellow Ethiopian Meseret Melkamu in the field, whose best of 2:21:01 is eight seconds faster than Hamburg's 2015 champion. This contest looks capable of putting the women’s course record of 2:24:12 under severe pressure while the quality of the men's field also suggests their course record could be threatened. The current holder is Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge who ran 2:05:30 three years ago. Taking into account various events held in conjunction with the main race, approx. 23,000 runners have entered the 31st edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg.

METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf on 24th April: Philipp Sanga gets a second chance

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Philipp Sanga is the fastest runner on the start list of the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf on 24th April. He features a personal best of 2:06:07. A number of fellow Kenyans plus defending champion Marius Ionescu of Romania are among the men’s elite runners. This was announced by the organisers today. Late entry for the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf, where the finish is besides the river Rhine, is still possible at:

Lusapho April wins Hannover for the third time

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(Photos: HAJ Hannover Marathon / Norbert Wilhelmi) Lusapho April took the HAJ Hannover Marathon for the third time after 2011 and 2013. The South African became the first male runner in the history of the event to achieve three victories. While he clearly missed his own course record of 2:08:32 his time of 2:11:27 should be enough to clinch a place in the Olympic marathon in Rio this summer. Kenyans Martin Kosgey and Moses Masai followed in second and third place with 2:11:54 and 2:15:43 respectively. In partly windy but otherwise fine conditions Edinah Kwambai of Kenya won the women’s race with a personal best of 2:29:17 from Germany’s Anna Hahner who clocked 2:30:35. Salome Biwott (Kenya) was third in 2:30:47. Including races at shorter distances the 26th HAJ Hannover Marathon had a record entry of more than 21,000 runners. The event is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

Robert Chemosin and Shuko Genemo win in windy Vienna

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Robert Chemosin won the Vienna City Marathon, clocking a fine 2:09:48 in very windy conditions. After two Ethiopian victories in the past two years this edition was dominated by the Kenyans again. Charles Cheryuiot (2:10:09), Suleiman Simotwo (2:10:15), Silas Limo (2:10:16) and Raymond Choge (2:11:07) finished in places two to five. There was however an Ethiopian winner in the women’s race: Shuko Genemo ran 2:24:31, which is the second fastest time in the history of the event. Debutant Ruti Aga of Ethiopia was second in 2:25:27 while Kenya’s Doris Chengeywo followed well behind with 2:31:50.

Exactly 42,511 runners from 126 nations entered the various events of the 33rd Vienna City Marathon, which is Austria’s biggest sporting event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. This is the second highest entry figure in the history of the race and just around 200 runners short of the record. It is the fourth time in a row that the Vienna City Marathon registered more than 40,000 athletes.