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Fresh from a stunning 1-2 finish at the Arab Games in Doha, UAE runners Alia Saeed Mohammed and Betlhem Belayneh Deslagn will have more gold in sight when they star in the 10Km race in the 2012 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
The two UAE stars will be red hot favourites following their brilliant medal performance in Doha when Alia Saeed came home just over a second faster than team-mate Betlhem Belayneh to win a gold medal for the UAE in the women’s 5,000m.
It wasn’t the first time the two have slugged it out at the front of a high profile race – twelve months ago the pair finished first and second in the women’s 10km race at the 2011 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon with Belayneh taking gold on that occasion from a field of 8,000 runners that included around 3,000 women.
The dashing duo were the clear stars in Dubai last year. Belayneh – who also won a bronze medal in the 1,500m in Doha – edged out her compatriot to win by 14 seconds in 33m:07s with Ethiopia’s Belainesh Yami Gurmu nearly two minutes further adrift in third place.
“To win gold and silver in Doha was a fantastic achievement so we are delighted that the two girls will be competing again in the 10km race on January 27,” said event director Peter Connerton.
“The Marathon is obviously the star attraction but competition in the 10km is always fierce. Last year we had 8,274 competitors in the 10km with 35% of them female runners.”
To be staged under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will also feature a 3km Fun Run as well as the Marathon and 10km race which get underway from outside The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, opposite the Burj Khalifa.
In addition to the US$1 million prize-fund across the Marathon field, Dubai Holding will continue to encourage UAE Nationals thanks to its sponsorship of prize-money for the top UAE finishers in the Marathon, the Marathon Push Chair and the 10km race
“We are grateful to Dubai Holding for their ongoing support of the 10km race and their incentive for UAE runners,” said Event General Co-ordinator Ahmed Al Kamali who is also President of the UAE Athletics Federation and an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council member.
Now recognised with Gold Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by The Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Holding, “Official Outfitter” adidas, Emaar, Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, Sport 360, TNT, Fitness First, Plan B and by government departments Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Municipality DHA and the Dubai Ambulance Services.
Runners looking to compete in the Marathon, the 10km or the 3km Fun Run can still register online at this website.