World’s Top Athletes to Join Mo Farah at Doha Marathon

World’s Top Athletes to Join Mo Farah at Doha Marathon
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Published January 8th, 2018 - 15:34 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Six-time world champion Mohamed Farah
Six-time world champion Mohamed Farah

A stellar international field of athletes have confirmed theirparticipation in the Ooredoo Doha Marathon to be held on January 12,Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced yesterday.

As many as 20 international professional men and women will be joining arecord number of more than 2,000 amateur athletes already signed up forthe mega event. These top athletes will represent Qatar’s key tourismmarkets including the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey as well as Spainand Portugal.

The field is lining up with Mohamed Farah, six-time world champion andfour-time Olymic gold medallist, one of the greatest athletes of alltime, in the half-marathon event taking place on January 12.

The men’s field also includes Germnay’s Arne Gabius, a former European10,000m silver medallist and Olympian, leading Turkish middle andlong-distance runner Bekir Karayel, who have competed in the 2012 and2016 Olympics.

The other prominent athletes are USA’s Ryan Vail, who has finished inthe top ten in the London, Berlin and New York City marathons andSomali-American long-distance runner and one of the world’s top distancerunners Abdi Abirahman. He is a four-time Olympian competing for theUnited States in 10,000m and marathon categories. He also finished thirdin the New York City Marathon in 2016.

The women’s field includes UK’s Gemma Steel, who came late to theprofessional ranks via an amateur running club background rather than anelite junior pathway. In 2017, she won the Great Ireland Run, GreatSouth Run, Virgin British 10K and came sixth in the Great North Run.

Italy’s Sara Dossena will also join the athletes for the event. Thereigning Italian 10,000m champion, Sara came sixth in the 2017 New YorkCity Marathon. In addition to being a top road runner she has also heldnational championships in Cross Country Running, triathlon and duathlon.Turkey’s Esma Aydemir, a rising star of the middle and long-distancerunning and

Allison Kieffer, a top American distance runner and world record holderfor the indoor marathon will also be in action. In 2017, Kieffer placedfifth at (2:29:39) at the 2017 New York City Marathon and she is a pastwinner of the Miami Marathon.
The invitational elite half is part of the Ooredoo Doha Marathon whichincludes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K events for adultsand youth as well as 3K and 1K events for children. Over the past fiveyears, the Ooredoo Doha Marathon has steadily grown to become thelargest mass participation event in Qatar attracting runners from over50 nationalities.

The elite athletes have expressed their excitement to be coming to Dohato run and experience the destination’s unique offerings. They will becompeting for $50,000 in prize money, with equal prize funds for boththe men’s and women’s events.

Gabius said, “I’m excited to competing at the Half Marathon in Doha;.The race is a great fit into my overall plans for 2018, since I’mpreparing for a spring marathon. It will be great to get a break fromtraining and test my fitness against some of the best athletes in theworld. This will also be my first time visiting Qatar and my family istravelling with me, which makes it even more exciting. No doubt we willenjoy the weather and we hope to visit some of the cultural landmarks,like the Museum of Islamic Art.”

Gemma Steele said, “I am delighted to be competing in the Half Marathonin Doha. The event offers a great course, some quality competition and afantastic location in which to train and race. The facilities are topclass and the people of Qatar are very welcoming. The organisation hasbeen great too. I shall run my heart out for you!”

Acting chairman at QTA Hassan al-Ibrahim said, “We are thrilled to bewelcoming the top international champions to Qatar to participate in thecountry’s largest mass participation event. Their involvement helps usto spread Qatar’s message of welcome to the world, and shines aspotlight on a fast-growing sports tourism destination. We look forwardto hosting them with the traditional Arabian hospitality Qatar isrenowned for, as well as hosting them on visits to some of ourworld-class sports facilities.”

QTA and Discover Qatar are offering participants from abroad specialhospitality packages, which can be found at the Discover Qatar website.Registration fees for the Ooredoo Doha Marathon range between QR100 andQR250 depending on the participant’s selected course and age. 100% ofthis year’s fees will be donated to charity.

© Gulf Times Newspaper 2017

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