World Half Marathon record holder, Abraham Kiptum is among the first names to be confirmed for the inaugural Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon that will be held on December 7, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Kiptum broke the half marathon record a fortnight ago in 58:18, shaving off five seconds from the previous best time set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadesse in Lisbon in 2010.
He will now turn his attentions to try and triumph in Abu Dhabi and will also be joined by his compatriot Stanley Biwott.
Biwott is a former New York and Tokyo marathon winner and included in the Kenyan team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 32-year-old had his first major victory in 2015 New York marathon, crossing the line in 2:10:32, 14 seconds ahead of his competition.
Joining their male counterparts are Ethiopian’s 2015 World silver medalist Gelete Burka, and Kenyan-born Bahraini runner Eunice Chumba Chebichii, silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the Asian Games in in August.
Burka was the world champion at the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and World Indoor Champion at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Chebichii is currently ranked as the 19th all-time best runner in half marathon history with a record time of 1:06:11, which she achieved during the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 2017.
“The UAE is proud to welcome elite athletes from across the globe to join us for the inaugural marathon in Abu Dhabi,” said Aref Hamad Al Awani, secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.