Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist, Letesenbet Gidey, the world-record holder in 5000m, 10,000m and the half marathon, will make her marathon debut at the 41st edition of the Valencia Marathon that will be held on Dec, 4, 2022 in Valencia, Spain.
The 24 year-old broke the 5000m world record in Valencia in October 2020, and then broke the half marathon world record in Valencia last October.
Gidey who also holds the 15km world record of 44:20 world best that she set in 2019 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, announced On May 11, on her Instagram page that she will be stepping up to the marathon distance.
Valencia is one of the best marathons for producing fast times. In 2020, Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir took honors at the event with the sixth fastest time in history of 2:17.16.
According to Jack Daniels VDOT performance tables, which predict an athlete’s performance based on previous performance, Gidey’s half marathon world record of 1:02:52 translates to a sub 2:12 marathon.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei currently holds the world record for the marathon with 2:14:04, which she set in 2019 at the Chicago Marathon.
Last month, Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran the fastest debut marathon in history of 2:17.23 in Hamburg, Germany, which also became the new Ethiopian National Record.
Neither of the two preceding world-record holders in the 10,000m — Ethiopian Almaz Ayana and Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan — have run a marathon.
Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, who preceded Gidey as 5000m world-record holder, won the 2017 Chicago Marathon and last raced in 2018.
Kenyan women, once in a rivalry with Ethiopians, have recently dominated, winning eight of the last nine World Marathon Majors.
Gidey will use the Valencia’s flat and fast marathon course, to try and chase Kosgei’s world record which could be under threat.