Kenya’s Reuben Kiprop Kipyego will face an uphill task while defending his title at the 3rd edition of the Abu Dhabi Marathon that will be held on 26, November in Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Kipyego returns to this race with a personal best of 2:03.55 which he got early this year at the Generali Milano Marathon and this time has placed him as the 20th fastest runner in the world.
The 25 years-old will battle with the two times World Champion Abel Kirui who carries a personal best of 2:05.04 that he got in 2009 at the Rotterdam Marathon where he finished in third place.
The 2012 London Olympic silver medallist, is one runner who has maintained his running status for the last 16 years in marathon and other road running championships across the world.
Kipyegon had been selected to be a pacemaker but he turned the tables as ran away with the 2019 title beating runner-up Joel Kimurer by a minute and 41 seconds. As the marathon champion, Kipyego earned $100,000 in prize money.
The race have put the two top athletes together to try and target the race course record that was set in the first edition of 2:04.04 by Marius Kipserem from Kenya.
Speaking on the confirmation of the latest world-class athletes, Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “As we return for our much-anticipated third edition, this year’s elite level line-up will see some of the world’s best male and female runners heading to Abu Dhabi to compete for the top prize. With two ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon champions returning in 2021 to defend their title, we can look ahead to an incredible display of competition and talent, further enhancing the event’s global reputation as one of the most prestigious races to participate at. We are proud that they have chosen our wonderful city and this fantastic event, and we look forward to welcoming them to the start line in Abu Dhabi.”
The total prize fund for the 2021 Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon is worth $303,000 (Dhs1.11 million) and will be shared across the various categories, with both elite male and female marathon winners taking home $50,000 (Dhs183,500) each.
A bonus cash of $30,000 is also being awarded, should they break the current course record.