Alia Saeed Mohammed and Betlhem Belayneh Deslagn will be to looking to build on their success at the Arab Games when the compete in the 10,000 metres at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon later this month.
The two UAE runners are both expected to challenge for victory following their superb performance in Qatar last month when Alia Saeed came home just over a second faster than teammate Belayneh to win a gold medal for the UAE in the women’s 5,000m.
It was not 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 Dubai Marathon with Belayneh taking gold on that occasion from a field of 8,000 runners that included around 3,000 women.
Belayneh – who also won a bronze medal in the 1,500m in Doha – edged out her compatriot to win by 14 seconds in 33 minutes, 07 seconds with Ethiopia’s Belainesh Yami Gurmu nearly two minutes further adrift in third place.
Peter Connerton, the event director, said: “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.
“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 per cent of them female runners.”
A 3km Fun Run is also being staged during the Dubai Marathon event, which get underway from outside The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, opposite the Burj Khalifa.